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Family relationships were the focus of this week’s My Generation. Footage of the graduates from 2000 (and earlier) interspersed with current filming and interviews show how much parental guidance or absence affects the characters.
Steven tries to build a relationship with his son, but is haunted by memories (displayed through home movies) of his older brother RJ and his father’s militant parenting. The documentary crew interviews his father in prison and find out about his older brother for the first time. His father’s determination to make his children “live up to their potential” may have caused his oldest son to run away. Steven’s father denies any wrongdoing as a parent, but isn’t happy when he hears about Steven’s current job as a bartender. After a successful play date with his son Tom, Steven finally opens up to his mom about his son and his brother; however, she is unwilling to talk about it in front of a camera crew.
Dawn and her brother dealt with being abandoned by their father as children, as well as losing their mother when she checked into a mental institution while Dawn was in high school. Having to support her brother, Dawn dropped out of high school. Her childhood has made her overly concerned with providing a stable environment for her baby, but without a job, a home, or a husband in the same country, Dawn feels like she is failing as mother.
Brenda returns to Austin because of her mother’s stroke and runs into Jackie at the hospital. When Jackie relays this information to Anders, he drives by her home in hopes of seeing her, but ends up only sending her flowers with a note saying, “Whatever you need.”