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Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch: The Maury Show

25 Apr

So this blog has been a bit too heavy for my tastes lately, so I decided to resurrect one of my old favorites: “Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch!

For any veteran readers, you know that along with my love of quality programming like Dr. Who (reboot series of course) and How I Met Your Mother, I like to torture myself with trash TV on a fairly regular basis.

One particular instrument of torture has been a staple in the realm of “Mo TV” for over a decade.

The Maury Show.

Yep.

But not just any episode of the long-running trashy talk show. Oh no. I only watch the DNA test shows.

For those of you lucky enough to have never watched this show, let me break down an episode for you:

Maury brings out a guest. She is usually an upset “Baby Momma” who is going to prove that so-and-so is her baby daddy. Or said baby momma cheated on her boyfriend/partner/husband/fiancee/cousin with his roommate/cousin/best friend/brother and now she’s not sure who the baby daddy is.

After interviewing the woman, who is either bawling or livid, we cut to a taped segment, where the alleged baby daddy (or ABD) is “156% sure” that he’s not the baby daddy.

Said ABD stays backstage, with a live feed of him on the main stage on a giant video screen, and he shakes his head vigorously as the baby momma lays down her accusations/apologies. Usually at this point the baby momma gets really mad and runs at the video screen, yelling at the ABD, while forgetting that THIS IS NOT A TWO WAY SCREEN.

Sometimes the baby’s (or if we’re really lucky, babies) picture is put up alongside the ABD’s, and the baby momma points out facial traits that the baby and the ABD have in common, while the ABD counters that the baby’s “toes are too short” or their “hair is too curly” so there’s no way in heck he could be the father. In fact, he is now 237% sure that he is not the father, and Baby Momma is a slut.

This goes on for a good four or five minutes until the ABD (or sometimes ABDs) is brought on stage and some screaming starts, then Maury cuts off the proceedings. Like the splash title at the bottom of the screen says – The results are in!

The results are always delivered in Maury’s calm authoritative voice:

“When it comes to x-year-old crazyname mcbabypants, ABD, you ARE the father!”

Or, more often than you think:

“When it comes to x-year-old crazyname mcbabypants, ABD – you are NOT the father!”

Then there is more screaming (and surprisingly enough, push-ups on a fairly regular basis).

Aaaaand we cut to commercials.

This happens 5-6 times on every show.

And OMG, this stuff is like crack to me.

Let me enlighten you with some lessons I have learned from watching Maury deliver the news over the years:

1. Women are appallingly ignorant about their cycles. I mean, I know not every woman knows when she ovulates down to the minute like us infertiles do, but seriously, it’s insane. I can’t count the amount of times that 2-3 men have been brought on stage for the same baby, only to find out that NONE of them are actually the father. Do these women not know when they menstruate? Well it’s either that or they’re truly sluts. But I don’t like slut-shaming, so I’ll stick to “they don’t know how their cycles work.”

2. Apparently, Maury answers to several alternative names. Yep! Maury will answer to Murray, Mary, Murry, and once, I believe – Marvin. He doesn’t seem to mind because he’s cool like that.

3. Some parents are sadists when it comes to naming their babies. Some of my personal favorites have included: Veto (does this mean his mother is hoping for him to be the president someday? Either that or she doesn’t know how to spell. Or a sad, unfortunate combination of both), Karion (pronounced “carry-on”, which makes me wonder if he was conceived as part of a mile-high club gathering), and finally – twin girls Semage and Menage (seriously do these people not have the ability to do a google search? And picture this: the twins are now 18. A pervy guy introduces himself and finds out one of them is named Menage. You do the math).

4. The audience doesn’t really pay attention to the stories on the stage. Maury’s audience LOVES to participate, in the form of Oooooohs, Awwwwws, and Boooooos. However, they don’t always do it at the right moments. Sometimes the ABD is a good guy, who really really wants crazyname mcbabypants to be his. But the audience boos him anyway just because they’re so used to booing ABD’s, they can’t seem to help themselves. This leads to some blissfully awkward moments.

5. There is apparently an endless supply of women who don’t know who the father of their children is, and are willing to go on TV to find out. An average of 5 women per show, an average of 3 DNA shows per week, over something like 12 years. I’m not even going to attempt the math, my head is exploding.

6. People are stoopid. There was a woman on the show who had triplets, and the ABD actually said he was only the father of one of them. True story. Ok, actually it turns out that one time in 2008 they had a woman on the show with twins from two different dads. So a correction – these people are mostly stupid, but sometimes freaks of nature. 

7. People don’t understand the concept of “100%”. I am 481% sure of that.

8. I am a masochist. Do I really need to explain why?

I leave you with these prime examples of human intelligence:

Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch: Teen Mom

3 Sep

It was inevitable I would get to this show sooner or later, wasn’t it? I mean, how can you watch “16 and Pregnant” and NOT watch the spinoff? It’s impossible. So I do. All for you guys! (Ok not really. But at least you guys get a ranty blog post out of it! Yay masochism!)

I’m going to take a bit of a different approach today, and break this down according to the cast of super-moms that are on this show. Ready? Here we go…

Maci

The Drama: Maci had Bentley with Ryan. Ryan and Maci were engaged. Ryan acted like an asshole, so Maci left him. Now she and Ryan share custody.

Mother of the Year Award: Maci met a new guy, and moved two hours away from Ryan in order to be with him. A couple of months later, she decided to move back (how’s that for stability?) and the new guy came right along with her. Ryan has been stepping up and really trying to be a good father, and be respectful of Maci and her new relationship (even going as far as friending Maci’s new guy on FB, and trying to help him get a job). So far she’s reciprocated by laughing him off and denying him visits sporadically. Now Ryan is considering taking her to court. I don’t blame him. Plus – she named her son Bentley. After the car. No, really, she did.

Why she makes me bitter: Maci is now 19. She’s blowing off college, and has already begged Kyle, her new boyfriend, to have another child. Not in the far off future – now. At 19. When they’re both unemployed and she’s considering dropping out of college.

Farrah

The Drama: Farrah’s baby daddy died when she was pregnant with Sofia. Farrah’s parents are a bit overbearing. She and her mom got into a fight after her daughter was born, which landed her mom in jail overnight and having to do community service.

Mother of the Year Award: Oh, where to begin! Yes, the circumstances she and her daughter are in are tragic on the surface, but the truth is, this girl is a spoiled ungrateful brat. She calls her dad “Michael” (and he’s her biological dad), she takes her parents’ help for granted, and she now has decided she wants to get as far away as possible from her parents, despite the fact that they are her primary child care providers. I looked for some clips of her whiny bratty rants, but couldn’t find any because of youtube’s copyright policy. Honestly? Better that you don’t see them. Your ears may start bleeding.

Why she makes me bitter: Again, I don’t even know where to start. So indulge my bullet points:

  • She applied for social security benefits because her baby’s dad passed away. She was pissed when she didn’t get them. Then a week later she took out a loan for about 10,000 dollars so she could get a boob job to “help her modeling career”.
  • To celebrate her Associates Degree, she went and bought a designer dog (isn’t that the epitome of financial responsibility?). Then she hid the dog from her mom. Oh, and she didn’t bother housebreaking the dog. The dog wears a diaper. Yes, you read that right. A diaper.
  • After convincing her parents to fly with her to Arizona to look into whether she wants to move there, Farrah proceeds to spend the two days there acting like an ungrateful brat, as her parents drive her around to look at potential places to live. When she and her mom enter a complete dump of a house, Farrah yells at her mother for disparaging the fact that her daughter wants to move halfway across the country with a two year old and live in a dangerous neighborhood.
  • General conclusion: Everything this girl does seems to be to spite her parents. I’m sure that If her parents were encouraging her to feed her daughter healthy food, she would starve her just to make them mad. She is a spoiled brat, and never considers the best interest of her child.

Amber

You know why this looks like a mug shot? Because it is one.

The Drama: Amber had Leah with a guy named Gary. He’s not perfect, but he seems like an ok guy and for some reason he’s madly in love with her. They lived together, got engaged, and then broke up. Then they got back together again and moved in together again. Then they broke up again. Then they moved in together again. Then they broke up again. Amber is now seeing a guy named Clinton.

Mother of the Year Award: Gary is seriously a victim of spousal abuse. No matter what he does Amber explodes at him. It got so out of hand that Amber hit him. On camera. Recorded for all posterity. Here’s a little taste of it:

CPS got involved and she lost custody of Leah. Amber then moved to yet another house (I believe this was the fourth or fifth in two years) and regained custody. They haven’t shown it on the air yet, but from what I understand she has since been arrested again, and has once again lost custody of her daughter.

Why she makes me bitter: See above. Oh, and it came to the point that she saw her daughter so infrequently that Leah began calling her “Amber” instead of “Mommy”. Again, Leah is two. Amber cries all the time about missing her, yet somehow continues to find herself in jail. That’s appreciating parenthood, isn’t it?

Catelynn (and Tyler) 

**WARNING: I am about to lose all cynicism***

These two are awesome. Seriously.

The Drama: Catelynn and Tyler are actually step-siblings. Catelynn’s mom is married to Tyler’s dad. Tyler’s dad has been in and out of jail his entire life. Catelynn’s mom is just – well, unstable. It seems that Catelynn and Tyler got together because they really had no one to take care of them, so they decided to take care of each other.

Mother of the Year Award (truly deserved): When Catelynn found out that she was pregnant, she and Tyler decided to give their daughter Carly up for adoption, because they didn’t want her growing up in such an unstable environment. Parents on both sides protested. They all insisted Catelynn and Tyler keep the baby. The couple bravely went against their parents’ wishes and gave Carly up in an open adoption. Before having Carly, Catelynn and Tyler were both struggling in school. Now they have both graduated, moved in together, and gotten engaged. Tyler is going to college because he has decided he wants to pursue social work. Catelynn has become a vocal adoption advocate in her community. They always say they are working their butts off to make their lives better so that Carly will be proud of them.

Why she makes me bitter: She doesn’t. Not only did these guys help an infertile couple get their forever family, they have proven their maturity and grace time and time again in this very complicated situation. They are amazing role models. I wish MTV’s casting department would find a few more kids like them. In the history of 16 and Pregnant, this is the only couple that has opted for adoption rather than parenting.

In Conclusion…

Catelynn and Tyler are the only couple still together on this show. They are also one of the few that have managed to further their education. They are slowly building stability into their lives and their initial selfless act has strengthened them. They are poster children for adoption. So what’s my beef? In the 16 and Pregnant world, they are the exceptions, whereas Supermoms like Farrah and Amber are the rule. Some would say that MTV is sending a pro-adoption message through this. I say MTV needs to balance things out a bit with a few more Catelynns and Tylers.

So for every time I coo and tear up at Catelynn and Tyler’s bravery and maturity, I gag at yet another snarky comment from Farrah. I wince at Maci’s tactless approach to co-parenting. I bang my head against the wall at Amber’s abusive behavior.

And I wait with baited breath for their childrens’ tell-all books.

Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch – Toddlers and Tiaras

28 Aug

Some of you already know about my masochistic, unexplained obsession with 16 and Pregnant. Well folks, my unhealthy obsession with reality TV that makes me crazy has taken a turn for the worse. I have decided to make it an ongoing series.

Yes – I will be watching stupid reality TV that pisses infertiles off so that you don’t have to! Look how I much I sacrifice for you people (ok not really)!

So for my inaugural post I have decided to take on the mother of all reality trash. I’m sure you’re all dying to know what I chose first. Oh, wait – it’s in the title. Oops.

Toddlers and Tiaras!

I discovered this little gem while recovering from my lap surgery. I admit that I marathoned the heck out of it during my almost week of stabby pain hell.

Don’t ask me why. It’s like crack. Only more masochistic than crack.

For those of you who don’t know the premise, Toddlers and Tiaras follows kids as they compete in beauty pageants. Kids and their insane parents (who apparently have money to burn). The competition ranges from newborn babies to teens. But of course, the show wouldn’t be interested in the teens. The oldest contestant I’ve seen so far was I think about 10 years old. Most of the featured kids are around 4-6 years old.

These kids (and yes, there are boys who compete too!) get spray tans, fake teeth (known as “flippers”), and hair pieces. Yes – the boys get spray tans too. There are also swimsuit competitions. Even the 6 month old babies do the swimsuit competitions.

Now here’s the kicker – the kids wear outfits that usually cost upwards of 2000 dollars. Their parents pay entry fees in the hundreds. They stay at hotels. They pay coaches. They build elaborate sets.

All so their kid can walk onto a stage in a rather shabby looking convention hall in bumfrak nowhere and compete for crowns.

The “Ultimate Grand Supreme” (apparently this means the person with the highest overall score in the pageant regardless of age category) will sometimes win cash. But I’ve never seen a prize higher than 1500 bucks. No one breaks even here. Yet all of the parents claim they’re doing this to “invest in their children’s future”.

Here is a list of things they could spend this money on that would truly “invest in their children’s future”:

  1. A college fund
  2. Private School
  3. Museum trips
  4. Tutors to teach them a foreign language.
  5. Violin lessons
  6. Piano lessons
  7. Ballet lessons
  8. Art classes
  9. Karate classes
  10. An internet specialist that will go in and erase all pictures of their dolled-up kids from the web so pedophiles won’t oggle at them, and a google search of them in 15 years won’t keep them from getting a job.
  11. A therapist to undo the damage the parents have done to the kids.
  12. Put the fund in a trust account for a lawyer – they’re going to need it for when their children attempt to file for emancipation.
  13. Give the money to a nice infertile couple who can’t afford treatments.

Ok – the last one doesn’t really involve the kid’s well being, but that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

I think what surprises me most here is just the sheer trashiness of it all. Here is a picture of an “Ultimate Grand Supreme” winner:

Hopefully this will eventually pay for this girl's therapy.

Yeah so apparently they give the money in cash, glue it to a paper plate in the form of a fan, and make the winner pose with it. Is it just me or is that just… Wrong? Cheap? Gross? I don’t know if there is a word to describe this, really. So I’ll make one up: horricheapagusting. That just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

And you know these parents are teaching their kids the right things to do with their money. Check out this girl’s solid education of fiscal responsibility (skip to minute 41:52):

Yes! Cheese dip! You know what? I should invest in cheese dip futures. There’s a market for that, right?

Oh, but this is nothing. Please, meet Makenzie (mangled spelling courtesy of her parents):

Now I don’t know about you – but I have a sinking suspicion that her mother has a whole road planned out for her. A couple more years on Toddlers and Tiaras, then she can move on to America’s Got Talent, be a cast member on The Real World, and finish it all off with a nice emotional arc on Celebrity Rehab. Once she’s out of there, she can probably make a couple of extra bucks shilling out her tell-all book: “From Ni-Ni to Cocaine: How My Mother Ruined My Life”

Speaking of substance abuse – most of these parents are well on their way to educating their children about a healthy lifestyle, evidenced by this little gem:

Hmmmm… She can’t get herself together? Really? Perhaps it’s the constant stream of refined sugar that you keep shoving down her mouth? Just a thought.

PS – they also give their kids Red Bull. I just couldn’t find a clip of that. You’re going to have to trust me on that one.

I could go on for hours, but let me end with…. Drumroll… Eden Wood.

Eden is currently 6 years old. She has now officially “retired” from the pageant circuit. More on that in a second. First, here’s a look at her (and her mother) in action:

Eden’s mother has decided to capitalize on her daughter’s Reality TV fame. At the ripe old age of six, Eden is currently on a mall tour across America singing her “hit” song – Cutie Patootie (as seen on the cheap imitation of The View The Talk).

Note the horrified look on Sharon Osbourne’s face. And this is the woman that is married to a guy who bites heads off of bats and who has raised Kelly Osbourne. ‘Nough said.

I read a blog post not too long ago (sorry – can’t remember where!) about how infertiles sometimes look at parents and feel all superior, and say “I’ll never be like that” only to find out that once they are parents themselves, they make some of the same mistakes.

Here’s what I think is comforting about Toddlers and Tiaras: I can totally feel superior to these parents. I know my feelings are justified. Guilt-free.

Here’s what’s not so comforting: I’m going to have to work to get my kids. Work  really hard. And these parents most likely didn’t. And they’re pretty much abusing them. Which honestly, I’d like to say I find funny, but mostly it just makes me sad.

And perhaps that’s why Infertiles shouldn’t watch it.

(On the other hand, it is a really good target for our hostility. Just sayin’)

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