Once, a network that consistently produced sappy, but sometimes sweet TV series, ABC Family (as they were then known), picked up Switched at Birth Season One. It’s a typical teen drama, but is also something a little more than the “usual” dramedy. Read on to find out what approach Switched at Birth takes to an out-of-the-ordinary concept.
Switched at Birth Season One, Volume One (2011) TV Review
It starts out as nothing more than a simple science project, and practical jokes (including one that mom had an affair!) between Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) and her close-knit family. Science class shouldn’t hold a potential to change the life of a sixteen-year-old, but that is exactly what Bay’s does when the class project comes back with the result that her blood type in not the same as her parents, John and Kathryn (D.W. Moffat, Lea Thompson) or her brother Toby (Lukas Grabeel).
This leads the family to ask hard questions, questions that result in the truth that Bay is not their biological daughter. Their discovery sends them to meet single mother Regina Vasquez (Constance Marie) and their biological daughter, Daphne (Katie Leclerc). In the face of this revelation, the Kennish family embraces the idea of Daphne entering their family all without considering the feelings of the two young women they love; one they raised, and another they instantly love.
While this show goes through ups and does for the characters and this situation, another challenge is Daphne being deaf, a disability she has worked hard to overcome. Since I was a teen, I have been fascinated with ASL. Don’t ask me why as there was no personal reason for this. All I know is the alphabet (which I can no longer remember), and that lingering interest.
Conflict and drama, sorrow and forgiveness the basic patterns that volume one of this freshman seasonal show follows. The first two episodes of this show are beautiful, and it’s for good reason. They never stray off the path of being overly sappy nor do they abuse the platform as a teen drama. Instead these episodes allow the characters to be the heart without getting all caught up in the usual teen drama like boyfriends and curfew. Of course, like anything, the scripts shift, and all of this eventually does make an appearance, but this is the first non-crime drama that really pulls me in.
Volume one consists of ten episodes and the writing builds wonderful chemistry between the characters and its subplots. It also boasts some intrigue with a sprinkling of mystery here and there; the kind that makes you want to pop in the next episode just to see where it leads.
If you prefer television that’s of a mindset that challenges, Switched at Birth Season One (Volume One) might not be your cup of tea; but if you are willing to overlook a few flaws, this show does have potential. The acting is really good, not to mention the fact that the kids were are cast to resemble their on-screen parents. Many of the emotionally-charged scenes came across with genuine emotions, which all envelop us in their sorrow.
Bottom line, the show is an interesting concept that I hope writers realize is special, and do not waste it… because if they do, it will be a shame.
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Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.‘Switched at Birth’ Season One is a Surprisingly Good Drama. A TV review of the 2011 ABC Family show with Vanessa Marano. #TVShow #Throwback Click To Tweet
CONTENT: this show is TV14 because of a handful of near-sexual encounters between teenagers; two of them progress to some lip-locks and removal of clothing [one of which in the back of a car]. [Some minor innuendo is present.] Parents worry that their kids are intimate with boyfriends. Some minor profanity pops up here and there but nothing worse than an OMG or sh*t. Lying comes easily for some characters; and characters who are addicts (alcohol and gambling).