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Can ‘Baby Borrowers’ Undo the ‘Juno’ Effect?

Courtesy of NBC, Miramax

Remember how cute Ellen Page was in Juno? All spunky and adorable and, you know, pregnant? Who wouldn't want to be just like her? And wouldn't it be awesome if all your friends were like that too? You could talk for hours on your hamburger phones about morning sickness and baby names and the like. Sigh. Well, as you may have heard, some high schoolers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, made the dream a reality — by making a (now-denied) pact to get pregnant together. "Some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," principal Joseph Sullivan told Time. Debate unsurprisingly is raging about the "Juno effect" — i.e., did Hollywood make these girls think pregnancy is fun and fabulous? (No way, says Juno actor-but-not-really-"actor" Jason Bateman.)

Luckily, here comes The Baby Borrowers to deglamorize parenthood all over again!

This NBC reality show, a social experiment in which five teenage couples must "fast-track to adulthood by setting up a home, getting a job and becoming caring parents first to babies, toddlers, pre-teens and their pets, teenagers and senior citizens," starts tonight and might encourage high schoolers to think twice before getting, um, knocked up. The pressure is on couples like Sean and Kelsey (who, by the way, "subsists on a diet of maple syrup and M&Ms" — hey, it worked for Beyoncé, right?) to deal with "typical 'terrible twos' behavior, including pouty tantrums, potty training and other messes."

Potty training? Oh, wow, count us out! Lesson learned. Unlike some New Yorkers, we will be totally responsible in all intimate encounters. —Lori Fradkin

Test-Driving Parenthood Is Teenage Wake-Up Call [NYT]