Friday, February 23, 2007

Engaged & Underaged

Engaged & Underaged is a hilarious, yet sad, new show on MTV. It's obnoxious (so is the website--turn off your speakers before clicking) and nearly unbearable to watch except for the delicious voyeur factor I've mentioned before that comes with wedding planning. The premise is each episode chronicles the last month of wedding planning for youngsters between the ages of 19 and 22. Mostly the parents disagree with the young marriages but sit back and let things unfold. Sometimes with blank checks, sometimes with very little help.

I can't tell the angle of the show. There's pure drama. But are they trying to teach a lesson in waiting until you're older to get married? Or are they encouraging the young unbridled love? There's always the tense cliff-hanger moment just before a commercial break where there's been a fight and maybe they'll call the wedding off! But then they get married after all and everything is peachy. Until the one-month-later follow-up that shows the reality of kids living together. (One couple had gone completely broke and was living in a trailer in one of their parents' backyards. I don't know about them, but I'd rather be dating and living in my parents' house than married and living in my parents' backyard.)

In general, I think very few people are mature enough for marriage at 19 these days. There's so much life out there to live and you can't do all that if you're married. College. Jobs. It's all different. What about the experience of having a couple bad relationships so you know when the really good one comes along? Girls, we have plenty of time to get married. We don't have to move from our parents to our husbands.

An excerpt from one of the episode guides reads, "Bre gave up school and is working to support Josh's dreams of becoming a graphic artist." No no no no no no no! Bre! You are too young to give up your life for a guy. This couple actually buys a house together, and with clever editing, Bre apparently paints and repairs the whole thing herself and forgives Josh for goofing off with his brother instead of helping her. Josh is no dummy and has found a good woman to take care of him in place of his mom. (Seriously. In the post-episode follow-up video, "What I like best about Bre? She takes care of me. Cooks, does the laundry, does the dishes." Makes me want to pull Bre's hair out for sitting there and taking it.)

I feel like maybe I'm being a little harsh? But I am so sad for the state of young women these days. There are so many negative role models and so much negative media and pressure on women and perpetuation of stereotypes. Are we reverting back to the times of marriage instead of school and careers?


Vicky said...

I too am addicted to this show. I just watched the Mormon episode last night and almost lost it with the whiney 19 yr old bride. Next week: looks fun and white trashy. Yee-ha!

josh stewart said...

mtv actually did a lot of editing. i'm not really that immature at all. i actually work full-time and go to school full-time.