Teen Mom OG: The Later Years

I’ll admit, I used to be a huge fan of the show 16 And Pregnant. At 27 the show absolutely terrified me and I figured it would have the same effect on teens. Finally MTV was making a show that could possibly help society as opposed to say, The Jersey Shore. I was equally as enthralled with Teen Mom, the follow up to 16 And Pregnant, right up until Season 2 came out and I noticed that all of a sudden the girls went from struggling to pay their bills to buying new cars, houses, and were constantly going out to eat. I don’t know about you but when I was 19 I worked as a waitress, drove a ’91 POS and nights out included going to my friends house to watch Sex and the City. But I guess when you’ve agreed to share such an extreme situation, and the events that follow, with the world you’re entitled to some sort of compensation.

While Teen Mom had its unintentional comical moments, for the most part it seemed a little sad and the fact that everyone else in the world was making fun of them (please don’t act like you never laughed at Gary and his inability to wear anything but baby tees) kept me from writing about them, until now. I picked back up on Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2 in their previous seasons and discovered that it was no longer a show about the struggles of a teen mom but rather a show about twenty-something-year-old women and their drama, and they happen to have money. It was as though MTV made a Twilight Zone-like Sex and the City prequel to give viewers an idea of what their lives would’ve been like if they’d all got knocked up in high school and would’ve never met.

Anyway, it wasn’t their new homes, expensive cars, unlimited clothing budget or their book deals that made me decide to include Teem Mom in TV Time with Typical Jenn. Nope, it was watching Mr. Love Line himself, Dr. Drew, explain to a couple of the cast members that the reason it was important to keep Farrah Abraham on as a cast member (of Teen Mom OG) was they needed to show the struggles of being a teen mom and the extremes they go through to survive. Interesting take, especially since it isn’t true. Now, I’m aware that there are teen mothers out there who have taken to dancing in order to take care of themselves and their child, but I’d bet my car they’re not raking in $500,000 like Farrah did when she danced at an Austin gentleman’s club. That “explanation” gave me an idea of just how much money MTV is willing to throw into this franchise for the sake of ratings and an even bigger financial return, because there’s no way anyone in their right mind would believe this show is still about the hardships of being a teen mom. There are women in a far worse situation than divorced parents and being pregnant at 17, but you won’t see all of them on a talk show promoting their new book. How many 24-year-old mothers of first graders do you know who can afford to get a brand new car every couple of years? Do you remember how much money you got for losing your first tooth? I bet it wasn’t $600 like Sophia (daughter of Farrah) got.

Now, if MTV really wanted to have a profound effect on young women they would pick 4 girls from every season of 16 And Pregnant and then film them afterwards to make a new Teen Mom and show what it’s really like. Not film the same girls every year and millions of dollars later. But I get it. People are wrapped up in their drama and you want to see how it unfolds. The only problem is, from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve run out of drama. Now MTV is just filming their everyday movements. To liven it up they’ve broken the 4th wall and now you’re able to see how the cast interacts with the crew, and every so often the cast will speak directly to the camera. Yup, like they’re talking directly to you. Geddit? It’s like you’re in their living room right there with them! Not in Farrah’s, though, you can’t afford it. So, without further ado, I bring you the latest in this MTV money maker.

So here’s what’s happening on this season of Teen Mom OG:

A whole lot of nothing.

I’m serious, this show is running on fumes.

Farrah is still making money doing tons of random things, her mom is still crazy but more so now than ever, and Farrah still has her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Simon. If you watch the show you’ll notice that Farrah and Simon are practically trying not to kill each other on camera, and if you look hard enough you can almost see the producers in the background waving Simon and Farrah’s checks at them while they’re filming their scenes. At first I thought the producers were paying this guy to be Farrah’s boyfriend and conjure up something to film, now I think their goal is to make her go as insane as possible, throwing tantrums so unbelievable the season finale will include a scene reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs where she’s being taken away in a straitjacket and mussel after she’s eaten the face off a producer, thus launching its next spin off: The Dangers of Crazy featuring Farrah Abraham. That’s MTV for you, always with the spin off’s.

Maci quit her job as a radio host, is focusing on her and Taylor’s clothing line, and her big drama is she just found out she’s 5-months pregnant, and by “she just found out she’s 5-months pregnant” I mean WE just found out she’s 5-months pregnant. Her fake reaction to the news suggests that she’s known far longer than her and the show are letting on. But she needed a story line and we’re expected to go along with it even though it’s ridiculously staged, but also these are reality stars, not actors, so what do you expect. On last week’s episode we were treated to a scene of her and Taylor discussing the wedding, and if you managed to stay awake through this incredibly boring exchange you were then treated to a few equally boring scenes of her trying on wedding gowns. In fact, the only people who were excited were the saleswomen and I suspect that was only for the cameras, as the looks on their faces resembled that of one of those lunatic mothers from Toddlers and Tiaras. You know, the ones who are practically performing on stage with their 5-year-old.

Amber is still with her conman of a fiance´. Last season they began flipping houses, a business venture they appear to still be involved in, although a new viewer of the show would believe their actual employment status is “getting paid to film and not doing anything else except this isn’t going to last forever so you better develop some skills before you’re 30 and broke.” Not having a real job or plans for her future is about as dramatic as it gets for Amber. To remedy this she (or MTV) has found a man who is equally as unambitious and, SURPRISE!, has kids all over the country, far and wide. He’s the deadbeat dad version of the now cancelled Duggar’s show “19 Kids and Counting.” If you’ve watched any of Teen Mom OG, or have read the gossip sites, you know that prior to reeling in Amber he tried getting the attention of Farrah, and when that didn’t work he tried Janelle (from Teen Mom 2), and then finally settled on Amber which, in turn, landed him a paying gig as a supporting character on the show, which then prompted his baby mama’s to start coming out of the woodwork. Look, I’m no fugitive, but what I do know is if you’re on the lamb getting yourself on a reality show probably isn’t your best option when trying to lay low.  Regardless, Amber continues to deal with the stories and the continuous flow of women claiming Matt IS the father. Listen, if Amber wants to keep this going so she can have a story line and continue to not work that’s her business but if I were Matt I would quit buying Amber “I’m sorry” rings and start saving money for the impending wage garnishments. Gary (Amber’s baby daddy) is still around, and with his Amber drama put to rest his story line consists of him talking, about nothing. In fact, we’re 4 episodes in and I can only remember one scene of his because he says the same thing over and over again, “Yea, Amber and I are getting along better and I’m glad the custody agreement is settled.” That’s it. And the only person he repeatedly says this to is his wife, who could only look more bored if she were talking to two of him.

Finally we come to Catelynn and Tyler, the only 2 with a story line that has some actual substance, kind of. While Tyler is struggling a bit to find his place in the world, Catelynn is struggling with postpartum depression and has reached out for professional help. In addition, Tyler’s dad is living with them after serving his 5-year prison sentence, and the couple is also trying to work through the fact that Brandon and Theresa (the couple who adopted their first daughter) no longer want anything to do with the show. Their story line isn’t so bad, HOWEVER, I will say that watching Catelynn chew her fingernails down to the nub makes me wish she had hooks for hands. I get that it’s probably a nervous tick but dear god when she does it, which is just about all the time, I have to look away. Watching someone chew their fingernails in person is bad enough, watching someone do that on TV is 147 times worse because you can’t smack their hand out of their mouth. It’s equivalent to watching someone run their nails on a chalkboard, which Catelynn can’t do, because she’s just about chewed her fingernails down to her knuckles. In fact, I would like to see a one hour special where Dr. Drew addresses this issue and attempts to cure her. They could bring in a hypnotist to trick her into thinking that her fingernails were actually her baby’s head. She may never paint her nails again or she might fuse her hands together behind her back so she’ll never be able to look at them, but at least she’ll be cured. But based on the severity of her nail-biting issue she’d probably just take to chewing on her toenails. Now that’s entertainment.

Tonight delivers a whole new episode of nothing and as fun as it is to write about them I just can’t do this every week, it’s too boring. How boring? Well here’s what happened on the last episode (episode 4):

• Catelynn bought a $3,000 pig and Tyler got mad. Tyler’s dad dressed up as the Easter Bunny for Nova (Catelynn and Tyler’s 2nd daughter) but put the bottoms on backwards making the tail look like a penis, hilarity ensued.

• Farrah was a dick to Sophia. Farrah was a dick to Simon. Farrah is crazy.

• Amber got sick, and also got a cat.

• Maci went from not knowing she was pregnant to looking like she’s due any second. Maci plans a wedding, then she tries on dresses. And if that sentence alone was boring to read you should try watching the episode. If you asked me the tone of her story, my answer would be monotone.

And that’s it, that’s what MTV films all day long. How they manage to stay awake is beyond me so you can see why I can’t write about this every week. It’s like watching fake grass grow. It’s like one of those old time comic strips that have been around for the last 30 years but the scenario is still taking place on the same day.

So I’ll update you again when their day is over, in 3 months.

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