I usually try to keep an open mind before watching a film or a TV show but from the start i was completely ready to complain about this one in 500 words or less. Why? I have never been a fan of reality television (ANTM doesn’t count haha) and there is something about the idea of glorifying fame hungry hos and partying teens on television that turns me off enough to want to go read a book.
Well imagine my surprise realizing that season 1 of “16 and Pregnant” was actually entertaining and in more than just me pitying them- kind of way. As the title suggests the show centers around American highschool kids having kids. Camera crews follow them from mid pregnancy until a few months after the baby is born, showing everything from clueless friends to cheating boyfriends and even delivery room action…scary! It also includes title cards and voiceover, giving it a personal and sweet touch without making it seem big budget and overdone. Season 1 had highlights but also complete whack jobs (the recently incarcerated Amber, anyone). My favorites were Maci and Catelynn. Both of whom were later featured on another show “Teen Mom”, showcasing the first few years after birth.
Maci is this self proclaimed over achiever with a wannabe skater/dirt biker boyfriend and ditsy friends. She likes dancing and dreams of going to college. While she sounds annoying as fridge, something about her was lovable and she really seemed to try and get things together and act more mature. Character growth is something rarely seen on reality television and i applaud her for that (plus she dumped that sorry ass guy soon after).
Catelynn on the other hand is that sweet girl who would have never really done anything hadn’t it been for the show. Her mom is a complete crazy, swearing and unsupportive biyatch who had Catelynn as a teenager herself. Now get this, Catelynn’s stepdad (who is in and out of prison) is also the father of Catelynn’s boyfriend. But it is all good cause the teens started dating first and are not related… My love for Catelynn stems from the fact that she realized how f-ed up her situation was and decided to give her daughter up for adoption. The funny thing is, out of the season 1 moms she is the only one who 4 years after the show is still dating her babydaddy. Their longevity combined with the heartbreaking scenes of them giving up their baby made me think they might have been the best parents, yet they were the only ones who had the balls to recognize that their surroundings would have ruined little Carly and ultimately did the right thing. And oh how much i cried seeing their hurt and love for this little baby because they did not seem sad for having to give something of theirs away but rather scared that their daughter would grow up thinking she wasn’t wanted and loved.
I think the general appeal of “16 and Pregnant” is that it is not glorifying amorality and babies, plus the people on it are not all incredibly attractive and/or rich, something unusual for reality television. It shows the lives of a few crazy and a few sweet teens who live through the situation all our parents have warned us about. I sincerely hope that my favorites didn’t change much in later seasons after fame and money hit them. The ones who were screw ups before (yes you Amber) would have self destructed no matter if some cameras were on them or not. The nice ones got cash out of it, well good for them! With the state of the economy, any job that pays and doesn’t require young, uneducated people to take their clothes off is a win-win situation in my book.