Although we've seen two more half-seasons of '16 and Pregnant' and an all-new group of mothers in 'Teen Mom 2,' the last time we watched Farrah, Maci, Amber and Catelynn and their parenting exploits was way back in October of 2010.
In the intervening nine months, it's become clearer and clearer how much MTV needs them back. Though the network likely hoped to capture 'Teen Mom''s success with a second group of girls, they just weren't as appealing.
They were boring (Kailyn), spoiled (Chelsea), or just too much of a trainwreck to watch without feeling dirty (yes, there is such a thing -- Jenelle). The only redeeming factor about the series was Leah and her adorable twins, a surprise considering she seemed self-obsessed and and flaky in her episode of '16 and Pregnant.'
I've been very vocal about defending '16 and Pregnant' to my nay-saying friends who tried to argue that girls were now trying to get pregnant so they could get their own hourlong platform on MTV (and hopefully a role on the next spinoff). While truly don't think that was the case at first, they're right. Like 'The Real World,' '16 and Pregnant' is now populated with unstable, attention-seeking fame whores.
But there's still something about the four girls on 'Teen Mom' that seems genuine. Since they appeared on '16 and Pregnant' without any preconception about what their lives would be like afterwards, there's something authentic about the way they conduct themselves. They understand that they've become role models to other girls, and although they endure their fair share of drama, it doesn't seem set up for the TV cameras. The true test will be how the show handles the legal fallout from Amber's abuse of her ex-fiance, which has been covered in-depth by every tabloid in real time.
In the meantime, I'll continue to watch the children of these teen moms grow. It's been nine months since we've last seen Bentley, Leah and Sophia -- can you believe how big they've gotten?
What do you think of 'Teen Mom'? Is the original cast still the best? Or have you stopped watching?