MTV sucked me in last night with a couple new episodes of True Life. The first one was “I Have Embarrassing Parents 2.” I didn’t really like either of the girls they profiled. Candy Graham (and her sisters Holly and Millie – yes, really) has clown parents, but it was so clear that they were keeping their makeup and costumes on for the MTV cameras. I highly doubt that they regularly pick the kids up from school, go to the supermarket, or just hang around the house in their full clown getup. I also doubt that a date at the circus was Candy’s boyfriend Squirrell’s (yes.) own idea. The other story, Niki and her slutty mom, was also not that great. The resolution was basically, “I’ll be accepting of your deep need to be a MILF if you let me get my lip pierced (in addition to the eyebrow piercing I already have oh and also I’m 14).” My favorite line was when the mom said she’s just enjoying the body god gave her or something, and I was like, “Um no, your surgeon gave you that body.”
The second episode on last night, “I Have Schizophrenia,” was one of those really good ones that still gives MTV some credibility. And of course I had to watch it when I saw that two of the three people profiled were in the Philly area! So, first was Josh, whose story took place in West Chester (where his mom’s house was) and Phoenixville (where he had an apartment, though he was evicted during the show). If you ever wonder how crazy people who live on the streets got to be there, this is how. It was hard to watch him, and he said he didn’t want treatment because he liked the voices in his head, he liked that animals were talking to him, and with those voices he was never lonely..! The other local guy was Ben, in Ridley Park. His story was also so sad. Not only were both his father and grandfather battling cancer (his grandfather passed away during the show), Ben was also dealing with an evil voice in his head named Marcus, telling him to kill himself. He was heavily medicated (15 pills a day), and you could tell, he really sounded doped up. Poor guy – he looked like a good guy when they showed pictures of him from high school. But the schizophrenia kicked in when he was 18. By the end of the show, he was trying to do one thing in public every other week (he and his mom went to the Franklin Institute!), and he was taking a computer programming class and hoping to go to school full time. Finally, there was Amber, from Newport News, VA. (And I’ve driven through there, so I felt like I still had some sort of local connection – haha!) She had been diagnosed a year prior, after her freshman year of college, and was currently on medication and in counselling. I wonder if it was the stress of college that triggered her problems – she went from being a straight-A student in high school to basically flunking out of college. But now she’s keeping a B-average and she’s speaking about her condition for groups of doctors and stuff.