The TV show Teen Mom has been around for almost 10 years, starting out at a docu-series called 16 And Pregnant and most recently spinning off as a series call Young + Pregnant.
This franchise has certainly made MTV a whole lot of money. So, naturally, there are going to be other networks that want to take this idea and run with it. To be honest, I'm surprised it took another network this long to jump on the bandwagon. Most shows about teenagers doing ridiculous things is normally a gold mind.
TLC has decided to cash in on this gold mine with their new show called Unexpected. Like Teen Mom, the show follows a group of teenagers who find out that surprise! They are pregnant. They have to break the news to their family and get ready to take care of a newborn. In addition to trying to get a high school education, they have to hold down some kind of job that will support their baby and best of all, they get to realize that being a mom is way harder than they thought it was going to be.
The cast of Teen Mom is way past this stage in life. It's sort of a been there done that kind of situation. In fact, they have moved on to what some may see as worse problems. At the end of the day, the two casts are not that far off. They are still providing the eager fans with all their weekly drama and no doubt making viewers feel way better about their crappy life decisions.
20 Similar: They’re Both Famous For Having Babies
No matter what else these lovely young ladies do in life, they will forever be known as teen moms. They are famous for having babies and that’s basically the stigma that will follow them for the rest of their lives. There is no question that a few of these girls are destined for something besides being a teen mom, but once you enter that reality TV show realm, it’s insanely hard to get it out from under you. At this point, one of these girls could find the cure for cancer and in their biography, and it will still state that they started out on a popular hit TV show about being teen mothers.
19 Similar: All The New Mom Drama Is The Same
No new teen mom is different. They all face the same problems and endure the same drama. This just goes to show you no matter who you are, being a teen mom is hard and the drama will always involve the same garbage. A horrible baby daddy (no matter how hard they try to be good), a lack of funds to properly take care of their newborn, wanting their boyfriend to move in, and of course, think they know more than their parents who raised them. All these problems are essentially a right of passage for teen moms. Almost as if it’s not real until they go through all of this stuff.
18 Similar: No Matter What Age, Baby Daddies Are A Pain
One of the more obvious thing that all these girls have in common is their baby daddy drama. No matter how great the guy can be, he will always mess up. Guys don’t think the same way as women do most of the time. Then after these women become moms, their brains are on a completely different wavelength. The dads, however, take a longer time to get on that wavelength hence all the extra drama that they later realize they could have avoided.
Even now as the Teen Mom cast are no longer teenagers, a lot of them still manage to have the same drama with their kid’s fathers that they had a few years prior. I can only imagine how annoying that can get.
17 Similar: Both Young And Immature
However, the cast of Unexpected might be a bit more immature (if you can believe that). In season one, McKayla Adkins actually admitted that she had no idea what a zucchini is. Or when Lily made that ridiculous comment about her already being “married in her head” (look where that got her). With age comes maturity and when the cast of Teen Mom was the age of the cast of Unexpected, they were saying and doing stupid things as well. Maci thought she was going to marry Ryan for christ' sake and Jenelle... well, she'd rather see Kesha in concert than go to a court appointment.
She literally chose Kesha over the law...
16 Similar: No One Was As Prepared As They Thought
It never fails that they always think they are so prepared until reality hits and they realize they don't have the basics like onesies. In Young + Pregnant, Kayla and Stephen went to a baby store to get the necessities and came back with a few onesies and a bunch of toys. Keep in mind they were not newborn toys, they were toys that their son wouldn’t be able to use for years; like a basketball hoop and ball. Or in Unexpected, one of the fathers didn’t think it was necessary to get a job because their parents had jobs. There cannot be a worse feeling than going into labor knowing that you don’t even have an outfit to take the baby home in, let alone, a freaking car seat.
15 Similar: They Are Banking On The Money
No matter what they say, the cast on both shows is banking on this money to make it through life. The cast of Unexpected is not far off from starting to make some actual money and the cast of Teen Mom is already living off the fruits of their labor. After all, what is the point of baring your existence to the world if you cannot get paid for it? Normally, TLC is not the network people go to when they want drama, but times have changed. It seems as if this show, Unexpected it going to be a money maker for them.
14 Similar: They Are Lowering The Teen Mom Statistics
A study recently showed that teenagers who watched shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant etc., were actually deterred from getting pregnant. Really, who wouldn't be? Whether you are put off by all the stupid life decisions made by Janelle or embarrassed for the cast of both shows, you see the struggle of what really happens when babies have babies. Or flat out just see how disappointed a lot of these people lives have turned out.
Fewer teenagers are having babies so these shows must be serving the purpose they claim they are broadcasted for.
13 Similar: Mother Overhaul
In both shows, there is a mother who has had to step in and take over parenting the newborn. We all know about Janelle and Barbs situation with Jace. Barb still has custody of Jace and she shows no signs of letting up. Janelle has her hands full with a new husband and two other kids, not to mention all the drama between her, David, and the producers.
On Unexpected, Lexus’ mom is in the process of trying to gain custody of her granddaughter Scarlett. She feels like her daughter and the child’s father Shayden are not ready and haven’t changed since their daughter was born. We get to see that drama play out in the current season.
12 Similar: There May Be A Janelle-Type
A lot of fans are comparing Lexus Scheller to Janelle. They see similarities like the constant whining, the whole mom trying to gain custody of her baby thing, and let’s not forget that she makes some pretty shoddy decisions. All of these are telltale signs that we may have another Janelle in the making.
Unfortunately, none of us need another Janelle on our TV screens. We can also see how her mom may be able to curb this impending situation for one, she has more control over Lexus than Barb ever did over Janelle.
Let’s hope we are wrong because I don’t know about you, but I can’t watch another Teen Mom struggle as much as Janelle has.
11 Similar: Producers Aren’t Afraid To Upgrade And Rearrange
The season two cast of Unexpected has had a little bit of a shakeup this season. Lilly Bennett was not asked to return because the producers saw her as "boring" and apparently not struggling enough because her parents are a bit more well off than the others.
So like Teen Mom, whoever isn’t drawing the crowd gets the boot.
The Teen Mom franchise scrapped a whole spin-off series, Teen Mom 3, because they felt that none of the girls or their drama was interesting enough. On Unexpected, the producers replaced Lilly with three new moms. Ones that have certainly made fans sit up and listen.
10 Different: They Don’t Have A Farrah-Type (Well, We Hope Not)
One of the main reasons why people see Teen Mom as a joke is because of one cast member in particular. Wait sorry, I meant to say former cast member: Farrah Abraham. Abraham has been a horrible stigma against the show ever since she started lashing out and making decisions that were not so contract-friendly. She has appeared in adult films, made public appearances related to adult activities, and she gets a lot of pushback for how she raises her child, talks to the cast and crew of the show, and her own mother. Her presence alone has really put a damper on the franchise.
So far, none of the girls on Unexpected are giving us that vibe but, we can only wait and see.
9 Different: It’s Considered Better Quality Than ‘Teen Mom’
Some publications are calling Unexpected a better quality Teen Mom. it’s just like the media to pit two shows on different networks against one another. That being said, they are kind of right. In addition to Unexpected actually being somewhat of a cautionary tale for teenagers, the show also hasn’t had a bunch of negative stories in the paper about their cast (yet). Some may say that this will come with time and yes, they are right. But for now, Unexpected is the favorite sister to Teen Mom.
Parents would rather sit down and watch this with their kids than Teen Mom.
8 Different: It's Low-Key Feminist
The moms of the teen parents are actually using this platform to spread some wise words. Sure they are only talking to their kids at the moment but the world will eventually hear some of these moms put their daughters in their place. Encouraging them to make sure they make decisions that are beneficial for themselves and not their momentary boyfriend. One mom even lectured her daughter on the idea that she wanted to give her baby the dad’s last name. Sure, it’s the norm, but seeing how unstable they are it could backfire in her and the child's face. The brutal honesty of the parents on this show is refreshing.
7 Different: They Are Showing The Teen Mom Cycle Within Each Family
There has been study after study on how kids inherit the teen mom mentality. The facts have been proven that there is a higher chance of your child being a teen parent if you were a teen parent. Well, surprise, surprise on Unexpected, all the children are products of teen parents. Lexus’ family even goes at least generations deep. Her mom, her grandmother and we can only assume her great-grandmother as well because of the time period. This is a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Some families don't even realize it's happening until it’s so deep-rooted it's almost irreversible.
6 Different: They Aren’t Famous Yet
Fame hasn’t caught up to these kids yet. They are still posting filter free photos on social media and wearing clothes from Forever 21 that they had to buy with their own money. Some still work at their part-time retail or fast food jobs. So fame hasn’t sucked them into believing that they are celebrities yet. This is refreshing seeing as the cast of Teen Mom are doing things that they really aren't qualified for. And, putting their stamp of approval on things that they would never pay for with their own money. It’s extremely misleading to people who are looking at these people as role models.
5 Different: They Are Focusing On Real Problems
Unfortunately, Teen Mom has just become a show about a bunch of girls who got pregnant and then eventually met one another and now fight on social media. They don’t really focus on a lot of the bigger problems. Unexpected, however, is really focusing on a crisis. They are highlighting struggles and situations that real teen moms go through. Luckily these kids actually have guardians in their lives that are pretty helpful. Some teen moms are homeless or abused. So even the show Unexpected is showing an easier side of being a teen mom. At least they are still educating teenagers who are watching.
4 Different: They Still Have Time To Make Better Decisions
Okay, so they now have one baby and have to figure out how to navigate life while having to take care of a child. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end. They still have time to learn from this hurdle. Meaning, they can still pursue opportunities, they can still finish school with their friends, they can still get a post-secondary education. Essentially, they can still do everything that they originally planned. It may take longer and be slightly harder, but it can be done. Many people believe that a setback such as being a teen mom can ruin your life forever, but that’s just not true. The cast of Unexpected are only on baby number one and they all have a great set of supportive guardians. They still have time.
3 Different: They Still Have Hope
This one may sound a bit gloomy, but in case you haven’t noticed, most of the teenage girls in the cast of Unexpected still have this little glimmer of hope. They truly believe that they will stay with the father of their child, they will finish school, get a degree, and live life just as it was before they were pregnant. We all know that this will never happen, though. Life is just too hard. If they wish to do all these things, it may take longer than they though. But it’s nice to watch the girls still have hopes and dreams that they want to fulfill. Fans can only cheer them on as they try to accomplish them. I just wish they knew what they are going to be in for.
2 Different: Money Hasn’t Ruined Them Yet
The girls are still at that stage in fame where they haven’t received enough money for their time on TV. They are still struggling financially, they still live at home, and need all the help they can get. Whereas, the ladies of Teen Mom are now being paid a very high salary for appearing on Teen Mom and all their spin-offs and specials. The cast of Unexpected are still feeling the repercussions of their incident and that will most likely continue for a while. This is a good thing though, too much money too fast is always a disaster. Plus having a baby when you’re a teenager should always turn into a life lesson and how else will they learn if they don’t have to struggle a bit?
1 Different: ‘Unexpected’ Cast Still Has A Little Privacy
The cast of Unexpected hasn’t quite reached the level of fame that the cast of Teen Mom has. But they should savor this last bit of privacy they have. Now that the show is in its second season, some of the cast of season one has returned allowing fans to get even more involved with their personal lives. We can see how becoming a teenage mother is about to boost their status in life. Soon enough they will be endorsing items on their social media pages and making enough money where they don't need to do the show. But for now, all we can do is sit and watch.
References: TheRichest, TheThings, CNN, NewsWeek, Reddit, Starcasm, BabyCenter