When WE tv announced their new Love After Lockup follow-up spin-off series Life After Lockup, a lot of fans (myself included) were disappointed that certain cast members from previous seasons were not included. It seems the network is aware of our collective sadness because they are releasing a new series titled Love After Lockup: Life Goes On with at least three couples not featured on Life After Lockup!
The couples that have been announced so far are Johnna DiGrigoli and Garrett Tanner, Mary and Dominic Dalla Nora, and Caitlin and Matt Frasier.
The series is reportedly only available via the WE tv app, but the first episode featuring Season 1 couple Johnna DiGrigoli and bearded #hotfelon Garrett Tanner is currently available to watch on WEtv.com. Titled Johnna & Garret – Moving On, the clip is just under seven minutes and features both Johnna an Garrett (and Garrett’s girlfriend Nelly) updating on their lives since appearing on Love after Lockup.
Unfortunately, it does appear that the show will be just in-studio interviews with the cast members talking about what has been going on in their lives, and no actual video footage of what has been going on in their lives — aside from maybe some videos taken from their social media accounts. But, we’ll take what we can get, right?
In addition to Johnna and Garrett, the series will also include their Love After Lockup Season 1 co-stars Mary and Dominic Dalla Nora. These two appear to be living out their happily ever after, which is a relative rarity as far as the franchise goes.
Mary’s participation may be a little surprising to some because of how vocal she was about not being approached to be on Life After Lockup. She responded to our tweet announcing the cast by writing: “Proof they don’t want to show a REAL, couple who made it! And still continues to shine and do well! Exact proof they are only here for drama, drug addicts and toothless losers.”
We pointed out that Life After Lockup couple Brittany and Marcelino Santiago seemed to be happy together. “Sorry I meant non-trashy, happy, successful couples :). Haven’t seen any of those other than us,” Mary replied.
After her tweets, Mary spent some time and put together a rather lengthy statement expressing her disappointment with WE tv as far as what cast members were initially told about the goals of the show versus what the show turned out to be. Essentially, Mary says (and Johnna concurs) that they were pitched the idea of doing the show so that producers could dispel the preconceived notions and stereotypes associated with dating a prisoner. She believes their true intentions, and the end result, was to create a show that “showcases people suffering from drug addition, mental illness, or other various problems” who lead a “stereo-typically ‘trashy’ lifestyle.”
#LoveAfterLockup Season 1 star @MaryD_WEtv expresses frustration at @WEtv & show producers over the direction of the show & casting for the new spin-off #LifeAfterLockup. Read her post, plus get her co-star @VAJ0HNNA's reaction! https://t.co/Q9RP86TEz8
— Starcasm (@starcasm) April 25, 2019
“For this reason I am thrilled to not be associated with the show or associated with or compared to the other cast members and their stories,” Mary wrote.
She obviously had a change of heart later.
Speaking of WE tv showcasing drug addiction, Life Goes On will also feature Love After Lockup Season 2 couple Caitlin and Matt Frasier. Matt was very open about his drug addiction issues on the show, and he continues to struggle with them, as evidenced by his most recent arrest for meth possession last month.
I kind of agree with Mary’s assessment of the show, at least in part. Producers do like train wrecks. But, that’s because viewers like train wrecks, and producers like high ratings.
That being said, it’s VERY important to not be dismissive of the people on the show. I will admit that our coverage of some of Matt’s problems has been tinged with a little humor, but that is only because that is how he presented it himself on screen. Addiction is not a joke — not for the addict, and most certainly not for those who care about that human being.
Matt’s mom Kathy knows this better than anyone. She has struggled with her son’s addiction for more than a decade now. When I was first researching Matt and Caitlin just after the Love After Lockup Season 2 trailer was released, I was extremely humbled looking into Kathy. She has essentially dedicated her life to not only improving addiction awareness, but also improving the support available to addicts and their loved ones.
In addition to that, Kathy campaigns for improving conditions and rights for prisoners — all due to what she herself has gone through because she is Matt’s mother. However, I can’t be upset with Love After Lockup producers for not focusing more on her because the show was about Caitlin and Matt’s relationship.
I want to mention that I have combed through Matt’s arrest history, much of which I have shared on this website, and I do not recall any instance of Matt being violent towards anyone or harming anyone — other than himself. He’s immature, lazy, and moody, but I can’t help but think he’s not a complete a**hole and that his addiction issues play a huge part in him not being able to overcome those flaws.
I also wanted to use this post as an opportunity to express my admiration for Caitlin. On our Instagram post promoting our article about Matt’s recent Meth arrest, Caitlin lived up to her Instagram handle @courageously_caitlin by bravely entering the comments section to defend Matt — at least to a certain degree.
“I am glad @courageously_caitlin left him and kept it moving,” one commenter wrote. “It’s sad,” Caitlin replied.
After that simple exchange, the conversation got a little more involved, and would eventually include Matt’s mom Kathy as well. I remember seeing these comments in my feed as they were happening, and I made a note to try to come with an opportunity to highlight them for our readers because I think they speak volumes about Caitlin and Kathy’s character, and also shine a light beneath the “train wreck” veneer of the show as far as Matt goes.
I will essentially step out of the way and let Caitlin and Kathy speak for themselves:
COMMENTER 1: @courageously_caitlin I’m sure this is hard to hear and read. I’d be heartbroken that Matt was struggling with such a nasty addiction. Dang it Matt… get it together. Ugh! ??
CAITLIN: it’s heart breaking, dudes got great guts, but keeps sellin himself short with this sh*t.
COMMENTER 1: @courageously_caitlin oh I believe it! He has no Faith in himself. He has frustrations within himself.
KATHY: yeah, well try being his mom and reading all this sh*t. Painful.
COMMENTER 1: @katherine.5819 you’re a great mom!!!!! Only he can want to change himself. I can’t imagine. I apologize if you felt dismissed by me. Not my intention. I’m sure it’s very difficult to read this stuff. He’s lucky you supported him in the manner you have.
COMMENTER 2: Post release they really should mandate rehab for drug offenders. Many reoffend and go right back to jail dealing their drug of choice, which ironically, believe it or not, is available in prison.
CAITLIN: ugh. It sure as sh*t is. Not to the extent that it is on that streets, but it’s def there. Gets tricky though, if their charges aren’t drug charges.
COMMENTER 3: once ur on meth you can go to rehab all u want but it’s one of the most addictive drugs next to heroin it’s rare if people can stop the habit it really has to do with your mental state of being (4 years clean??)
KATHY: people can and do recover from meth. One thing for sure, it doesn’t get treated in prison.
COMMENTER 3: i know that duhhh anyone can recover but depends on the person I said people like him he is one of those who will never recover he enjoys it to much and that whole life style
KATHY: so you personally know Matt?
COMMENTER 2: you do realize thats his mom right?
COMMENTER 3: idc if it’s his mom if she is blind to think he is going to change then she is fooling herself too… He might be a good guy but that drug has a hold on him
COMMENTER 2: @katherine.5819 she doesnt know him as well as you do!!! Mother knows best!
COMMENTER 3: @katherine.5819 he put part of his life on tv he let us see his bad side so not that I know him personally but we all seen how much of a drug addict he is and how he doesn’t care bout anything but that lifestyle…… YOU won’t even bail his ass out why? Cus u know he will f**k up again… And like I said he might be a good guy on the inside but the way his mind works and how much he is addicted to this drug I don’t see much change for him…. If he truly wanted to change and quit the drug he would take the steps while locked up there are meetings in [there] isn’t there? He would continue the help on the outside and take some type of class for his anger issues and issues in general… But from what we all seen on TV he isn’t ready to change
KATHY: I defer to you…you appear to be the “expert” here on my son and addiction. You offer simplistic suggestions to a very complicated disease. Throw in prison and it becomes even more complicated. Add leaving a prison and walking into a camera crew and set and it becomes even more so. And don’t always trust what you see on tv…because you do not know what is real and what isn’t. Trust me on that.
CAITLIN: all I want to know, is if you’ve ever dealt with any type of addiction personally? Because I have, I have walked both side of the line active addiction and active recovery, it’s definitely not as fucking simple as just waking up tomorrow and deciding to be done. Maybe it is for some people, but clearly Matt isn’t that lucky. There isn’t anyone here saying that Matt is making great choices, but they are his choices to make… I’m also not saying that any of it was fake, pretty sure we are all saying that he has an issue with meth… dude def needs some type of something, BUT! Locking him in a cage with zero treatment, obviously isn’t f**king working. Eat a cookie, tomorrow is Friday.
COMMENTER 3: @courageously_caitlin yes I actually have tbh with the same drug of choice been sober 4 years now … And I understand the struggles of being clean but again that’s y I said it’s up to the Individual and from the choices he keeps making it looks like he isn’t ready for help he is either satisfied with the lifestyle or he has given up and if that is the case it’s sad cus like I said he might be a good person on the inside but he needs to think more highly of himself and actually put in the work to get better not get upset and throw tantrums and end up in a worse situation or BACK in prison because obviously prison isn’t the answer…luckily I didn’t get as bad as ending up in prison or in trouble with the law or anything like that I just took a good look at where my life was heading when I was younger and didn’t want to live that lifestyle anymore and went cold turkey and cut off everyone that would make me back track and I kicked the addiction
CAITLIN: well, again, consider yourself lucky. I wish I could have quit drinking cold turkey, but no, that was a mess and I’m sure there’s a part of Matt that wishes he could do the same, everyone’s journey is different. Enjoy your day, and your thoughts and judgements. ???
KATHY: good for you. That’s fantastic!! I love seeing others in successful recovery. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for Matthew. Every individual is different and the game changes once the criminal justice system is involved it is a game changer. I believe trauma plays a part in substance misuse and nobody knows of the traumas my son has experienced. It’s easy to sit and make fun of him and yes, he and Caitlin signed up for the show for your viewing pleasure, but you caught such a tiny excerpt of their lives and on reality tv, to boot. Addiction is a disorder that kills. My best friend lost two beloved sons to this disease within one year of each other. I have hundreds of friends whose children and other loved ones are now dead. Good people gone far too soon, leaving families devastated for life. I personally am extensively involved in the recovery community due to my son’s drug problems. It is very real to me and the rest of Matt’s family and we are worried sick about him and pray constantly that he doesn’t die.
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com