Sunday, December 1, 2013

Generation Cryo: My Thoughts/Review of the First Episode

I finally got a chance to watch Generation Cryo on MTV, which tracks 17 year old Breeanna's journey to find the 15 brothers and sisters she's gained through her dad being a sperm donor.

Like her siblings, Breeanna was conceived when her parents decided to get pregnant via a sperm donor. In Breeanna's case, her parents were lesbians. One parent is her biological mom and her other is not. Her parents split up when she was young, and while she's close with both parents, she currently lives with her non-biological mother.

At seventeen years old, Breeanna is on a mission to meet all of her half siblings. On this episode, she met Jonah and Hilit, who are full siblings to each other (biological mom and sperm donor dad). In their situation, their father was unable to produce sperm to impregnate their mom, so they went to a sperm donor to have a family.

Breeanna's interaction with the family proved to be quite interesting in some cases, while being mundane in others (much like real life). The sibling interactions were pretty standard (let's eat bagels, let's do our nails, let's go to a party that MTV probably staged...) but the parent interactions were fascinating.

Hilit and Jonah's mom straight up told the cameras about their dad's inability to produce sperm. And she did not do it subtly. She said something along the lines of "not a sperm in sight", which I'm sure did not go over well when the dad saw it on TV.

Image of Breeanna from HollywoodReporter.com
The other truly interesting part of the episode is when Breeanna and Jonah had to ask the parents if they could send Jonah's DNA cheek swab (Breeanna asked him to do it because she needed male DNA) to a lab to try to find their biological father. Eric, Hilit and Jonah's dad, seemed totally against it at first, seemingly due to his insecurities about not being his kids' bio-dad. On the other hand, Teri, Hilit and Jonah's mom, was all about it, citing that she'd love to meet their bio-dad so she can understand her kids better. It's also important to note here that Hilit and Jonah referenced meeting some of their bio-siblings before, so as emotional as their dad was about maintaining their bio-family, he did let Breeanna in their home and was open to his underage kids (they're 17) meeting their siblings.

Other parts of the show were pretty mundane, like Breeanna asking her parents' permission to travel to meet her siblings and meet her bio-dad, primarily because that part had to be staged. I mean, MTV cameras don't just follow a 17 year old around with a camera without her parents' permission in hopes that they'll agree to let her film the show that they're already filming.

Here are some interesting pieces from / my thoughts on the show:

- One of Breeanna's moms remained a lesbian while the other did not, and one blames the other for Breeanna being a lesbian.
- It was super creepy when Breeanna and Jonah talked about what they like when they hook up with people. I guess it wasn't that weird, but it was strange that siblings that just met discussing their  mating habits on camera...on a show that their parents are sure to watch.
- This show is interesting but a bit dragged out. Breeanna's got a great idea with what she's doing, but because she likely wasn't cast by MTV to be a 'character' (like Snooki or those types) the show isn't gripping. Like, I could walk away for ten minutes and pick back up without feeling like I missed something incredible.
- The best part of Generation Cryo is learning about the similarities between the siblings and seeing how they and their parents feel about the siblings meeting and their quest to find the sperm donor. For example, Breeanna really wants to find him whereas Hilit seems to barely care. And no one seems to want to make him part of the family - those who want to know just want to know.
- I wonder how the sperm donor feels about the show and if we'll find out. It must be interesting to have a show focused on you, even if you take no part in it.
- I would be willing to bet that MTV didn't come up with the idea of this show. If anything, Bree's family contacted MTV to film it, or someone at MTV met Bree's family and went about convincing the executive team to give it a go. Why? Primarily because this seems like an idea Breeanna had way before the cameras followed her around, and because MTV must be paying for all of Bree's travel, so she probably saw this funding as a way to make her dream come true.
- The show is good. Not terribly exciting (very raw and real for MTV), definitely partially staged, and worth seeing through because there are a finite number of episodes (unless MTV plans to show more reunions as the siblings get to know each other). That being said, if your TV schedule is pretty full already, this show's not exciting enough to bump another one out of the way.

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