I'll be brutally honest here, I knew I'd be watching TLC's new show Unexpected the minute it came out because clueless teens + babies never fails to make me feel better about my life choices. I wasn't disappointed. Similar to Teen Mom on MTV, Unexpected follows the lives of three teen moms, their parents, and the boyfriends who knocked them up. As with every reality show about pregnant teens, it didn't take long for conservatives to start clutching their pearls and complaining about another show "glorifying teen pregnancy," but that's definitely not my take on it. There's nothing glamorous about watching McKayla Adkins (16), Lexus Scheller (15), and Lilly Bennett (16) struggle through pregnancy and parenthood with their pimply-faced "partners" by their sides (more or less). It's basically a giant mess and you'll love every minute of it.
Interested? Here are 15 things to know about the cast of Unexpected. *CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD*
15 Literally No One Is Prepared
It should come as no surprise to you that 15- and 16-year-old girls aren't prepared to be mothers, but this show really does a great job of highlighting their immaturity like only awkward TLC couch interviews can. Lilly, 16, tells the camera that her baby is approximately the size of a zucchini but then admits that she has no idea what a zucchini is. Lawd have mercy. Ain't nobody need to be having babies if they can't identify a zucchini.
It's not just Lilly, though. Lexus, 15, goes into labor and delivery with only a phone charger and skittles and 16-year-old McKayla is dropping $150 on a prom dress when her baby daddy has never even had a job. The sheer lack of common sense on this show will have you throwing your reality show snacks at the TV in no time! These kids.
14 All Three Girls Had Teen Moms
Yup, all three Grandmas on the show have been there, done that. Lilly's mother, Kim, was 16 when she got pregnant with her first, McKayla's mother, Shannon, was 19, and Lexus' mother, Kelsey, was 16. There's got to be some kind of correlation here, right?!
Actually, there is. Studies have actually shown that daughters of teenage mothers are significantly more likely to experience teen pregnancy than young women whose mothers waited until adulthood. It has even been recommended that daughters in this high-risk group be targeted specifically for pregnancy prevention intervention (sex ed and birth control, basically). Too late for this group, but hopefully they'll do their research and make sure that the next generation has all the information they need to avoid the same fate.
13 Lexus Is A Third Generation Teen Mom
Although all three girls are the daughters of teen moms themselves, Lexus' family takes it a step further and adds another generation. It was actually painful to watch the interview when they all admitted to being teen moms. Just look at their faces! It looks like they're all discussing politics! It's hard enough to watch Kelsey, 31, talk about how she never wanted this for her daughter, but how does the Grandma feel? The past has literally been repeated over and over again. Why even waste money doing correlation studies when families like this exist? This kind of thing makes me question everything! Is it not a coincidence that both my mom and I have an unhealthy obsession with tacos? If only someone had told me about taco prevention sooner, these 20 extra pounds could have been avoided. FML.
12 McKayla Was Raised By Her Grandparents
McKayla's mother Shannon, 37, was largely absent in her daughter's life due to a long-term drug habit she picked up after the death of McKayla's father. When McKayla was only four years old, her maternal grandparents, Tim and Cindy, received custody of both her and her younger brother. Although this is all water under the bridge, the current relationship between McKayla and her mother is awkward as hell and pretty uncomfortable to watch. Although her mother Shannon lives in the same town and has been clean since 2009, it's clear that McKayla's bond (and home) is with the grandparents who raised her. But this does make me wonder – if Shannon had been clean and present in McKayla's life, would she have warned her about the risk of being unprotected? Would it have even made a difference? I guess we'll never know.
11 Lilly Dropped Out Of High school
The above quote was posted by Lilly on Instagram.
Staying in school throughout the length of your pregnancy can't be easy, and unfortunately, Lilly Bennett, 16, found that out the hard way. During an interview on the show, Lilly talks about losing a lot of friends and being bullied at school due to her pregnancy.
"Friends’ parents told them they can’t hang out with me. What am I gonna do, give them the pregnant disease?” she asks. “I’m not drinking and partying like all other teenagers are — I’m home with a baby changing diapers. I’m not a bad influence.”
Eventually the social stigma led to her drop out and now she plans on getting her GED. Her boyfriend James also left school to work at Target and help support the baby financially. Nothing glamorous about this life.
10 Lexus Lost Her V Card At 13
No one holds anything back on reality shows (that's why we love them), and this show is no exception. During a couch interview, Lexus' mom Kelsey tells the story of how she first found out her daughter was doing "adult" things.
Back when Lexus was only 13-years-old, Kelsey woke up sometime after midnight and noticed her daughter was missing and called the police. A police search party found her at around 5 am with her then 15-year-old boyfriend, Shayden. Her mother Kelsey was understandably upset when she learned that her 13-year-old little girl was already having these experiences and forbade Lexus to continue seeing him (my mom would have ended me). As we all know, 13-year-old girls can be sneaky AF and she dated him in secret until she got pregnant with his baby. Should have locked her up in a closet, Kelsey, and thrown away the key. Hindsight.
This crap reads like a horror novel. If I didn't already have kids, I'm pretty sure this story would have me sealing up my reproductive parts with duck tape. Since when did 13-year-olds start doing "it"? When I was 13 I was still reading Nancy Drew novels and sleeping with stuffed animals. I can't.
9 Lilly's "Married In Her Head"
Once you start watching the show it's pretty clear that the best WTF moments are coming out of Lilly's mouth. I can't even count the times Lilly's boyfriend James has been a total jerk to her, yet Lilly still firmly believes that James is in it for the long haul (despite his inability to sit through a lamaze class, but whatever). During one episode, Lilly announces to her mom that she plans on giving her daughter, Aaliyah Rose, James' last name.
Mama Kim wasn't all about that life. "I just feel like when you get married, that's when you would want to give the last name to your baby," she tells Lilly. "The baby's last name would be earned if he stays around."
Lilly's next words sent Unexpected viewers into a tizzy.
"I'm married in my head," she says.
Riiiight. Despite viewers' disbelief at her inability to see the completely uncommitted boyfriend right next to her, Lilly continues to believe in a forever family. Good luck not getting your heart broken, girl.
8 Lilly Is Completely Clueless
I know she said it, but I don't know if I believe her. No one told her how easy it was to get pregnant? Seriously?! Lilly's step dad, Glenn, seems equally baffled. "It's 2017!" He exclaims, wondering how Lilly has gotten to this age without hearing about safety measures at school.
To that question, Glenn, I'll raise you another. How in the world did Lilly get to 16 years old without hearing about safety at home? Her own mother was a teen mom, but this conversation never came up? Lilly's mom, Kim, calls Lilly's situation "a mother's worst nightmare," so surely Lilly deserved to know how to prevent it.
Then there's always the possibility that Lilly knew how to prevent it, but just chose not to. As crazy as it sounds, some girls want to get pregnant young. Lilly does admit that she loves babies and all things tiny.
"Newborn things make me really happy, because I love tiny things," she giggles.
Like puppies! And real life babies! Oh man.
7 Caelan's Mother Shelly Was Also A Teen Mom
McKayla and Caelan have more in common than just their baby. Caelan's mom Shelley had him at 19, but you'd never know it the way she gets up on her high horse and portrays herself as a model parent.
Seriously, the vast majority of Shelly's interview time is spent putting down McKayla's mother, Shannon, before they've even met. If you give her a pot, this woman will stir!
"I just don't have a lot of respect for people who don't take care of their kids," Shelly says, and the irony is completely lost on her.
Eventually the tension between Shannon and Shelly erupts, and it's just as messy as you'd hoped. Oh, Shelly, your judgy ways are truly life-giving. On a show featuring hormonal pregnant teen girls, it's the grandmothers who are cat fighting and bringing the drama. What a twist! We see you, TLC!
6 Lilly Almost Died During Her Pregnancy
Lilly Bennett had quite the scare when both she and the baby's father, James, were almost killed in a nasty car wreck early on in her pregnancy. They had both been riding in a car that they'd purchased only two weeks earlier.
“Early in my pregnancy I got into a car accident and I thought I lost the baby,” Lilly says. “We were going to pick up my cousin, my baby’s godmother, when we had a head-on collision with a big truck, right in front of the meeting house in Aquebogue. The way it happened, we maybe even should have been dead. And I knew God was protecting this baby. Something was there. Something really saved us.”
I honestly am thankful that they all made it out of their alive, baby included. Unexpected just wouldn't be the same without the clueless Lilly and her boyfriend James' "kill me now" interview face!
5 Lexus and McKayla both Slammed MTV's Teen Mom
Bust out the popcorn, it's a teen mom throw down!
Many viewers have already compared TLC's Unexpected with MTV's Teen Mom, but Unexpected cast member Lexus Scheller isn't afraid to set the record straight.
"Our show's a lot different… there’s not as much drama,” Lexus revealed to Us Weekly. “I think it’s more real. Our problems are more realistic than [they are on] Teen Mom and shows like that. I feel like our stories are better. I do!”
Lexus wasn't the only cast member to throw Teen Mom under the bus! McKayla Adkins shared her thoughts, too.
“I feel Unexpected focuses more on teaching people what teen pregnancy is really like and how it can affect the family and the teen's life as well,” McKayla said. "I feel it’s [Teen Mom] more about the drama and doesn’t include as many happy moments like Unexpected does.”
Does McKayla not see all the drama playing out in her own home between Saint Shelly and her own mother, Shannon?! It might not be next level Teen Mom drama, but it looks promising!
4 Lexus Tried To Get On Birth Control
Nothing would be worse than finding out you're pregnant when you're at the doctor's office getting birth control, but that's exactly what happened to Unexpected's Lexus Scheller. Although her period was already twelve days late, the teen mom was obviously in denial and had refused to buy a pregnancy test. Lexus' mother, Kesley, said she was so upset at the news that the doctor literally held her as she cried.
This story is a hard pill to swallow (the pun was intended, sorry). I wonder how often this happens? Lexus' mother, Kelsey, had been trying her best to prevent her daughter from a teen pregnancy, but you can't control every outcome. Even if she'd put her daughter on birth control at 13, would a 13-year-old be responsible enough to take it on time, every day? Grown women have a hard time doing that! This story is just the worst.
3 Lexus Recently Split With Shayden
In a very recent interview (as in this month), it was revealed that Lexus, now 16, recently split from her boyfriend, Shayden, 17. The two had been together since Lexus was 11-years-old (people are "together" at 11?! Sorry).
Viewers should have seen this coming, let's be honest. Shayden was a hot mess after the baby was born, and viewers on Twitter weren't having it. He's not exactly a fan favorite.
This arrogant, ignorant punk Shayden is acting like he’s a pediatric medical expert when the fool can’t even figure out how to use acne medicine. Boy, bye! #Unexpected— Nancy Mize (@nancy_mize) December 4, 2017
Despite their split, the two are still on speaking terms and are trying to raise their daughter, Scarlett, together. While we don't really have the details about how that is going to work, at least Lexus has a strong support system in her mother, Kelsey.
“I’m glad that she’s experienced it too,” Lexus says of her mom, Kelsey.
2 James Is Also The Son Of A Teen Mom
Just like Caelan, another dad on this show is also the son of a teen mom. James Kennedy, 17, is Lilly's boyfriend and the father of their daughter, Aaliyah. His mother, Darlene, 43, had her first child when she was only 15 and and went on to have seven more children.
DANG! That's a butt load of kids, Darlene! It's not clear if she raised them all on her own, but apparently James' dad has been out of the picture from the beginning (just like Caelan's). It is said that 8 out of 10 dads don't marry the mother of their child (don't tell Lilly). We can only hope that the shared experience of growing up without a dad in the house will keep both James and Caelan from repeating their fathers' mistakes and walking away from the situation.
1 McKayla's Mom Is Pregnant Too
Oh yeah, it's weird.
In an odd twist of fate, McKayla's mother, Shannon, is now expecting baby number four. Both mother and daughter are only four weeks apart in their pregnancies. You know what this means, right? When Shannon's daughter is born, she will be McKayla's son's aunt and he will be her nephew...or something like that. I don't know, like I said, it's weird.
This situation makes for great TV, let me tell you. Oddly, Shannon sees their mutual pregnancies as a way to finally bond with her daughter, and TLC documents every weird little bit of it. Watch as Shannon tries to convince her 16-year-old daughter to have a joint baby shower, and watch the sparks fly when Caelan's mom (Saint Shelly) gets wind of it! MAGNIFICENT! The weirder the better, TLC. You picked the right cast. Bravo.