I would recap the Teen Mom Reunion Part One for you, IF I had been able to stomach it. Truth be told, I couldn’t do it. I got home way too late to catch it last week, and there has just been no way to catch up on TV, when I have to catch up on work and do things like interact with the humans who are not my tv friends. I can pretty much guess how Part One went:
Dr. Drew: “So that really hurt you, you were ashamed, right? Because you are a young female and everything related to getting pregnant as a young female will have a sense of shame attached to it when I talk to you about it? Even though I encourage young men to accept that their somewhat hyper-sexuality as just an aspect of young maleness that you girls need to learn to live with?”
Amber: “I guess. Yes. I feel shame. All the time. It makes me violent, so thanks for reminding me that I have a reason to be violent. I am a violent female because I am ashamed of my sexuality being on display, in the form of a very cute toddler. And I resent my baby-daddy for not feeling the same sense of humiliation that I feel. He’s a boy, so he gets to be sexual, right? Okay. Thanks, Dr. D. You rule so hard!”
Farrah: Half-smiles uncomfortably but says nothing because her braces make her speak awkwardly.
Me: Go fuck yourself Dr. Drew. I once told a doctor that. I started crying about some news, and he goes, “Young women like you always react this way.” It just popped out before I could stop it: “Go fuck yourself.” And then the room froze and time stood still and he asked me if I had any questions. Nope. All good here! Just gonna rock on, um, out of this building, as as fast as humanly possible, thankyouverymuch.
Sometimes, men in authority positions are still condescending and sexist is where I’m going, and Dr. Drew in my opinion is one of those men. I’m even not necessarily against gender stereo-types. Biology is biology, and that’s inarguable. But there is a spectrum, and all Dr. Drew does is make himself look like a super tan, super concerned guy, like he’s That Guy Who Cares. When really? He’s never going deep with these kids, and he’s always putting Baby in a corner; Baby, of course being every young girl he’s ever interviewed on this show. Dr. Drew perpetuates gender myths, he puts down the girls, he gives passes to the boys, and he does it all with an eye on his Twitter following. I can’t wait until the sex scandal breaks on this guy, or until he’s sent to prison for income tax evasion. There will be something on him, and I will have a party for all the chicks he’s denigrated all these many years. My place is small, so it may just be me and my dog but whatever. Imma have a party on that day. Know this.
So, let’s get on to Part Two, shall we?
We open with Amber coming back to the stage, after getting really upset that her mom was going to actually comply with Dr. Drew’s request for her to, “Take us back to the night Candace died. Walk us through it.” I admit, it’s hard in an interview situation to not comply. I’ve told stories on the radio that I sometimes end up regretting, because that’s what a good interviewer does – pulls you into a moment where you feel like it’s just the few of you. Dr. Drew might be that kind of good interviewer, I guess, because Tonya’s taking us back and Amber can’t stand it. They’ve never really talked about it, and Amber’s gut instinct that this is not the time or place to do so is dead-on. But, we get the story, and then we get a little PSA, too. Thanks Dr. Drew, thanks so much for your heartfelt message. A good message, covered in Drewty Juice is still a good message, I guess. Just give it a little shower and some time to put some clothes on and it’s all good.
Dr. Drew: “Were you surprised to see the domestic violence?”
Tonya: “That’s a stupid question, because regardless of how I answer, I’m wrong. I can’t say “yes, because then I was out of touch with my teenage child’s life; I can’t say ‘no,’ because then I knew about it and didn’t try to help Amber and Gary through the rough patch they’ve been having, which is mostly all of their relationship.” Only she didn’t actually verbalize all of that. I just inferred it from her body language.
Dr. Drew: “Was your and Amber’s relationship close when she was pregnant?”
Tonya: “Dr. Drew, Leah is over two years old now, so could we stop talking about when Amber got knocked up?”
Amber: “It’s awkward to talk to your parents about sex when you’re a teenager.”
Dr. Drew: “All teenagers lie. It is awkward. You’re ashamed.”
Amber: “Yes, I am ashamed. Mostly, I’m ashamed of these freaky eyelashes I still love, but also I’m ashamed because when I’m 32 and happily married to Not Gary, I am really going to be ashamed of the way you treated me in an interview that was to be about the very real situations in my current life, but instead was about how ashamed I was of getting pregnant before I had a drivers’ license and how painful it was for my family when my sister died of SIDS about 15 years ago.”
Dr. Drew Factoid! Children of teen parents are TWICE as likely to suffer abuse and neglect (and this is his segue to Caitlynn and Tyler, those dear Mitten Kittens, who found a better home for Carly and broke the cycle of abuse and neglect.)
Dr. Drew: “Would you two have abused Carly and neglected her?”
Caitlynn, who somehow doesn’t side-eye Dr. Drew on that: “No, but I would have dropped out of high school and been stuck at home with a baby while Tyler graduates and stuff.”
Dr. Drew: “How are the two of you, romantically?” Note here that if anyone ever asks me how I am, romantically, I’m probably going to say, “I’m a Pisces, so I’m about an 8, on a scale of 1-10. I like flowers, kisses, and songs with meaning.”
Caitlynn, with a surprisingly steady voice that make me think she’s dealt with, or has been working on the insecurities that we saw this season. Good! “He sometimes still has crazy thoughts.”
Dr. Drew: “…”
Tyler: “Yeah, I question myself about being with other girls all the time. I wonder what it would be like, and what it might mean to me to wake up at 60 and have only been with one person, ever. But at least I’m honest about it, and open about it, and not holding it in.”
Dr. Drew: “It’s just your maleness talking. We have to get Caitlynn to understand what it’s like to be a 20 year old guy.” Yeah, Dr. Drew, just wait until she’s a 40 year old woman. Then we’ll see who needs to understand whom. When Caitlynn cougars out, it’s gonna be so epic. Actually, I would pay to see Dr. Drew interview a panel of my peers on topics of sex and sexuality, not that he would listen or learn anything. A panel of my peers would be female, and Dr. Homie wouldn’t take them seriously, I’m sure, unless they’re accepting his insistence that they can’t understand a 20 year old dude’s need to get his freak on.
Dr. Drew: “So Caitlynn, you are also really insecure about your weight.”
I’m sorry guys, I can’t do this. I hate this asshole so hard.
Dr. Drew: “What do you want kids to know?”
Caitlynn: “Be educated about sex and contraception.”
Tyler: “Understand that you are acting selfishly if you chose to get carried away in the heat of the moment.”
Dr. Drew: “What’s going on with Butch?”
Tyler: “Um, the same bullcrap that’s been going on since I was an infant and then some. I have unresolved feelings about him, and he’s back in prison on a parole violation.”
“Caitlynn: “They video-taped him violating parole by hanging with April.”
Dr. Drew: “(Implied: ‘Speaking of selfish…’) April is here, and we’ll talk to her next.”
April and Caitlynn have done a lot of work in therapy and hard work, as you know, pays off. They get along and they listen and junk. She’s learned better how to handle her feelings and how to deal with her grief for Carly. April even admits, albeit defensively, that she and Butch knew the consequences if they were caught together while the non-contact order was in place. Huh. That is progress. April took responsibility for her actions. Also notable, April says that some of the problems about her feelings about Carly were because Butch was barking in her ear. He was a big influence over her, and she does regret that. April also has a bond with Tyler, thanks to Sir Butch of the Pure Michigan Grandpa Society.
Tyler and Caitlynn may have had a rough patch there, but she loves Tyler and they’re bonded over Butch. Tyler actually feels like he can help April, since he’s been dealing with filling the emptiness that he feels when Butch is put away for all of his life now. Dr. Drew points out that April uses to fill the void, but asks Tyler what he does about it. Huh? Yeah, totally glossed over. I guess it’s a Teen Mom Reunion, not a Teen Moms’ Parents Reunion, although I could totally get behind that special if MTV would give it to me. I’m only watching if it’s hosted by anyone but Dr. Drew. Or Dr. Phil. Or Tyra. Hell, I’m only watching if it’s hosted by Oprah. Tyler fills the void with his mom. He gets emotional because of how much he loves his mom, and how she has always taken care of him, reassuring him when he’s upset about Butch going back behind bars.
Hmmm. Too insightful and stable for Dr. Drew. Let’s go to Maci.
Maci looks like Nashville Barbie. Seriously, is she getting ready to try out for American Idol, or is this her formal bid to be on Dancing With the Stars? Dr. Drew Factoid! Only 2% of teen mothers go on to graduate from college before they turn 30.
Maci says she’ll graduate next spring, and I feel a collective eye-roll from the Teen Mom Nation because for reals, this girl’s gonna be on DWTS within three seasons. Write it down, TMN. She gets emotional watching her clip package, which is good – maybe she’s learning something and becoming the grown-up that she insists she’s been all along.
She admits that Baby #2 is not reasonable, and reasonably explains that she doesn’t feel 19. She’s a little preachy here, to be honest, but her point is that she’s 19 years old, and a child ages you really fast so it’s more like she’s 30. See? No kids for me, and I’m more like a 19 year old. I have plans later to go get some new party clothes from American Apparel, and then I’m going out drinkin’ on a fake ID.
She tell Dr. Drew that she is in Mom Mode and she does want another one, but that she wouldn’t have another one until she and Kyle are married… and they are not ready to get married. We do learn that her parents got married at 17, and had her brother. Dr. Drew says he didn’t know that, and I call his admission proof that he’s less invested in these girls than the Hollister sponsorship deal is invested in them. We’ve known since 16 & Pregnant that all of Bentley’s grandparents met and married and had babies very, very young. It’s part of why they were all so into helping Maci and Ryan make it work – they knew it could work since it worked for them.
Enter: Kyle. He’s got rocks in his mouth, and my TV is turned up to 67 to try to hear him. Sorry, neighbor. I promise this to be the last time I subject you to Kyle mumbling at top volume, for a very long time. Kyle confirms that he thinks a baby right now is nuts. It’s hard enough to date a teen mother, as there’s a ton of drama that comes along with it. Dr. Drew asks if Kyle would stay in Bentley’s life if Maci and Kyle split. Kyle says he would, and Maci says, “too bad so sad, but no way.” Maci doesn’t want things to be confusing for Bentley and doesn’t even pause when she notes that she’d just meet someone else down the line, so it would be confusing for Bentley if he has Ryan, New Dad Kyle, and New Dad 2, TBD.
Dr. Drew brings up that she got emotional at the end of the season, and tears were shed that she got pregnant in the first place. I knew we wouldn’t be free of Dr. Drew’s Shame Session just yet. Maci does say that she feels bad for her parents. Now that she’s a parent, she understands that she took years away from her parents that they would have had with her to be their kid, living at home with them. She moved out at 17, before she even finished high school Maci sacrificed their time with her to have Bentley, and just that she sees this really gives me hope for her that someday she’s gonna wake up 42 and be a pretty cool chick. Dr. Drew asks her if her parents talked to her about sex, since they were teen parents. She says that they did, but that it happened so fast for her, there really wasn’t much time. She got pregnant very, very quickly after first becoming sexually active… which happened when she was very, very young.
We segue to Ryan, and Maci wants him to be happy. She believes him to be in an unstable place right now. I believe Ryan to have recently met a new girlfriend, but whatever.
Ryan comes out and he’s looking fine, y’all. He tells Dr. Drew that some of the arguing is how young they are. Maci admits she can be a know-it-all, and I swear, it’s right at this moment that I saw a little piggy flying past my living room window! Can it be? Maci admitted she was kind of a jerk to Ryan sometimes? Dr. Drew wants to know why he didn’t go to court and get the formal agreement in place. Ryan explains that he didn’t want to have to go back and forth to court for the next 16-22 years, with every little change in circumstance and salary. He wants to be able to trust her, and he is committed to them making their co-parenting situation work.
Dr. Drew is a total Romo, which I hope I established earlier, and so he has no problem bringing up to Ryan that Maci wants another baby. Ryan’s like, “yeeeaaaaahhhh, more power to ya.” He goes on to tell her that he hopes she’ll finish school and get a job, while Dr. Drew points out that one more is one more than Ryan wants. Nice, Dr. Drew. THEY ARE NOT TOGETHER. Seriously, he’s teasing them as if they are, for one. For two, Ryan doesn’t need to comment on Maci’s reproductive wants and plans. For three, it must be beyond uncomfortable for Kyle at this minute and I wish some cheeky editor had tossed us a bone via a shot of Kyle watching all of this from back stage. I bet he turned the most brilliant shade of aubergine the MTV Teen Mom sound stage has ever done seen.
Dr. Drew asks Ryan what he wants. Ryan wants Maci to be happy and for them to get along. He understands that it’s not just them getting along until Bentley is 18, it’s for the rest of their lives. They will be in each other’s lives for the rest of their natural days. They have to make it work, and he knows it can work better. Things have improved from what we saw during their season, but it can still get a lot better. Maci pipes in that he has to trust that she will not take his time away from Bentley, but he reminds her that had he moved Bentley, or had he moved in with someone, she would have had a major break-down problem with his decisions. She agrees. He does agree to give Maci the benefit of the doubt, but of course he always has it in the back of his head that he could take her to court and make the visitation agreement a formal, legal agreement.
Again, Dr. Drew gets smarmy, asking Ryan if he misses Maci. He does not miss Maci. Of course he loves her, of course he’d do anything for her, but it was not a good relationship and it didn’t work out for them. Dr. Drew brings up that Kyle has had a problem with Ryan, and then Kyle joins them onstage. Ryan is comfortable with Kyle, mainly because he’s not threatened at all by Kyle. He doesn’t want Maci back and Kyle’s an innocuous enough dude, who cares about Bentley and who is good with Bentley. What else does it really matter to Ryan? It doesn’t. Maci and Kyle seem happy, Bentley is happy, so Ryan is good with all of it. It was a relief to get the first meeting out of the way, even though it was kind of weird, but afterwards, Ryan told Maci, “He’s a good dude.” HA!
Kyle says that Ryan did talk some smack about him, and Ryan reminds Kyle that the smack-talk went both ways. I appreciate that Ryan is standing up for himself without being a childish brat about it here. Kyle points out that he just didn’t like the way Ryan talks to Maci, and there’s a kind of interesting Oedipal moment here, where Kyle points out that Ryan talks to his mother much differently than Kyle talks to his mother. I’m not sure I want to know why Kyle is bringing up his mother relative to a conversation about his live-in girlfriend and her baby-daddy, but if y’all can make it work in the comments, have at it! Yikes.
Kyle does comment that they are all learning to navigate each other, and I admit I’m impressed. It’s Kyle saying that they all have to accept each other and learn to communicate with one another, and learn to work together. Bra-vo, my good man, bra-vo.
Maci starts to pick at Ryan a bit, by saying that things can be perfectly fine, but there’s a switch that flips and he jumps to anger really quickly. Ryan agrees, and says that he is working on it but has a long way to go. Maci is going on about how she is perfectly calm, and using a calm voice, and not yelling… and then, Pay Dirt. Ryan mentions that sometimes her tone is condescending and her attitude with him sets him off. Dr. Drew tells them to talk to each other like they are children. Seriously. That’s his advice. To say, “I can’t hear you when you speak in that tone to me.” Fair enough.
Ryan finally tells us that he does have some regrets, that he would have probably worked harder on things had he not been so young, and had he known how hard to expect things to be. He tells the kids out there watching to do everything they can to make it work, and that if you can’t make it work, you need to be there for your son or your daughter. DaughterS if you’re Cory. Damn, I can’t wait for that show to start. Teen divorce, Barbara, and years’ worth of jokes about Chelsea.
We end with a Q and A for all the teen parents, since this must have been filmed around the same time that the Teen Dad special was filmed. Are you in better or worse shape than at the beginning of the season? Everyone is in better shape.
Amber asks Caitlynn and Tyler if they have set a date for the wedding. The answer? It’s going to be July 15, but the year is still not determined. Sometime after graduation.
Gary, seeing the writing on the wall for himself and Amber, asks Ryan how he deals with Kyle and Kyle being in Bentley’s life. Ryan says that they all get along. To prove no point at all, Bentley rushes Farrah, on whom he seems to have an adorable baby crush. Sophia gives us a darling baby monster face, and Leah takes the mic and says (paraphrased), “Goodnight, Gracie.”