So, this episode was heartbreaking. MTV made good on its promise (for once) in that regard, but I don’t know if I can really be pleased about it. It seemed in the previews like it would be all about Brittany’s regret for her abortion. But really it’s more about Briana’s regret for not having an abortion.
I really like this family. They make sense to me, and they seem like really stand-up, step-up people. And the overall improv/line delivery gets an A.
Briana lives in a nice suburby-looking part of Orlando with lots of grass. She wants to go to college, and she finished high school early. She’s originally from the mean streets of Brooklyn, but mom Roxanne brought her and big sister Brittany to this bucolic burg in an effort to protect them from some of that meanness.
I wonder if hipsters live in their old home now.
Briana knows she’s supposed to enjoy pregnancy. It’s supposed to be a fun and exciting time. At one point, she compares herself to a woman in her 30s, who can enjoy it because she probably has her own place. And her man may or may not be a waste of air like Briana’s babydaddy Devoin, hereinafter Devoid. I realize he’s not unique, but since he chose to go on TV, he’s gonna bear my disgust toward all men who act like this. I know he’s too young and dumb to know better, which doesn’t make him not wrong.
Briana explains over animation of the word “pregnancy”- which falls over to reveal three doors: abortion, adoption and parenthood – that she and Brittany got pregnant around the same time. Brittany chose abortion, since her boyfriend at the time was not supportive. Briana chose parenthood because Devoid just sat there stupidly and she didn’t fully comprehend what that meant. I’m guessing.
The three ladies of Briana’s family sit in their kitchen and recount Briana’s announcement of her pregnancy. She was reluctant to speak the words out loud, so she wrote Roxanne a note. Roxanne saw it and she just knew… and her heart just sank. She got nauseated. She gets choked up talking about it. She didn’t want Briana to have the baby. She feels like she failed. Oh, Roxanne. It’s not your fault. Teens gonna screw. Briana didn’t want to have an abortion.
Friend Jackie gets to ask Briana how it happened. They didn’t use protection. It was awkward and weird to ask him – even now she’s uncomfortable saying rubber, condom, jimmy hat, prophylactic, stump cover, or slippery balloon. She calls it “a something.” As for pregnancy…
Like a Penthouse fantasy (but much more awkward and clumsy, I imagine), she never thought it could happen to her.
Brittany brings in the diaper pail. Briana voiceovers that she knows parenthood will be hard and she wonders if she should have done what Brittany did. They talk about Brittany’s pregnancy, and how it was slightly easier for her to tell Roxanne after Briana blazed that trail. Brittany also notes that her life will be easier going forward – she doesn’t have to worry about whether some dude’s messing around, she doesn’t have to figure out how to pay for diapers, and she can go out driving with nary a care. She comes off a little assy here.
Brittany makes herself scarce. Mom and Briana put the crib together. Briana cuts her foot and bleeds on the rug. Shot of the bloody toe in the close-up style usually reserved for diapers. Oh look, Brittany actually is home. She comes in to gloat some more about how she’s not gonna clean baby poo off the rug. Spoiler – when it counts, she doesn’t end up acting as assy as she sounds here.
She does know they don’t just award convertible Mustangs to girls who don’t have babies, right?
Briana says she’ll still live a good life, just in a different way. Roxanne says she wants the best for both her girls. Brittany notes that she had her abortion when she knew there was going to be a baby in the house. Sometimes she regrets this, but she can’t go back. Roxanne is empathetic – she knows that’s painful. All three get teary-eyed.
Briana and Roxanne take the dog for a walk. Briana wants Devoid to show an interest. She wants him to change diapers in the middle of the night. Oh girl, he’s just not that into you and he has no shame about abandoning his child, is the thing. I’m gonna guess there was a little voice in your head earlier in the relationship that told you that you could do better and you ignored it. I’m not blaming you. But I can’t picture this guy not being a dick. She VOs that she may not get to enroll in college at the same time as her friends. Said friends come over for one of those set-up looking talks I so enjoy. Allegedly Devoid said some nice stuff one time about how he was going to act like a parent. Still not buying it.
Dude hasn’t even contacted her to discuss a name, even though the baby’s nearly fully cooked and could be born any day. Briana’s thinking Luna, Nova or Bliss. Not Bliss, says Roxanne. That’s a stripper name. Roxanne prefers Nova – it’s cosmic. But isn’t a nova actually the death of a star? When it explodes and becomes a black hole? Eh, could be way worse I guess.
Arts and crafts time! Briana, Brittany and two friends make their own T-shirts with words that characterize them. Briana puts Nova on hers, and then they go into the yard and throw Slurpee cups of fabric dye at each other. Way to make however many hours of work with the iron and paint-pen look like an unfortunate accident.
But at least you can freely eat chili dogs in it.
Brittany’s shirt says Attitude. She and the blond friend both get their faces dyed as a bonus.
Devoid and his giant front teeth meet Briana at a fast food place. She explains she’s getting ready for the baby, giggling in a way that’s either infatuated or awkward. I guess both are possible at once. His manner is cocky, and those fake pave crushed zirconium oversized earrings are not doing anything good for him. He thinks he should have a say in the kid’s first name. Which is a stupid thing to care about and then not do anything to earn. I don’t know who he’s trying to impress, or who will even know or care what type of say he had once the kid is born and ignored. If he wants the kid to have his last name, says Briana, he has to show her he does. I like that she’s displaying some backbone here. I guess he takes it as an affront to his manhood, such as it is.
It saddens me that someone would screw this. I just don’t get kids today.
They talk about his being there for her and the kid, and his having a job. He tries to talk his way out of the whole job issue, but aren’t people his age supposed to have jobs anyway, when they can get them? It’s like this guy is determined to be a loser. I don’t know if he’s going to college, but if he was, he should also be smart enough to say his course load is too full and how will he possibly have time. This would be a better excuse, though not one I would accept. He complains that he’s forced to get a job. “I’m forced to be a mom!” she says. Point Briana. Cut your losses, dick.
Family dinner. Briana talks about going to night school when the baby’s four or five months old. Roxanne puts her on a schedule – she’ll help with things for the first two years, but when the baby’s five, Briana should be staring on a career.
And no liberal arts majors–you’ll just be going back to school in 10 years when the job market kidney-punches you and kicks you in the neck.
But right now, says Roxanne, her priority is being a mommy.
Ultrasound. It’s still a girl, and everything looks good. Briana gets the long grandma-roll of sonogram pics from every angle (although the feet and taint ones are unrecognizable to anyone who wasn’t there), as well as a DVD with artwork on it and everything. Deluxe. Briana comes home and wants Brittany to watch the DVD, and she wants her mom to make beans. “Who made her queen?” snips Brittany. “She’s pregnant, not disabled.” Okay, well, we can guess where this is coming from. Briana’s also being sort of uncharacteristically demanding. Briana cries. Brittany leaves.
More dog-walking. Briana tells her friend Patricia she has to tiptoe around Brittany because of the whole abortion thing. She wishes she could enjoy the pregnancy like a 35-year-old woman, especially the part where you silently make wagers with yourself as to how long it will take each new medical professional you see to say “Because of your age…” and add some new test or concern to your plate.
Briana and friends go to a haunted house. And not a cool one either, an actual mausoleum. Did they charge admission for this? What the heck? The girls talk about prom and homecoming, and Briana wants to be one of their dates. She wonders what happens if she gets scared and her water breaks. I was kind of wondering that too.
Foreshadowing eats some beans.
Briana’s abdomen starts hurting and the girls go home. Devoid actually shows up, coming from what I assume was a compelling social gathering where he had to tear himself away. Seven hours of labor. A cakewalk! Epidural. Pushing. Boom! Bloody baby. Brittany smiles at the baby. Devoid smiles at the camera. Strummy guitar.
The next morning, Devoid goes to play basketball. I probably wouldn’t begrudge a good father who was going to be present for the next 18 years a little time off and cigar-passing after watching the bloody gush and all, but that was not really the case here. Briana decides to give the baby her last name. Devoid is pissed when he gets back, and I have to imagine he says stuff so awful that they have to just cartoon this sequence (complete with him jumping out a window) otherwise it would end up sounding like a test of the emergency broadcast system and not really be good TV. Or the camera people were getting some time off, after watching the bloody gush and all.
Brittany recounts his actions as the family gets in the car to go home, saying that crap just wasn’t called for. Nova comes home and meets the dog. She sucks her pacifier and looks tiny and cute. She fails to latch on or gets gassy or something, and Briana yells for her mom, which makes Nova start to cry. Brittany steps up nicely here, picking up the crying baby and patting her back. “I got you, don’t worry about it,” she says.
One week, devoid of Devoid. Nova eats and cries. Briana gets a mom haircut.
I am at least 5,000 times better than basketball.
A week or so later, Mr. Pointless finally stops by, bringing his friend for some reason. He also has a new stupid hairstyle in lieu of the stupid hat for this episode. And I suppose that was given to him for free, with his lack of a job? Ugh. Roxanne meets them at the door with the dog in her arms, and for a second, I’m like, what did they do to that kid?
He holds the kid for a second. Briana takes her and feeds her. She starts to tell Devoid how it’s done when he gets a text, which he reads and replies to.
Brittany is just as impressed with this as we are.
Brittany tells him to put the phone away, to which he responds, “Too bad.” Then he acts like he’s willing to feed the baby but doesn’t want to “mess with” burping her. Roxanne walks in and tells him to do his job. He starts texting again. Then he accuses them of “just trying to argue” and goes on his way. He doesn’t even say goodbye to his daughter, who is refusing to burp. Roxanne is disgusted. They haven’t even asked him for a single diaper. Roxanne says she knows Briana wants to make it work, but some daddies just aren’t daddy material, or really much good for anything.
Briana visits a community college. The advisor guy explains that two-year college isn’t two-year if she’s part time. In the elevator, Nova takes a healthy dump. The bathroom doesn’t have a changing table. Roxanne shows Briana how to extend her legs for use as a changing table and cleans up the baby in no time flat.
…continuing to be awesome
Briana gives Nova a bottle in the student lounge, and Roxanne emphasizes that she needs to go to college, no matter what it takes. Briana says she’s worried about juggling school, the baby, and her emotions. Roxanne sympathizes and tries to cut her some slack.
Halloween. The dog is dressed as a pumpkin. Brittany and her friends go to the good kind of haunted house. They send Briana a photo. Nova fusses.
Driving with Mom, Mom’s mom, and baby. Roxanne observes that it’s different from what Briana thought it would be. Briana is full-on melancholic by this point, because all the reality has set in, and she knows Devoid is pretty much not going to be around at all. Briana says she knows he doesn’t think about the baby or worry like she does. She goes to meet him at a restaurant and gets stood up.
Plinky piano of your man’s a piece of crap.
The next day in the living room, Brittany observes that Briana looks sad. She repeats that she doesn’t have to take anyone’s crap, being childless. Brittany also notes that Briana needs a change of scenery from the living room. And then Briana breaks my heart when she says to Brittany, “If I could go back and make the decision you made, I would do it.” She then realizes the kid’s going to see this and says, “It’s not that I regret her…” Uh, then what? “You made a very smart decision.” Also no. The smart decision is using goddamn birth control.
Brittany takes the baby and holds her. Cookie Monster diapers and no longer a teenager and never make a permanent decision on temporary feelings. Has that expression gone from being anti-suicide to pro-abortion? It doesn’t really work for either. Devoid doesn’t deserve the kid, Briana says. She does homework while she feeds Nova. Briana tells the camera that in contrast to being priggish like she was before the baby was born, Brittany has stepped up, pitched in, and been supportive. In the midst of the misery, there is that.
Next week, wrestlers don’t use birth control either.