Is 16 and Pregnant all MTV claims it to be?

The time has finally come: MTV’s 16 and Pregnant is back for another groundbreaking season. Yes, you read right. Groundbreaking. At least according to MTV.

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According to MTV, 16 and Pregnant helps curb teen pregnancy. You know, because of “the wide variety of challenges pregnant teens face: Marriage, adoption, religion, gossip,” etc. Yet, though they’re faced with “incredibly adult decisions,” they overcome their obstacles and try to be the best moms they can be.

You know what else helps curb teen pregnancy? Condoms.

It seems to us that shining a sparkly, hip, MTV spotlight on this most serious of situations — especially coming with even just eleven minutes of fame — makes teen pregnancy anything but taboo. Let’s call a spade a spade: 16 and Pregnant is popular because it’s a guilty pleasure. Give us some credit, MTV. Trying to use a flimsy pretence to help us justify why it’s OK to love such a morally compromising show doesn’t help us resolve the sick joy we find when we watch it.

It does make you think, though, doesn’t it? If 16 and Pregnant can be skewed to sound like an informative and educational program, MTV could basically get away with anything!

How I Stole This Car

A show about teamwork and the importance of diligence, this show revolves around a group of friends, different with each episode, who are coveting a car. A typical episode will briefly introduce the characters and their backgrounds, as well as the car they’ve set their sights on. The episode will follow the friends through their planning strategies, acquiring necessary materials, test runs and any obstacles they meet along the way, such as getting arrested. Each episode ends with either a successful or failed attempt. Regardless of the outcome, though, the teams will have learned valuable lessons in working together to achieve a common goal.

The Big Score

It’s a standard “small fish in a big pond” concept — but the fish are small-time drug dealers and the big pond is the world of hard drugs. With its focus set firmly on the benefits of working hard to get to the top, this show will feature a different amateur drug dealer each episode, who wants to move up in the world of slinging. MTV pairs each episode’s wannabe with an experienced hard drug-dealing mentor. Mentors boost the newbies’ confidence while showing them the ropes and preparing them for life in the real world, including high-intensity test runs. By the end of each episode, the much more confident young drug dealers will have found a new sense of purpose, a much higher income and a host of new friends.

Sandy Syndrome

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from Grease, it’s that you can never win a man without the proper confidence. Sandy Syndrome is based on this principle — giving the most hopelessly devoted geek chicks a chance with the hottest guys in their schools. Each episode features a different nerd who just wants to win her hot crush’s attention. A team of makeover experts work themselves to the bone sterilizing, dressing and completely overhauling the girl in question, while a lifestyle coach teaches her to put down the trombone and bagel, and pick up the pom-poms and diet pills. By the end of the episode, she is undeniably loose and confident enough to grab the attention of the hottest guy in school. (*Note: Many Sandy Syndrome subjects later appear on 16 and Pregnant.)

Trust Fund

This is a show about family values — in more ways than one! Each episode features siblings who vie for the most assets from their obscenely wealthy parents. After a brief background of the family, its general income and the familial relationships, the siblings get to work on their competition. The challenge is to create the most convincing argument in their favour, and they can be as creative as they wish. Then, the presentations are done for the parents, who finally choose the winner. This program really highlights the importance of family and working hard to achieve an important goal.

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