Teen Mom 2, Season 5, “Harder Than It Looks”

Teen Mom 2 was borderline unbearable last night. It’s been a while since I’ve debated whether or not to turn the whole thing off.

We finally got the long-awaited conclusion to “where the fuck did Jenelle‘s dogs go?” and I kind of wish we hadn’t. Apparently they’ve been crated in the garage the whole time, and the mysterious second dog, owned by Nathan, is !!SHOCKER!! a Husky. Why can’t irresponsible dog owners ever adopt a fifteen year old Shih Tzu that just wanders around and sleeps all day. They always need a Pit Bull or a Husky or in this case both. In another stunning turn of events that I’m sure will not be stunning to anyone who has owned a dog spent time with a dog seen a picture of a dog, the dogs were nonplussed at being caged in a North Carolina garage and Luger (Jesus Christ, Nathan) decided to go for an Andy Dick Prison Break (escape, eat cage, shit on floor.) Jenelle curses out the dogs and threatens to get rid of them before shoving them both into one cage (since the other has been eaten) to go buy a replacement. As she’s putting together the cage, Luger snaps at the Pit Bull, so she does the obvious thing and opens the door and prays they flee into the wilderness. I have a feeling those dogs didn’t run past the front lawn, or in the most extreme scenario, they got taken in by someone with production, but bless them, running might be their best option. Baby Jace should have gone with them, they could all live down by the river and form their own society based around karate and destroying furniture.

Leah might be the only person more fucked than Jenelle’s dogs. Since the last time we saw her, Leah has become involved in a pyramid scheme. OF COURSE LEAH IS INVOLVED IN A PYRAMID SCHEME. People who are inextricably screwed like Leah are exactly the targets of pyramid schemes. Leah’s portion of the show involved her and Jeremy going to Big Sandy (Jesus Christ) and attempting to buy a new washer and dryer. Leah’s credit card is declined and she’s forced to admit to Jeremy she spent $1300 on Mary Kay makeup to sell. Her justification is so laden with buzzwords she reads more like an informational booklet than a human being. She’s “growing her business” she’s receiving “54% of the profit” she knows you’ve got to “spend money to make money.” I want to know what’s in the pills she’s on because she’s turning into Ellen Burstyn in Requiem For A Dream real fast. It. Is. Heartbreaking.

Was Chelsea even in this episode? Chelsea is pissed that Adam has gotten into another traffic accident (fair enough) and that her esthetician license is still being held by the labor board. North Dakota’s bureau of labor apparently does not have a lot on it’s plate. She’s also chastises Aubree for sitting on the table, but Aubree is her own woman and cannot be contained.

Kailyn‘s segment should be mandatory viewing for ninth grade sexual education classes. It was not particularly dramatic, or negative, in fact, it centered on Kailyn celebrating her 21st birthday with her friends and family. Still I think this exchange with her friend at her birthday dinner perfectly summarizes the problem with having a child at a young age, or any child, ever, period.

Kailyn: pumped milk just in case we decided to go out
Kailyn’s friend: it’s your birthday


Have fun trying to describe your life with a child to anyone who doesn’t have a kid. It’s not relatable. Look how many columns and indie-comedies are produced every year by semi-self-aware thirty-somethings trying to describe life after kids and the divide between parents and non-parents. If people with disposable income and time to wax poetic can’t grasp it, teenagers are fucked. Kailyn’s friends are sitting around lamenting the lack of lime in their mojitos, as an aspect of her life that has hugely complicated things (breastfeeding) just goes over their heads. Kailyn looks like she had a fun night out, but I couldn’t help but thing of these poor, delusional girls on 16 and Pregnant who are thinking stretch marks will be the most lasting impact of creating life, and if they could just get back to that pre-pregnancy body everything will be the same. They can still go clubbing, they’ll just need a babysitter. Meanwhile Kailyn’s dressed up in front of a platter of booze and thinking about breastmilk.


Teen Mom 2, Season 5, “Overload”

Jenelle has another car (a Camaro?) Two-door, I think, which is great for babies. Either way it’s a cherry red tiny penis wagon, which makes me wonder if it was a purchase for Nathan. No girl in her early twenties is looking for American steel. If that relationship ends she will be in a Mini Cooper covered with Roxy stickers in under 24 hours.

She also has a cat. That Nathan did not strangle like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. It was a tense moment for me though, screaming ‘Nathan put that cat down your pregnant girlfriend is crying in the bathroom’ at my television.

Fucking Norm. Norm is North Carolina Randy. I have no idea what this man is like in his personal life, but in the five minutes we had with him on television, I fell in love. That accent. Those thick-ass arms. The JAGERMEISTER PAGEBOY HAT (I didn’t know such things existed.) Norm is Jersey chivalry at its finest. I don’t know where Norm is actually from, but his heart belongs to the Eastern seaboard I’m sure. “What do you need from me bro? You need me to check up on her? Put down your pride, lets talk man-to-man.” Dude is just a straight-up, no bullshit, old school morals kind of guy. Teddy Roosevelt would have dry humped this motherfucker.

It would have been a rare, sweet moment for Teen Mom 2 had Nathan and Jenelle not seemed totally oblivious. I know they’re in front of a camera, and probably psychologically drained from an unborn child and a toddler and nine pets and twelve cars and a metric fuck- ton (fuck-litre?) of legal troubles, but these two seem so hollow all the time. Does anyone else get that sense? I know the easy answer would be “they’re stupid” and/or hiiiiiigghhh but it seems like there’s something else there. Even when people try to help them, they just seem completely shut-down.

Too much real talk about Teen Mom 2. RAAANNNDDDYY. I think Randy appeared in under 5 minutes this episode. It’s a Randy best. Randy didn’t do anything besides be Randy, but that’s fine. My favorite moment of the episode actually involved Chelsea‘s dogs, who you could hear snorting in the background throughout Chelsea and Randy’s serious conversation at the table. How much do you think the MTV producers hate that she has a pug and a french bulldog, two breeds that are incapable of breathing quietly? (fun fact from too much Animal Planet, the word for flat-faced dogs is bracocephalic.)

Not much to say about Chelsea specifically, since her only woe is her license troubles which is kind of out of her hands. But holy shit Adam.

‘The only thing they have against me is my DUIs and when I got in all that trouble but that doesn’t have anything to do with parenting.’

Holy shit Adam are you even hearing yourself? Sure, if you get charged with non-payment of child support you’re probably going through some family-law channels, and if you get a DUI and you’re going to criminal court, but what is written on the door isn’t really the point. If you’re racking up charges like you’re trying to unlock the child-endangerment achievement, that’s obviously a “parenting” issue.

I just wanted to beam out the Dr. Drew signal watching that scene with the oddly fancy restaurant choice for dinner with preschoolers. (Side note: What is the Dr. Drew signal do you think? A crossed spoon and a crossed syringe with an 80s child star’s face? A bottle of Wellbutrin *womp womp*? Loveline-related answer would be A DIME, obviously.)

Leah. Leeeaaahhhh. I want to hug this girl so bad, but I would never know what to say to her because I cannot fathom what it must be like to be Leah on a day-to-day basis. It’s terrible, because I have a feeling the number of Leahs in this world far outweighs the number of Chelseas or even Jenelles. I pray to God MTV is throwing her some extra cash on the side to help with Ali’s medical bills, I don’t care if they film it like it didn’t happen, someone help her because this girl is sinking. The scene with her nodding off while speaking to her social worker/counselor was particularly heartbreaking because I’ve taken a buffet of different anxiety medications and sleeping pills at different points and the combination of feeling like you are (initially) constantly underwater and doing and saying things you have no control over really adds another fun layer to the alienation cake that no one ever warns you about.

I think Leah should slap Jeremy. I realize the situation is nuanced and is probably tied up in very complicated, deep running ideas about men and women’s division of responsibility within the family! gender roles! providing emotionally vs. providing financially! but I don’t think slapping Jeremy would hurt. Just once, open handed. He gets forewarning. I think it would help Leah let off some steam, he could take it and the long term consequences would be minimal.

At least I get to end on a happy note with Kailyn. Omg, Kailyn and Javi and Jo and Vee at dinner together, laughing, smiling babies, family pictures. It can’t last, I know, but I’m going to savor it. Kavijovee? Kavijovie? Kajovie? So cute.

I do have one final question though.

If: A=B, B=C, then A=C, right?

So then why: Jo looks like a turtle, Isaac looks like Jo, but Isaac does not look like a turtle?

I wish I thought this was a uniquely asinine moment.

I wish I thought this was a uniquely asinine moment.

Teen Mom 2 Recap

Omg, I finally got around to watching the Teen Mom 2 premiere.

Nothing explosive, but I guess they’ve got to set the stage.

Jenelle seemed to have her shit in relative order. I did notice that as she was leaving the house with Nathan to go to the ultrasound technician, that bitch has some sort of guinea pig/rabbit cage by the door. Girl, wtf do you need to be adding a guinea pig into your life for. I realize given all her responsibilities, small mammal care is probably not going to swing things either way, but why bother. ALSO OF COURSE SHE BOUGHT A HUMMER. ALSO WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF HER DOGS? At least two are unaccounted for.

You know who’s dogs aren’t missing? Kailyn‘s. When their Rottweiler stole Isaac’s pizza and he started crying, best/worst moment of the episode. It was just so mundane I thought, ‘oh my God, this is sooo real life.’

Kailyn’s got the most relatable problems I think. I’m a big Javi fan, but when Javi started fighting with Kailyn over having to watch both kids at once, and asked her to take their newborn grocery shopping, as a woman, my blood started to boil. It’s the man/woman childcare as a responsibility/childcare as a privilege double standard.

Back to Jenelle, Nathan is a slow-burning Kieffer. The weird combination of stone-faced (if you’re going to be nice) or delusional (if you’re going to be real) and being oddly perceptive of what is happening around them. It’s a combination patented by Scott Disick. You think they’re over the top douchebags until there is a sudden moment where you consider that they might be the only sane ones.

Nathan had a couple memorable lines tonight. “It’s Anglo-Saxon or German for Emperor” was a solid entry. He had a good double-negative incident where he said something like “I can’t not not see my kids anymore,” which was obviously an accident, but was still funny. The best exchange was Nathan and that badass lawyer, when he asked why he was charged with resisting arrest and she said ‘because you were being an asshole and then you asked to be tased.’

Regardless of where Nathan falls on the genius/stupidity spectrum, I am sure Jace is the smartest one on the entire show. His side-eye game is impeccable, Miss J from ANTM would gladly accept him into Miss J’s school of throwing shade.

Speaking of gays, Chelsea‘s friend Landon OMG. I’m so glad he is return (wow serious grammar error but I like it.) I’m very wary whenever a white girl on TV is friends with a guy that wears makeup, but Chelsea and Landon seem so genuine and he and Aubree are adorable together. Also his hair is fantastic.

Also, Randy. Randy is his own sentence, he needs no explanation. I would seriously love to see Randy write a divorced Dad sitcom based on his life, where he’s all salt-of-the-earth North Dakota-y, then his teenage daughter gets pregnant and becomes a reality star. That has got to seriously impede your parenting plans. So many hijinks.

Who is left, Leah? Leah just makes me sad. She is so isolated. Every time she is featured I just want to tell her to move closer back to her family because Rob Thomas Jeremy isn’t going to understand her anytime soon, nor is her relationship with Cory getting less awkward. I am glad Ali is still the most adorable badass little girl and that THEY FINALLY CAPTIONED ALEEAH/GRACE AS “ALEEAH GRACE” because that was getting so confusing.

Things I want to see: whatever Jenelle does next, more Jace side-eye, more Barbara, Nathan enrolls as a philosophy major at the University of Phoenix, the triumphant return of Kieffer (ugh I wish), more of Randy’s girlfriend (Rita?), Cory pimps Ali’s wheelchair with streamers and NOS and she becomes a toddler street racing champion, an entire episode of Isaac saying whatever he wants, a continuation of Chelsea’s more tasteful makeup looks, a Landon and Aubree tea party, Janelle’s dogs show up at Kailyn’s house