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Is it just me, or is MTV building up quite the karmic surplus as of late? Sure, they’ve been testing this good-and-true programming track for about six months now, and, thank goodness, it must be working — the sweet-hearted Buried Life is shooting a second season, 16 and Pregnant will be back in the fall to continue the world’s most effective ongoing ad for condom use, and Teen Mom is currently in its second (and ever-more-arresting) season of de-glamorizing young motherhood. Now come the similar-in-spirit public service ads that paint a painfully sympathetic portrait of modern girlhood, with Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Jessica Stroup (90210), and Rosario Dawson reading eloquent monologues from Eve Ensler’s bestseller I am an Emotional Creature: the Secret Life of Girls Around the World:

Without even a hint of preaching, the spots address sexting, “asking the question” (the question being, “Can you please use a condom?”), and the disturbingly ambivalent reaction many teen girls had to Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna. The campaign echoes themes found in the network’s equally excellent It’s Your (Sex) Life and A Thin Line PSAs — nobody makes contraception cool and digital abuse uncool like MTV. It’s all almost enough to make up for The Jersey Shore and The Real World — which also, once upon a time, kids, used to have quite the social conscience itself.

What do you think, PopWatchers: Is MTV officially on the right side of good now?

Episode Recaps

16 and Pregnant

An unflinching docu-series following the trials and tribulations of pregnant high-school girls
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