MTV is keeping with its commitment to prove to you that your life choices could have been worse, much much worse. So that means we get yet another pregnancy show focused on young people. This time around they are combining 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom by showing numerous young people’s stories and showing what happens after the babies get here. We also get a couple of 20 year old’s which does help bring a couple of the stories out of the high school setting. In addition, moving between multiple storylines provides a lot of drama and activity to follow – so let’s meet the couples of Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant!
Brianna and Danae: We know this couple was chosen by casting for a few reasons. (Like, if you applied for this show and weren’t chosen, this was a tough couple to beat so just watch and don’t be too hard on yourself.) First off, they are young, they are extremely dysfunctional as a couple, AND we have the element of a transgender person in the couple. This also means one of them has no biological connection to the child and that will likely be a big part of the story. There is a lot to unpack with this particular couple. Danae being a transgender person is great for awareness and already in the first episode we are learning a few things with the gentle correction of a friend towards using male pronouns. He is also rather remarkable by offering to step into a father role for this baby. At the age they are, and given the fact that many young fathers refuse to step up for their own children, he is deserving of vast amounts of praise for taking on this responsibility. However, Brianna and Danae seem to have a volatile and dysfunctional relationship before bringing in a baby, and I’m not sure that love will be enough to see them through given the aggressive arguing and fighting. Right now I’m actually pretty impressed with these two as individuals but I’m not sure that they bring out the best in each other as a couple.
Jade and Sean: Jade seems to being showing up as mature, funny, and already maternal as she is caring for a mother with addiction issues. Thanks MTV for throwing in a 20 year old, it makes us all feel less guilty for watching this. The addiction issues with her mother are going to be the big story arc here. It is the crux of drama between the two of them, as well as with baby daddy Sean. Jade seems to have quite a bit going for her despite this. She certainly seems to come across as strong in this first episode so while I’m sure she’d like more help from both her mom and Sean, I’m betting she’ll be able to step up and just handle what comes. I think money and work ethic between her and Sean are going to be key elements of drama as well, which makes sense given their age.
Shen Ashley and Bar: For sure any married people watching this show said a little prayer that this was not our mother-in-law when these three popped onto the screen. In an alternate universe Shen would recognize that she and Ashley fight so much because Bar is dating someone who is similar to her and she would stay in her role as grandma and help and guide as needed without crossing boundaries. But in MTV’s reality we get discussions of queens and crowns and vying for who is more in charge of Bar’s life at any given moment. When he snaps and puts them all in their place I hope the cameras are there to catch it. Also, kudos to Ashley for having the best one-liner of the episode when she responded to her friend’s teasing of “you naughty, naughty girl,” with “that’s how I got here.” Seeing Ashley in scrubs gives me plenty of hope that she will indeed continue to pursue an education and career, she is one of the older ones so hopefully she can make those dreams reality for herself.
Lexi and Kyler: Lexi is adorable but is also a reminder of how painfully young these kids are. She also has a sweetness about her that has been missing since Chelsea Houska’s 16 and Pregnant episode back in the day. Lexi’s mom seems quite supportive and like there is a solid family unit behind her. Apparently, that is why Kyler seems to think he should bring extra stress to the situation. He is young and this level of responsibility has caused many a baby daddy to disengage, but it is difficult to find much compassion for him while sharing the screen with sweet Lexi and her growing belly who is just taking it all in stride and responding calmly and maturely. Also, MTV seems to really enjoy capturing the image of the pregnant teen cheerleader so we are treated to shots of Lexi in her uniform and can bet this will be a recurring theme.
Kayla and Stephan: We were lacking the requisite amount of cheating in this episode, so Kayla and Stephan had to bring up the average. Thanks for doing your part guys. We get the raised by a single mom storyline with Kayla as well as the decision of whether to force things with a habitual cheater. Sometimes you have to wonder if any of these kids have watched the original franchise because if history is any indication, we have a pretty good prediction of what will happen. Also, while it is difficult to see how repeated cheating can be interpreted as ‘mixed signals’, we also haven’t really gotten to know these couples or how much of a charmer some of these guys can be. Perhaps we’ll get to see Stephan’s flirtations, or at least hear about them, and be able to follow the mind games.
Generally speaking, MTV seems to acknowledge that they are going back to their roots and using tried and true formulas to help build an audience for this show. Now that the Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 girls are celebrities, (especially in their own minds) this does offer us similar story lines without the extravagant spending, monstrous egos, and also offers a little more action than just laying in bed and sitting on couches. If the ratings are there for this show, it doesn’t take a lot of insight to expect MTV to shift to this formula going forward since the contracts are sure to be peanuts compared to Teen Mom(2).
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Photo Credit: MTV