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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » 'Teen Mom' on MTV

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Author Topic: 'Teen Mom' on MTV
Ecofem
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I saw 'Teen Mom: Unseen Moments' the other day and was very disappointed. I had been anticipating the series and need to catch up but the last episode was so off-putting. I feel the show misrepresents teen parents and makes me believe that MTV, despite perhaps claiming to do otherwise, now has very conservative agendas. I was especially disgusted by Dr. Drew's judgmental commentary, which could be considered very much out-of-line with Scarleteen's stance on such issues. I have really liked MTV documentary series in the past, as I've posted here, but this may have finally turned me off to the network.

I want to blog about the series once I catch up, making connections between it and our articles on pregnancy and choice, but I'd also like your feedback first!

- Have you seen 'Teen Mom'?
- How do you feel about the show?
- What do you like about it and what don't you like?
- How do you feel about the characters?
- Do you feel the show is a accurate depiction of teen parents? - Do you think the show has a message behind it? If so, what is it?

Thanks in advance for sharing, and I look forward to hearing what you think! [Smile]

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psykins
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I don't have much to write about, but I do have a little. I've seen a few episodes of 16 and pregnant, which is where the women from Teen Mom come from. The ones I've seen did not seem too judgmental, although they definitely didn't shy from showing when a girl was being immature or kind of bratty. On the other hand, the first girl, Maci, was very admirable, I thought. She clearly loved her son, was trying to make it work with the dad for her son (even if that's not always the best idea, and even if it doesn't work, I personally think it's admirable to try, as long as a partner is not abusive), and was working and going to school and raising her son pretty successfully.

I have heard that the Dr. Drew episodes are the worst, because he kind of acts like a giant...*insert bad word here [Razz] * and is very judgmental toward the girls and asks them dumb and leading questions.

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Ecofem
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Thanks for your feedback, and for also touching upon '16 and pregnant'. I'm glad to hear that the episodes without Dr. Drew seem more straightforward. And I've heard good things about Maci, too. [Smile]
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rachelh27
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I'm a little late on this topic, haha.

I'd never watched either of these shows until my new college roommate came into the picture, now I seem to catch them all the time. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the show... while I applaud MTV for bringing the issue of teen pregnancy to prime time television, I don't necessarily feel like they treated all of the girls the same way.

One of the girls in particular-- I think her name is Farrah?-- was almost always shown in a negative way. In her case, I kind of feel like MTV was relying on her for "good television" rather than a documentary-style view of her life with a young child. However, maybe her depiction on the show is actually how she acts in real life, I don't know.

On the other hand, MTV was pretty good at showing what a wonderful mother Maci is, even when the baby's father is a complete jerk. I was appalled by him many times, especially during the Dr. Drew episode; he was SO mean to poor Maci.

I also thought that MTV's depiction of Catelynn (I believe that's her name, I could be wrong) and her boyfriend Tyler's relationship after they gave up their child for adoption was quite refreshing. So much of MTV's programming revolves around relationships, usually those consisting of one-night-stands and drunk hook-ups. I loved the idea of seeing two young people, even after their world was turned upside down, sticking together and being a support system for each other.

I don't really know how to conclude this post. Those are my thoughts [Smile]

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Sara
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I like to watch Teen Mom.. it's interesting to see how these girls live their lives after becoming teen moms. I think the show has some realistic points to being a teen mom, but I think a lot of it is hidden. I've always heard the show is to make teens be more careful with sex or keep from it. But to me, it says "if I get pregnant I could be on MTV. I could have my own episode of show" The show kind of glamorizes what its like to be a teen mom. Yes, it shows some of the hard aspects, but I think it makes things seem easier. I'm not dumb enough to believe they are truely that easy.

MTV can choose how they want to portray the girls. Anything is possible with editing. Farrah is made to seem like a bad person. I don't know if that's how she is at all times. You don't really see anything bad with Maci. I don't know if that's just because she's really that good or they edit things. Amber.. wow.. I can't stand her. You rarely see her being nice and happy. She's always screaming and getting violent. She's made to seem like a bad mother.

I love the show, but I don't know how much of it is actual and what's just made for television.

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Bun Bun
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Just wondering if anybody has been keeping up with season 2? Some of the dynamics between Amber and Gary have been really bothering. Like on one episode **SPOILER!** Gary tells Amber he's going to call CPS on her because she's leaving things like knives in reach of their baby and just generally neglecting the poor thing. So what does she do? She freaks out, and punches and hits him in the face. Multiple times too, you see her yelling at her daughter or yelling at Gary in front of their daughter. I know editing can make people seem horrible, but I don't think the frequency of these events really matters. Hitting your partner even just ONCE is not right.

MTV does play a clip about abusive relationships and who you can call after the scene, but I'm wondering if it's enough. I hope that someone steps in to help their child... As well, Katelyn's mom worries me. She's constantly berating Katelyn and acting incredibly immature. They've mentioned that she has an alcohol problem, too. I think it's concerning because she herself has a small child...

On another note, season 2 has really changed my opinions about Farrah. It breaks my heart when she cries about the father of her daughter and how he died. I also really think she's stepping up at being a responsible mother.

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Heather
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I'm not a big TV watcher (don't even own one, and never have), but this isn't the first time I've heard about abuse happening on reality TV.

That really bothers me: on this show, for instance, you're saying they showed a PSA about abuse after abuse occurred, including who to call, but I wonder if the producers themselves called the police when this happened on their watch, and if that's happening or not in abuse that happens when filming reality television. I'd guess it isn't, which would be very bad ethically.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I'm not a big TV watcher (don't even own one, and never have), but this isn't the first time I've heard about abuse happening on reality TV.

That really bothers me: on this show, for instance, you're saying they showed a PSA about abuse after abuse occurred, including who to call, but I wonder if the producers themselves called the police when this happened on their watch, and if that's happening or not in abuse that happens when filming reality television. I'd guess it isn't, which would be very bad ethically.

I agree with you, Heather.

he only thing is, if i were to find out these shows were scripted, it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

I dunno if you ever watched survivor, but these people are stranded in the middle of nowhere with only one "luxury item". However, every single woman has perfectly smooth, shaven legs for the entire season. Not so realistic, I don't think.

I've never watched "Teen mom", but I wouldn't at all be surprised if between filming sessions the camera person is saying "slap him, It'll add to the dramatic effect"

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I'm not a big TV watcher (don't even own one, and never have), but this isn't the first time I've heard about abuse happening on reality TV.

I watch a lot of DVDs, but not much broadcast TV as I have a TV in my room but not broadcasts because I didn't want to pay the license fee, there is a TV in the living room (which has it's license paid) where I live. As far as I'm concerned, reality TV should disappear from the face of the earth and be replaced by new episodes of Firefly, Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Pushing Daisies, I may also add Huge to this list when I've actually seen it (ditto Dead Like Me, and Freaks and Geeks, and Undeclared, and that's not even getting started on the list of manga adaptations that I'd like to see happen that haven't yet... redoBladeoftheImmortalastheadaptationwegotwasrubbish). Anyway, with my cards on the table, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of reality TV is scripted either, I desperately hope that none of the crew on these shows are encouraging the cast to assault one another.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Heather
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I asked my friend Jenn Pozner about this issue, by the way, since she just finished writing a really in-depth book about reality television.

And she told me that a) the abuse that happens usually IS real, and b) that most of the people who are abusive on these shows already had RECORDS of being abusive before they were cast.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Looks like the abuse on this particular show is being investigated: http://www.hulu.com/watch/186793/nbc-today-show-%E2%80%98teen-mom%E2%80%99s%E2%80%99-tv-rage-spurs-investigation

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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