'16 and Pregnant': Jenelle
It's the show that spawned MTV's reality hit "Teen Mom": "16 and Pregnant." The docu-series, which follows teens on their road to motherhood, is back for its second season. And it's expected to have some intense story lines: This season will feature a girl who gives birth to twins and another whose child has health problems.
In the "16 and Pregnant" season premiere, we're introduced to 16-year-old Jenelle Evans, from Oak Island, N.C. (Never heard of it? It's "where the surf is good and the fishing is even better.") She and long-distance boyfriend Andrew, a former model (for what, I'm not sure I want to know), are about to be young parents. To put their age into perspective, the reaction by friends wasn't "Congratulations!" it was, "Like, oh my gosh, Jenelle is pregnant? Like, oh my God, is she really pregnant? Like, no!" Yes, yes she is. News flash: Having unprotected sex (while not on birth control) can, in fact, lead to a pregnancy ... no matter how many times you've done it before without the same result. Thank you, Lauren (Jenelle's friend), for saying what I was thinking: "Were you just not thinking about everything you learned in sex ed?"
In any case, it's a moot point. The deed is done. The problem is getting these two immature parents-to-be ready for their parental duties. Andrew is jobless -- seems posing for a camera makes him "overqualified" to work at McDonald's. ... OK ... sure. But I'm also sure there are other places of employment aside from the golden arches, right? And I was waiting to hear the other places he might have applied to. But he didn't. So I thought he would redeem himself in another way. But he didn't.
Instead, the charming dude had this reassurance to offer the mother of his child: "It's not like we're going to split up any time soon." Ah, the 11 words every girl dreams of hearing. Jenelle thought he was going to have a job. She thought he would move out of his parents' house. She thought he would have a car. It all turned out to be wishful thinking.
But rather than use his lack of responsibility as motivation on her road to motherhood, Jenelle used it as an excuse to ... go out with her friends: "Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I have to stop going out." Was I the only one with a question mark over my head? Because, dang gone, I thought that's exactly what it meant ... at least, when you're 16. Jenelle seems to be taking a cue from last season's party princess, Farrah, because once baby Jayce is born, she leaves most of the parenting to her overworked mother.
It's Jenelle's mom, Barbara, who is seen getting up at all hours. It's Barbara rocking the baby to sleep. It's Barbara changing the diapers. Guess we should have seen that coming when Jenelle proclaimed early on in the episode that she would opt to stay home and watch a movie with the baby by her side rather than going out. Right.
And when she tried justifying her actions, it was nice to see her friends, Lauren and Amber, actually offer her some good advice: Stay home and prove to everyone that you can raise a baby. That seemed to provide an "aha!" moment for the teen mom, and it wasn't long before she vowed to change her ways ... before her mother got up again to change Jayce's diaper.
Show Trackers, what did you think of the episode? Do you think Jenelle has actually changed her partying ways? What thoughts popped up for you during the episode?
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Jenelle and baby Jayce. Credit: MTV