Switched at Birth


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[Image from wikipedia.org]

Imagine this: for sixteen years, you have felt like the odd duck in your family and have always wondered why you felt so different. You ask your parents if you could get a DNA test, and they begrudgingly accept, only to find that you are not their biological child. When your parents request to meet their biological child, they find that they are living on the other side of the tracks. Oh, and they’re Deaf.

Sounds crazy, right?

For Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano, The Clique), Daphne Velasquez (Katie LeClerc, Veronica Mars), and their families, it’s a reality.

Switched at Birth follows the lives of two very different families as their lives are thrown together after Bay requests a DNA test. Bay and her family, the Kennishes, are one of the wealthiest families in town, and Daphne, her mother, and her grandmother, come from a drastically different lifestyle. As the two families begin to merge and overlap, parenting styles come into question, petty drama over relationships are set into motion, and privileges are called out.

[image from 141tv.com]

While the two families try to work things out, a rivalry is formed between Bay and Daphne, as the two find themselves vying for the love of the same guy, Daphne’s best friend, Emmett (played by Sean Berdy, The Sandlot 2). To make things even worse, Bay’s brother Toby (Lucas Grabeel, High School Musical series) begins dating her ex-friend, Simone. Simone, who is also Daphne’s new best friend. Of course, drama ensues.

Apart from the over-the-top drama that the show has, Switched at Birth is one of the most thought-provoking shows on television for several reasons; specifically, the conversation between Daphne’s mother and her biological parents regarding their contrasting lifestyles. “Hearing privilege”, the term used for those who are not deaf or hard of hearing, is discussed frequently, especially between the two families. American Sign Language is used in the show, and there are discussions regarding deaf culture. Other privileges, especially socioeconomic privileges, are called out and not in a way that sounds preachy, or gives the episode an After-School Special feel.

Smart, funny, and thought provoking, ABC Family’s Switched at Birth is one of the best family dramas on TV right now.

Switched at Birth also stars Marlee Matlin, Constance Marie, and Lea Thompson. The show returns with to wrap up season one on September 3 with an all-day marathon, followed by a new episode at 9/8c. It is also available for instant streaming on Netflix and Hulu.

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Comments

  1. This show is so awesome because it shows us a handicap that doesn’t get talked about much on TV. I think it’s really important to bring these types of things to light on popular media because we aren’t all the same. Switched At Birth does this in a classy and current style. It’s part of the reason why I’m so excited for this show to be back on the air this Monday. I’ve already got my Hopper set to record the remaining episodes and since I’ll be working at Dish when it airs, I know that when I get home I’ll be able to see what I’ve missed. The only thing I’d like this show to do is focus more on Daphne and not so much on Bay. I love both characters but I just feel like they are leaning in Bay’s direction more often.

    • Carina Browder says:

      I feel the same way you do about Bay. I kept getting annoyed with her in the last few episodes because she kept bringing the focus back to herself when it wasn’t about her. I’ve seen spoilers that Daphne’s getting a new storyline regarding her cooking, but I can’t be too sure until it comes back Monday.
      Thanks for commenting!

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