The MTV documentary/reality series "16 and Pregnant" returned Tuesday night. This week's one-hour episode focused on Brooke, an athlete and racing enthusiast.
Brooke has one of the more stable "16 and Pregnant" relationships. She and her boyfriend Cody got married at beginning of the show. Despite academic setbacks, he graduated early to spend time with the baby during the day so Brooke could finish school.
Nonetheless, Brooke and Cody have the typical problems of young parenthood. They struggle with finances even while living with Brooke's parents.
Does "16 and Pregnant" glamorize teen pregnancy? Read our recap and share your thoughts in the comments section.
The episode focuses on Brooke, a drag racing enthusiast from Texas who got pregnant by boyfriend Cody. In her post-show interview, Brooke says she was on the Pill, but skipped a few days because of an insurance mix-up.
Cody asked her to marry him, and we're treated to footage of their drag racing-themed wedding. Cody wears a race jacket.
The wedding gives Brooke a slight advantage over other "16 and Pregnant" cast members, but things aren't perfect with Cody. He has a job at QuikTrip, yet doesn't exactly excel at schoolwork. He even utters this line: "Cody doesn't read."
That's a problem because Brooke wants Cody to graduate early so he can stay home with the baby during the day while she goes to school. Otherwise, they'll have to put the baby in daycare and Brooke's parents won't pay for it.
In other financial setbacks, Brooke and Cody are living with Brooke's parents. They want to buy their own house. However, "dream house" quickly turns into a pre-fabricated barn...which they still can't afford. So they end up staying with Brooke's parents, which could be better than raising a baby in a barn. Also, they don't have to pay rent -- just do chores.
Cody initially fails a test to graduate early, but passes on his second try. On a lighter note, he also agrees to walk around in a pregnancy suit for a little bit.
Brooke's parents are surprisingly supportive. They got married and pregnant as teenagers, too. The biggest source of conflict is Brooke and Cody not keeping up with their chores.
Brooke and Cody decide to name their baby Brody, a hybrid of their first names. Brooke's water breaks earlier than expected and she quickly accepts an epidural while in labor. The whole process goes pretty quickly and before we know it, Brooke and Cody are at home caring for Brody.
Ultimately, Brooke goes back to school and it's Cody's turn to watch the baby during the day. I keep waiting for some major screaming match, but this couple seems like one of the more stable "16 and Pregnant" relationships. Brooke goes to the doctor and gets birth control: an IUD.
They still have problems, however. Financial circumstances force them to drop their drag racing hobby, and they have a tough time keeping up with their chores and spending time together.
"It feels like I'm overwhelmed with all the cleaning I have to do," Brooke says in the show's final moments.
Final thoughts: It was a well-produced episode, but the apparent ease of Brooke and Cody's relationship seemed a little distant from reality. I can see how that editing alone could lead teenagers to romanticize teen pregnancy and assume it always leads to marriage.
Also, parents' financial support remains a critical part of these shows. Brooke's parents not only funded her wedding, but also provided living arrangements after the baby's birth.