Your baby would love you more if you cut your hair.
Tuesday’s new episode of 16 and Pregnant was awkward and weird and was definitely an editorial nightmare. Lakewood, Florida high school dropout Nicole Fokos (aged sixteen, dropped out upon learning she was pregnant) and junior high expellee/baby daddy Tyler Keller (turns sixteen during the episode, hasn’t gone to school in three years) are excited to become parents in that big picture kind of way that all the teen moms seem to be: can’t wait to meet the baby, but don’t really know what to do with it when it comes. MTV, this is supposed to be semi-educational, right? I realize you don’t want to break the fourth wall (see: True Life) but really. Pony up for some childbirth classes! Parenting classes! Something! Break those pipe dreams and let reality quickly set in!
I think all these 16 and Pregnant episodes are getting to me, because each one is more depressing than the last. This one, oy—when Nicole was ten months old, her premature baby sister died 3 hours after birth (on Tina’s, Nicole’s mom, birthday). The year after that happened, Nicole’s father dropped dead on Tina’s birthday. The woman couldn’t get a break! She was probably the most excited teen mom’s mom in the history of this fine program. She was excited, Tyler’s grandmother (with whom he lived, sort of) was excited, Tyler’s mom Farrah (herself a teen mom, having Tyler at seventeen) was not excited, but ended up helping them out in the end. But she wasn’t afraid to hold back her opinions, oh no, unlike passive aggressive Grandma and jubilant (yet seemingly silently judgmental once the baby was born) Tina, Farrah made no secret of her disappointment and disapproval of the whole situation. And good for her, except when she undid all her awesomeness by giving in to Tyler’s car pout and telling him he was superduper fantasticness.
Like I said above, this whole episode was awkward and weird. The baby shower: who were ALL THOSE PEOPLE? There were like 50 people there! Why was Tyler expelled from school (at 13!) and not convinced/forced to go back for three years? What did he do all day? How did he expect to find a job with a, what, seventh grade education? He bitched about $6.50/hour not being enough money, but hello darlin’, it’s almost Federal Minimum Wage and you don’t have any other options, so buck up. Nicole and her friends prank call people? Really? People still do that these days? And then, when giant baby (9 pounds, ya’ll!) Brooklyn Marie was born, Nicole started to look so distant and detached. She claimed Tyler would be a great dad because of how good he was with his little sisters, but to me it seemed like he was good with them because they could articulate their needs. Brooklyn couldn’t, and he seemed frustrated and immature when trying to deal with her. Yes—he didn’t go out and party (that we saw), and he did get a job and was working, a definite step up from the usual deadbeat baby daddies profiled on 16 and Pregnant. But why, why, why were Nicole and Tyler moving every couple days from house to house to house, if everyone was so supportive of them having Brooklyn? It was uncomfortable, it was strange, the baby was sleeping on a COUCH! For the love of little apples, babies need WALLS! So they don’t roll off the edge! Nicole looked like a zombie by the end of the episode, when Tina pointed out that Nicole was obviously still uncomfortable around Brooklyn. I don’t think Nicole (choice of baby daddy and his involvement notwithstanding) was quite prepared for motherhood or what having a baby actually entailed. I hope they’ve stabilized their living situation, because moving around every few days is hard on everyone.
Next week’s Very Special Episode looks like a trainwreck– Leah Messer is having twins! By her boyfriend of one month, Corey! Boyfriend! Of ONE MONTH! It must be a disasterpiece of epic proportions to be 90 minutes long. This is one episode that excites me, because it’s definitely different from anything we’ve seen before. And I’m a twin, so I know what it’s like to be a twin baby (sort of). I hope she doesn’t a) dress them alike or b) name them rhyming names. And it takes place in West Virginia! Holla!
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