Exclusive: Breana Symone and Karen Larrea shake up the reality dating genre in HBO Max’s My Mom, Your Dad

Breana Symone and Karen Larrea star in HBO Max’s latest reality dating series, My Mom, Your Dad. Pic credit: HBO Max

Proving that reality dating shouldn’t be limited to one demographic, HBO Max’s latest project, My Mom, Your Dad, brings love to a new generation. 

From the same producers behind Love Island and Parks and Recreation, the series brings single parents that have been nominated by their college-aged kids to what they think is a “dating boot camp”.

Unaware their adult children are down the street watching their every move through hidden cameras, the kids are also given the unique opportunity of “meddling”, fundamentally filtering who may sit at their dinner table one day. 

While mother-daughter pair Karen Larrea and Breana Symone were close before the show, this experience brought their connection to another level.

“We heard our parents play truth or dare, ” Breana explained to Monsters & Critics in an exclusive interview. “There were a lot of interesting truths, a lot of interesting dares.”

Fans can expect full transparency as this isn’t your average reality TV show. In regards to authenticity, the South Florida mom explained, “This is real life. You’re talking about people in their 40s and 50s and you’re not going to give us direction at this point.”

In a conversation with Monsters & Critics, Breana and Karen opened up over Zoom on cringe-worthy moments, romantic connections, and a possible reunion show.

Check out our full interview with Breana Symone and Karen Larrea below

Monsters & Critics: What was it about your mom’s dating life that made you want to nominate her for this process?

Breana Symone:  A lot [laughs]. She puts those rose-colored glasses on, you know what I mean? 

Karen Larrea: Don’t we all? 

Breana Symone: But, they get glued on to her face [and] that’s the problem. So I needed HBO Max to help.

M&C: You were giving her advice, but she didn’t know it was coming from you. 

Breana Symone: No, not at all.

Karen Larrea: We had no idea, for a second, the parents thought, could this be our kids? And we were like no, the producers would not do this, they wouldn’t do this.

M&C: What was your reaction when you found out your daughter signed you up for this?

Karen Larrea: When she first signed us up, I first told her no. I told her no, I’m not doing this. This is crazy, it’s probably not even legitimate. She’s like ‘Mom, let’s just do it, we’re not going to get chosen anyways’.

So out of thousands that applied for this, one phone call became two to three, then Zoom meetings, then meeting with producers and it was basically on a Thursday saying ‘pack you’re leaving Monday to Los Angeles’ and it was that quick. It was exciting and thrilling. I was like, okay I’ve done the online dating, I’m done with the friends setting me up and family setting me up with different men, why not national television? 

M&C: So obviously watching your parents date can get a little awkward. What kind of cringeworthy moments can you tease for viewers this season?

Breana Symone: We heard our parents play truth or dare… There were [some] interesting truths, a lot of interesting dares.

Karen Larrea: And honestly I’m gonna tell you, when they told us that surprise of the children are the dating consultants, literally in my head, it was like a movie. Like what did I say, oh my goodness? It was that cringe-worthy for the parents. 

M&C: That’s crazy to find out, hey my daughter was watching me in the Romance room. 

Karen Larrea: Oh my goodness literally! I’m telling you, it was a movie in my head and I went back as much as I could remember as to what did I do, what did I say? Oh my gosh, she saw how I date. And you know, you act different with people that you date then how you act with your children. 

M&C: How has your relationship changed since leaving the show?

Breana Symone: We’ve gotten a lot closer. I think learning a lot about your mom and seeing her in a different light, makes us relate a lot. Because I’m in my 20s and I’m dating around and then I see her, she’s just like me trying to date around. It just made us humanized to the same level where you put your parents on this pedestal but she’s just a human like me.

Karen Larrea: We’ve always had a great mother-daughter relationship always, [so] this only brought together and stronger even more. Like she just said, she saw me [on dates], I would explain things prior like when I would go on dates and she would just like roll her eyes, now she’s like, oh okay, I get it now mom.

M&C: What are you most excited for viewers to see this season? 

Breana Symone: Just to meet everybody, and to experience the whole family that we spent three, five weeks getting to know. It’s just amazing to see this thing that we worked on last summer and wow it’s out now, which is crazy. Because, it’s like oh it’s just a memory, but it’s like no, I can watch it back.

Karen Larrea: What’s good about it is watching it now is that authentically is us. What you see is actually us. Yes, reality shows, you know portions are scripted and stuff, like no, this is us, this is real life. You’re talking about people in their 40s and 50s and you’re not going to give us direction at this point. 

That just us putting our heart on the line, being vulnerable, letting our walls down and what you see is what you get on there. And how respectful, how loving, how the children really wanted the best for their parents, I think is really nice as well. They only wanted good things for their parents.

*Warnings spoilers ahead*

M&C: Obviously we want updates on all the couples! Karen, you left in a relationship, what do we know about an upcoming reunion?

Karen Larrea: We are hoping for a reunion. All the cast has been getting messages and tweets and DMs asking, listen, we need an update. We need to know what happened, what’s going on? So we’re hoping for a reunion.

We can’t make that happen, only HBO Max can make that happen. We’re just telling our viewers and fans, listen, how the kids had control of our dating strings, you have control of making that reunion happen. Definitely reach out to HBO Max and ITV and push for that reunion. We definitely have a lot to talk about. 

Check out our other interviews with the first lady of the Black Mafia Family, Tonesa Welch, and Grammy-nominated producer Stevie J.

My Mom, Your Dad is currently streaming on HBO Max

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