As our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, reality TV is continuing to get more and more popular. It seems that a new show pops up every time you turn on the TV, and we (as a society) just eat that stuff up. That said, a lot of the drama you see in these so called “reality” shows is entirely fabricated with the intent of attracting more viewers, and Teen Mom 2 is a perfect example.
At first glance Teen Mom 2 might seem like a docuseries meant to highlight the struggles that young (and often single) moms face, but in reality there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Take season 6, episode 11 for example, where Leah Messer (one of the moms) left the show to get treatment for her supposed drug problem. In the episode, her “baby daddy” seemingly unaware that Leah was getting help. He went off on her about her addiction, and insisted that she stop “sweeping it under the rug,” and go to rehab.
After the episode aired, Messer herself tweeted that the episode was scripted, and that the father did in fact know that she was getting help before the cameras started rolling. This episode is not an outlier either– something like this happens very often. In her twitter rampage, Leah also stated that the producers behind Teen Mom encourage cast members to discuss specific hot topics (like her drug addiction) to secure more views and raise the shows’ ratings.
A few years ago, a former Teen Mom cameraman revealed a lot of other production secrets, supporting the fact that the show is heavily structured in a way that incites the most controversy and drama. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, considering no reality show would survive without good ratings, which are generated by the millions of people watching the juicy scandals unfold from the comfort of their living rooms.
That said, the cameraman revealed that Teen Mom isn’t necessarily scripted like a movie would be, but is rather heavily produced. In short, this means that the director and the film crew knew the drama that would unfold before they would start filming – there would rarely be any surprises.
The cameraman also pointed out that, on top of their salary, the actors and crew were paid bonuses that were linked to the ratings of the show – meaning, the higher the ratings, the more money in their pockets. Because of this incentive, a lot of the people on the show tend to over react and start fights that wouldn’t naturally occur.
To top it off, there’s some evidence of sketchy production practices. It’s not uncommon for the crew to edit the episode out of order, shuffling the events and creating an entirely new, and more entertaining, “reality.” So next time you watch Teen Mom 2, or any other reality TV show for that matter, take the “facts” with a grain of salt, and just enjoy the drama.