I have to state in the beginning that I only happened upon this show because I couldn't find an episode of Law & Order to watch and Derek was gone. I don't usually watch MTV. I actually was especially interested in watching this show specifically because it was an MTV production. I was curious to see what kind of a spin they'd put on a situation like this.
The episode I saw has a cheerleader from South Dakota (maybe North Dakota? Who can tell them apart anyway?) who announces to us that she's already like 16 weeks pregnant by the time she could contact MTV and they could get their cameras rolling. She's a very pretty, ditzy, size 2 teenager whose closest friend is a very homosexual male cheerleader. Her mom drives around in a Mercedes sports car and her dad apparently works out of town all the time.
What surprises did the show bring me? Well, actually the biggest surprise wasn't the girl who was pregnant, it was her mom. The girl was extremely immature about the situation and bemoans her loss of her size 2 figure. She hopes she'll quickly be able to return to her usual size after the baby makes her appearance. Her mom makes a halfhearted attempt to tell her daughter that this baby would be better cared for by adopted parents (this girl's boyfriend is no longer in the picture and he finds out from local gossip about the pregnancy). The girl, whose name is Farrah, decides she wants to keep the baby and her mom supports her decision to keep the baby; however, she doesn't exactly help out with her great mothering after that point.
When they go to the hospital for a tour and to find out about labor, her mom tells her that it's all disgusting and she doesn't want to hear it. Um great, but your daughter is the pregnant one whose trying to learn about the situation.
Farrah tries to get a car, so that she can get a job and sometime go to school. Obviously, she has no income, so she looks to get something she views as affordable like a Ford Focus. Her mom tells her that she hates Ford Focuses and that's a stupid idea and they will not be going to look for that car. Great advice coming from someone who drives around a Mercedes Benz huh? During the course of this fight, the mom even hits Farrah and tells her she's had enough of Farrah's unChristlike ways. I think there's something about a mote and a beam that goes along with this, but I can't remember right now...
After the baby comes, the mom makes sure that Farrah bears the bulk of the responsibility for this baby which I do think is a good decision on her part--perhaps one of the few good decisions I saw the mom make. Farrah finds it hard to have the energy to do much of anything after being up all night with a newborn and her friends don't really relate to her since they don't have babies. Shocking I know.
I guess I was hoping that the show would emphasize more just how hard it is to be an unwed, teenage mom. Really, in this episode this girl had to deal with her crazy mom, but her mom still allowed her to live at home & she strongly encouraged her to continue with school. It could've been a lot worse. I almost felt as though the show could have the opposite effect it maybe is shooting for. At least I hope that it's aiming to show that teenage pregnancy is a bad idea.
I think a more convincing sell for the show would be to show opposing sides of this situation. I know several people who have/are struggling to get pregnant--people who are good, solid people with careers and education and love--people who could offer great homes to children. To show these great, stable couples searching so hard to find a baby to adopt vs. this teenager who doesn't even want to be pregnant, who isn't ready to be pregnant, who isn't equipped to be a parent. Although maybe my idea is a poor one--maybe it would cause teenagers who watch MTV to want to get pregnant in order to help out these couples? I don't know.
I just think that the hardest, most demanding job that I've ever done is parenting. It can certainly be easy if you want to do a poor job. It's sad that people who don't even want babies can get pregnant while people who want children more than anything can't make it happen. I also felt sad for Farrah because it was apparent to me that she probably will never accomplish any of her educational goals and where will that leave her? What kind of a guy is she going to marry to father her children? What will she tell her daughter about her dad?
The whole situation is sad. Really sad.