Pregnancy, family dysfunction, and juvenile drama: MTV is at it again.
The four young women who made up the old cast of ‘16 And Pregnant’—giving birth as teenagers on national television—are back nearly six years later on Monday night’s premier of Teen Mom OG. Maci Bookout, Amber Portwood, Catelynn Lowell and Farrah Abraham are now older and, allegedly, wiser parents.
A lot has changed since high school. Maci has a new boyfriend living with her and her son, as she deals with the absentee biological father. Amber is back from a year and a half in prison for substance abuse. Catelynn is pregnant again and engaged, and Farrah remains at the center of controversy due to her past sex tapes, although she admits that she “regrets things.”
It’s quite a Rockwell painting.
In interviews with TV Guide, the four discussed returning to TV after a two and a half year absence, and how they feel they’ve matured since the show last aired. Catelynn declared that “we did this show for a reason and that reason was to educate girls and teach them to better themselves and maybe wait to get pregnant …”
Of course, whether the show accomplished that or, conversely, convinced more impressionable girls that reality show fame is just an unprotected tryst away, we don’t know.
At any rate, the struggles associated with young, unmarried, parenthood haven’t been left behind with past seasons. The young women have traded crying over prom dresses for crying over custody complications. According to Maci, “… it doesn't get any easier. When you’re teen parents, it’s hard forever. The struggles don't go away; they’re just different.”
Teen Mom OG undoubtedly has drama in store for the coming season, but seeing children like Maci’s son crying about being pulled away from one parent’s custody to another’s is hardly enjoyable entertainment. Life is hard enough without watching others struggle.