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Molly Fosco

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Teen Mom 2: Reality TV Gets a Little Too Real

Posted: 01/30/2013 9:16 pm

Brace yourselves folks. It looks like Season 4 of Teen Mom 2 might be the last one ever. Let me just repeat that -- Season FOUR of Teen Mom TWO. There have thus far been four seasons of a second set of teenage mothers who agreed to let MTV film them as they attempt to care for a child while still in high school and inevitably f*ck everything up and cry about it.

I really shouldn't be surprised the series has lasted this long. There are plenty of people out there who love watching this kind of emotional, soap opera-esque, reality television. Admittedly, I have been one of them in the past. What can I say? Sometimes it's incredibly entertaining to watch people screw up their lives. But when do you separate the entertainment value of the television part from the cold, hard reality part?

E! News reported on Friday that evidently, one of the most notorious teen moms (take 2), Jenelle Evans, has not only suffered a recent miscarriage but also filed assault charges against her husband last month. If you are at all familiar with Jenelle's story, you will know that this is just the latest hiccup in her ever-turbulent adolescent life. She has been arrested for drug possession and breaking and entering, filed assault charges on previous significant others, had naked photos of herself leaked on Twitter, and oh yeah -- she got pregnant at age 16.

Jenelle's continual run-ins with the law and destructive behavior are some of the main reasons behind the rumored halt to the series. Evidently she is becoming a liability to the network, and understandably so. Why would they wait around for her potential self-inflicted demise to become a messy court battle and subsequent tabloid scandal?

When I witness self-destructive behavior as exhibited by Jenelle, as well as some of the other girls that have been a part of the Teen Mom phenomenon, for lack of a better description, I just feel really bad for them. They're so young and already on the path for an unsuccessful and depressing future. Amber Portwood, from the first round of teen moms, is in prison for the next five years on drug charges (although evidently she's "doing well" behind bars). Leah Calvert (formerly Messer) is married for the second time and expecting her third child (she already has twins) at age twenty.

But how did it get to this point? Are some of these young women turning their lives into a complete train wreck due to the fame the Teen Mom series brought them? Without the added pressure of fame, teenage mothers already face hardships that could easily cause them to turn to drugs, alcohol, or other reckless behaviors. It's quite possible that Jenelle Evans would be a hot mess regardless of the show's existence.

It's also possible that these girls are being exploited by the series, and Jenelle just can't cope with it as well as some of the others. Her behavior makes it seem as though she's oblivious to the millions of MTV viewers watching her every outburst and scoping Perez daily to read about her latest cray-cray misadventure. If you look at her Twitter page you'll see that most of her tweets contain what is far from PG language and quite frankly make absolutely no sense at all. And if she truly doesn't care that all of these people are watching her ruin her life... well, it may be an even more pathetic situation than I initially assessed.

I really don't want to get into the whole "these teenage mothers are setting an example for young girls" point, but these teenage mothers are setting an example for young girls! Besides the fact that they are sending themselves into a downward spiral and devastating their families in the process, there are in fact millions of people watching them. Hopefully most take it as a cautionary tale, but it's also quite likely that some naïve viewers out there will see it as an example of a really awesome way to live. At some point this has to be recognized and if the cancellation of the Teen Mom 2 series is the way to do that, then thank you MTV.

 

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