There's a 'Teen Mom' Soundtrack. Anyone Else Think That's Weird?

Teen Mom star in court this week. (Paul Adao/ Mom star in court this week. (Paul Adao/ same day Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans showed up to court in shackles and prison stripes, the soundtrack to her life debuted on iTunes. For any other star on any other series this might be considered bad timing, but for the Teen Moms their real life has become a living movie. Their real-time horrors are like bonus clips.

Is it any surprise the network would want to squeeze out a little more entertainment from their exploits?

MTV's Teen Mom soundtrack, out this week, collects 12 songs featured on the series' five seasons. If you're familiar with the show, you might recognize some of the emo stirrings that tie up each subject's devastating issue with the same montage technique as Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill. Some one looks out a window. Another cradles her baby. Another drives silently in her car, while a song sums up a hack diary entry of their lives: "lost in a void that only grows/in a skin I've grown to hate."

That's the band E for Explosion, by the way. They're on the soundtrack. The other songs, by "emerging artists" have a similar tone. Slow, slightly whiney, break-up songs with a bury-your-face-in-your-pillow vibe. So that's what it sounds like to be a teen mom, okay?

The network has been featuring songs from the show on their website for a while, but this is the first time they've put a price tag - $7.99- on them. To avoid accusations of extreme sleaziness, MTV made a smart decision. Donate all proceeds-from now through July 17-to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. What happens, in terms of sales, after July 17 has not been widely publicized.

But even as a benefit album, there's something wrong with this packaging.

The increasingly troubled lives of many of the subjects shouldn't make Viacom want to maximize their potential for multi-media entertainment. Amber was recently on suicide watch after another arrest , Jenelle has been in and out of jail for possession, assault, and other serious crimes, and Leah is married, divorced and rumored to be pregnant again all before her 20th birthday.

When the series started, it was alarmingly realistic and sobering considering MTV's track record. But as the show and its subjects embrace the attention, the girls have become more like soap stars. Or rather the viewers have been invited to become rabid soap fans. It's not off limits to make fun of a Teen Mom, to pick a Teen Mom Team, to turn to a Teen Mom for style cues.

Adding a soundtrack to their lives and hawking it on iTunes feels like MTV is backing up the belief that these people aren't real. They're cash cow characters, just like the stars of Gossip Girl. That show's soundtrack had a lot of sad songs on it too.

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