‘Teen Mom’ (Season Three, Episode 1): Taking it Slow
Oh Teen Mom, it’s like you never left us. That could be because all four girls are constantly staring up at you from tabloid covers at the checkout counter, but I digress. Last night’s episode has everything a good reality show should – breakups! makeups! break-ins! Implants!
Maci and her baby-daddy Ryan are long over, and while season two saw her so happy with new boy-toy Kyle she moved two hours from home to live with him, it ended on a sad note as he decided to break it off. But apparently they made up a week later, which might seem weird if Amber and Gary hadn’t conditioned me to believe relationships can rebound at the speed of light.
So Maci’s has become the story of the cute young family and the guy that takes cute family’s baby a couple of times a week. With her relationship with Kyle steady, we open with Teen Mom’s second favorite form of drama: money troubles. It seems Ryan isn’t paying child support as he’s been court ordered to, and when Maci makes a call trying to find out the next steps she discovers that if he doesn’t cough up the money in a certain amount of time he could be sent to jail. Maci doesn’t seem quite ready to send her ex to the slammer, but her friend’s glee over the possibility of seeing Ryan behind bars gets us Maci’s quote of the night: “What about when Bentley’s like eight and he asks, so has dad ever been to jail?” Something all young children wonder about their fathers.
When Maci confronts Ryan about the missing child support, he says it’s been taken out of his unemployment checks, but decides there are more important matters to discuss, a subject so weighty it can’t be spoken aloud, it must be texted. Maci receives the hallowed text “is kyle slow?”, and while she angrily assures Ryan that Kyle’s mental capacities are fine, Ryan insists it had to be asked as he had been fielding the question from everybody.
Maci inexplicably forwards the text to Kyle, who for some reason is insulted by the implication he’s not all there. She finds out that Ryan was telling the truth about child support (there was a bank error), and after pointing out that Bentley will have milestones in his life that will require the presence of Ryan and Kyle, Kyle agrees to think about meeting Ryan. So everything is cute and sweet and there won’t be any more trouble all season…..
Catelynn and Tyler, who gave up their daughter Carly up for adoption in season one and got engaged in season two, continue to be adorable, but now it looks like they might be adorable in their own place. As the couple hangs out in Catelynn ‘s room, she notices her window looks suspiciously tampered with. Alerting her mom of the possible break in, April responds in true form saying, “What do you want me to do, save you?” (Yes, that would be the proper response if your daughter really was in danger of being attacked). Other windows were discovered to be tampered with, the cops came, and Tyler, like any respectable teenage boy, seems quite happy about all the excitement and possible danger. Catelynn and her mom decide it’s time to move, and when Catelynn ‘s grandmother offers to take in Catelynn ‘s mom and brother but not her, Tyler suggests they get their own place. A nervous Catelynn deals with a surprisingly calm and accepting April when she talks to her about the possible co-habitation over the phone, but Tyler’s mom is less than thrilled with the idea. She points out that while Catelynn needs to get her own apartment to avoid being homeless, Tyler can still live with his mother. This is true, and I like Tyler’s mom, but this seems like kind of a cruel thing to remind Catelynn of. Tyler points out that at eighteen he has no job and doesn’t even wash his own clothes, so in order to show true maturity he must live on his own, instead of, you know, first getting a job and learning to use the washing machine. When his moms accuses him of rushing through his childhood we get Ty’s quotable “childhood is over.” And while I’m not sure if moving out of his mother’s house is the best decision, having already given up his daughter, watched his dad go to rehab, and watched his girlfriend be verbally abused by her mother, this statement seems painfully true. In a moment of true maturity, Catelynn and Tyler agree they’ll try living together, but if it seems to be putting a strain on their relationship, they’ll find different living situations.
Sigh. Amber and Gary are that couple you went to high school with whose relationship status changed every time the bell rang, with domestic violence thrown in. Last season, in no particular order Amber got physical with Gary, Gary dressed up in a bunny suit, they got engaged, they dated other people, and every once and a while they’d remember to play with their daughter. Now Amber has what seems like a pretty devoted boyfriend named Chris, which makes it even weirder when Gary asks her to give him another chance she agrees almost immediately, especially considering how rocky their counseling sessions went, with her bringing up that old “he got me pregnant” complaint again along with the tired “he cheated on me.” Of course Gary has the trump card “she was physically abusive towards me in front of our small child.” In spite of the very angry session Amber agrees to try to start things over with Gary and end things with Chris. When a near hysterical Chris refuses to be dumped over the phone (which really isn’t polite) Amber drives over and end things in person. An extremely melodramatic Chris begs her to give him another shot, but it’s no use, her heart belongs to Gary (today).
Last season Farrah moved into her own place with her daughter Sophia after her mom was arrested for getting physical with Farrah (and threatening the cops who came to check out the fight). Sophia’s father was killed in a car accident before she was born, and now that Farrah and her mom are getting along better she can lean on her for support.
This season starts with Farrah cooing to her daughter “Mommy’s going to get a boob job” as the barely-verbal child mutters “waffle” (I would have been so happy if the kid had happened to be eating a pancake instead). Yes, Farrah is unhappy with her chest and would be a lot happier if it was filled with silicon. But, as she points out to her concerned mom, even though the surgery will cost thousands of dollars, it’s really an investment in the future of her modeling career. She further explains as a hard working teen mom she deserves to “treat herself”, unaware that when most single moms use that expression they’re talking about a sundae, not cosmetic surgery. Her journey to a C cup (for clarification “not a big C, a C you can see”) begins with the eloquently worded “here for boobs” she writes on a medical form. Then she takes some boobs for a test drive, and figures out the finances. Her mom, worried she could die on the table, encourages her to draw up a will. She seems to genuinely care, and it’s not an unreasonable precaution, but you can kind of see her mouth water when they discuss who would get custody of Sophia if anything should happen to Farrah. Farrah doesn’t commit to anything on the spot, but eventually names her mom as the one who would care for her daughter. Before you know it, it’s the big day. Her mom says a quick prayer, Farrah goes under the knife, and then is back at home with frozen vegetables soothing her giant boobs as she bitches at her doting dad who isn’t getting her a heating pad quite fast enough. Everything’s back to normal.
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