Teenage bride Courtney Stodden and her much older husband Doug Hutchinson clearly joined the cast of Couples Therapy not because their marriage was in trouble, but because whatever plans they had for landing their own reality show fell through. This is their plan B: Join an ensemble-cast reality show and hijack filming with manufactured drama and stripper outfits (or a combination of the two) in order to secure the most camera time.
Obviously, none of the quasi-celebrity couples who signed on for the show did so strictly for the purpose of repairing their relationships. They were undoubtedly glad to be on TV, get a paycheck, promote whatever businesses they have, etc. The difference, though, is that none of them were caught on camera saying, "Hey, where is everybody? Let's go start some drama!" as Courtney did as she was walking up to meet the rest of the cast for the first time, wearing 10-inch clear heels and a skirt about half that length. That moment exposed more about Courtney than one of her bikini tops — her intentions were not very honest, as far as the concept of the show goes.
In the minutes following their introductions, Courtney and Doug got into a fight with The Dirty's founder Nik Richie and his wife Shayne Lamas. You have to really be some lowlife, disgusting trash to make Nik look like the respectable one and Shayne sound well-spoken. (Seriously, click that link, watch the videos, be amazed by the slime and simplicity.)
The couple were immediately put off by Courtney and Doug for the spectacle of Courtney's outfit (or lack thereof) and the implication that they were there solely for the cameras and "making a show." Interestingly, Doug asked Shayne why she isn't putting on a show. In some ways, maybe he's the sane one, to think that you really should only appear on a program like this for self-promotion and not to fix the real problems in your life. But then you remember that when he was 51 he married a 16-year-old girl whose hypersexual presentation clinically suggests some kind of childhood trauma.
Nik and Doug got in each other's faces and began screaming. Nik accused him of being a child molester, while Doug defended his wife's honor. And that kind of set the tone for the group. Everyone seems super uncomfortable with having an underage girl involved in their group therapy sessions, where they will be having very adult conversations. In his blog about the first episode, Simon Van Kempen said:
In that first Group Session, that wrapped up the episode, it seems that I stay pretty quiet, however what you didn't see is me really having a go at Dr Jenn (although to be fair she's not the show's casting Director) about Doug & Courtney being on the show. It's obvious to anyone why they are on the show; they came in with an agenda to make noise and so far are succeeding in so doing. Dr Jenn states she's amazed at our collective hostility towards Doug & Courtney but even from what little of that first day that was shown in this episode (and a lot more went down in the six hours between their arrival and this Group Session), Blind Freddy can see that they are in this to stir things rather than as Alex & I were doing trying to concentrate on their marriage.
In fact, filming with an underage girl was a problem for everybody, including production. Because she was only 17, and because technically this was a job, California child labor laws were in effect, meaning that she could only film for six and a half hours a day and could not sleep at the residence with the rest of the cast.
It's kind of crazy to think that someone who is allowed to be married and is allowed to wear that much lucite footwear on television would have to abide by child labor laws, particularly considering how central her skimpy wardrobe is becoming to the theme of the show. Sitting down to dinner in a pushup bra beneath a bikini top with pleather short-shorts, Courtney again caused a rift within the group. As Alex McCord puts it in her blog:
Everyone tried to ignore their antics in order to focus on their own therapy process, and that made [Courtney] angry. It was clear to me that both Courtney and Doug desperately wanted to have all eyes on them, and when they felt they were being ignored would act out accordingly. Courtney would change into an even skimpier outfit and shake her (ahem) attributes, and Doug would gleefully remind everyone that he had been called a child-molester. Once. Every other time it was brought up, it came out of Doug's mouth, as though it was some weird badge of honor.
But for all of the talk of Courtney's appearance, it was really Doug's that was the most embarrassing. He got her name shaved into his head.