It's not often that I'm overtaken by emotion at an MTV.com video shoot--nor should it be. Work is work, and feelings have no business hanging around the set. However, once in a blue moon, and seemingly always at the most inopportune moments, those pesky...feelings...bubble to the surface. As a producer with a job to do, and sometimes little time to do it, this outright humanity can be distracting; but like all rules, exceptions exist.
The sisterly bond, sincere support and mutual respect consistently exhibited between the cast members while filming our "Teen Mom After Show" instill in me time and time again a sense of true awe and raw pathos that lessen the "job" part of my job and welcome a sense of personal attachment to Maci, Catelynn, Farrah and Amber, and the highest regard for their willingness to share every aspect of their individual struggles with the world.
For the final season of "Teen Mom," we did things a little differently than usual. SuChin Pak, our after show host since the very beginning, was expected to deliver a baby of her own literally at any minute, so we decided on a format in which just the girls would watch scenes dating all the way back to their "16 and Pregnant" episodes and simply chat with each other about where they were at then, and how far they've come since.
Our first segment dealt with relationships, specifically those they have, or had, with their child's father. And while I knew it would still be tough for Farrah to view footage relating to Sophia's deceased dad, I don't think anyone--not the cast nor the crew--was prepared for the powerful reaction that flooded the studio as Farrah viewed the scene from Season 3 where she and Sophia visited Derek's grave.
Not only did the young mother tear up almost immediately, but Maci and Catelynn also cried while comforting their friend with words of compassion and understanding. As far as our production crew, not a creak in the floor, nor a cough, sneeze or even a breath could be heard. The moment was that real, and that heartbreaking. Take a look at a clip from our first "Teen Mom After Show" of the final season, which highlights the beauty of the cast's deep and enduring friendship, as well as Farrah's continuing search for contentment.
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Photo: Jamel Toppin