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'Generation Cryo': not typical MTV fare

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The same network that has brought us “Jersey Shore,” “Snooki & Jwoww,” and “Teen Mom” now has spawned “Generation Cyro.”

This latest controversial show explores the issues faced by a new generation of kids coming of age who were conceived via anonymous sperm donors.

The series follows17-year-old Breeanna throughout her journey to meet her 15 half-siblings and uncover the identity of her father, only known as Donor #1096.

Quite predictably the subject of what truly constitutes a family is explored, but it’s the reactions of all who become involved in Breeanna’s quest that make this series more than just standard MTV fare.

Some of the half-siblings agree to assist Breeanna in finding donor #1096, while others are adamantly against it. Interestingly, almost all set limits of how far they’re willing to go in the process.

But it’s not just the kids (all fifteen are between ages 17 and 20) that have strong opinions about unveiling the anonymous donor. Much of the most interesting personal interaction comes when the kids talk with their parents, particularly their non-biological fathers, about how they feel about the pursuit of the donor. In fact, the fathers who appear on the show are very open about their thoughts and feelings, freely expressing their emotions about this touchy subject. This display truly elevates this series from just another documentary about unique young people struggling to (literally) find their identity to a must see for all families, no matter their make-up.

On the downside, as Breeanna uses her personal video diary to talk directly to the donor, one can’t help but wonder if this is all a kind of set-up; if the donor is already involved and had already agreed to having his identity unveiled prior to the start of production on this show. But, whether that’s the case or not, the mystery of whether it will actually happen really takes nothing away from the emotional journey of all involved.

In actuality, whether the donor makes an appearance or not, this subject matter is compelling enough to sustain the show. Viewers seemed divided on the concept as evidenced by a poll on the MTV website that asks, “Is it immoral for Donor 1096’s kids to search for him?” As of right now, the results of the poll indicate that 51% of the voters feel that the kids should not search for the donor, but that figure means 49% are ok with process; so it’s roughly a 50/50 split.

Whatever your thoughts on this subject matter, “Generation Cyro” is worth watching as this is an ethical issue that no matter how society feels about it will continue to be a topic of discussion as long as the procedure of sperm donation continues.

“Generation Cyro” airs Mondays at 10e/9c on MTV.

Previous episodes are available at MTV.com.

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