switched at birth season one

‘Switched at Birth’ is a Surprisingly Good Drama: Season One

February 21, 2020 22 Comments

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.

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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.

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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. 

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Switched at Birth Season One (Volume One) digitally on Amazon Video or on (Volume One) DVD.

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
‘Switched at Birth’ Season One is a Surprisingly Good Drama. A TV review of the 2011 ABC Family show with Vanessa Marano. Text © Rissi JC

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).

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Trinka January 26, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Ehhh…it sounds interesting… but because it's on ABC Family I'm thinking I won't watch it. Most of ABS Family's shows are most definitely *not* family friendly :P
    But the signing sounds really interesting to me :) I've been off and on obsessed with ASL since I was probably ten. This was a great review!

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com January 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Great review. I've been really curious about this premise horrifies and fascinates me.

  • Rissi January 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Trinka – totally agree with you about ABC Family Channel not living up to their name. I see a lot of their "original" movies, and although they are usually really cute, they are NOT family-friendly. =)

    Thanks – glad you enjoyed this review. I really wound up liking the show, despite its flaws.

    Juju – thanks. this was a great show. I liked it a LOT more than I thought – and the moments that are meant to be emotional seem so genuine even if it does get caught up in the teen love triangles on occasion, still it is sweet. =)

  • Trinka January 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Hey, Rissi! :) I awarded/tagged you! :)

  • Rissi January 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Thank you, girl – that was awesome of you! =)

  • Ella January 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I have awarded you an Irresitibily sweet blog award!

  • Rissi January 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Thanks, Ella! That was awesome of you!

  • Anonymous January 28, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    I'm not a fan of ABC Family shows, but I really enjoy this one.

  • Rissi January 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    This is the first show I've seen from ABC Family but I watch their "original movies" if they release to DVD – and I've found some jewels. This show is really good, and I hope that trend continues.

  • Anonymous February 5, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    ABC does have some good movies. =}

    What do you think of Bay? I have to admit, she gets on my nerves a bit.

  • Rissi February 5, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    I know, right!? My mom and I saw Revenge of the Bridesmaids and couldn't stop laughing through the entire hour-and-a-half. It was TOO funny. =D I am now somewhat curious about Cyberbully; it could be good.

    Bay… actually by the end of "volume one," she had become a better person of character and Daphne had become the more "difficult" one. Being raised with anything she wanted did kind of enable Bay to be a bit of a spoiled brat but last I saw of her, I was more impressed with her than Daphne. (Looking forward to the rest of S1.) My mom really likes Kathryn and I find her to be the most logical, understanding one of the bunch. In truth, John gets on my nerves – a lot.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    I recently watched My Fake Fiance. Too funny. =}

    I thought Bay's comment about Angelo not waiting to be with Daphne doesn't men he wouldn't want to be with Bay, was just hateful. Plus,I'm not really into the whole poor little rich girl story line either.

    Kathryn has a fun story line this season. I'm really enjoying it. =} And John, what a jerk. lol He has greatly improved this season though. There was a scene between him and Daphne in the last ep that was beautiful.

  • Rissi February 7, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    I saw that movie, too, Jen. It was really cute even though I am not a huge fan of either of its stars – you've reminded me that I should watch it again 'cause it was awfully cute. =D

    Yep, that conversation was mean on Bay's part. If memory serves me correctly, she did apologize and now Daphne isn't about to "give up" Emmett. So… I think they both need to learn how to be nicer with each other – and in my opinion, Daphne had really changed last I saw of her. (Glad to know she and John have a "moment" that is so sweet – love those!)

    Kathryn… oh, that sounds like fun. =) I'll be on the look-out for that subplot.

  • Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    It is a cute movie. It wouldn't win any awards, but it's fun. =D

    I agree, they need to be nicer to each other. The past few eps have been moving in that direction.I'm just not a huge fan of Bay, probably will never be a big fan. =/

    Have you checked out Make It Or Break It? That is some drama. lol

  • Rissi February 9, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    So true – none of ABC Family Channel's films are exactly award-worthy but they are very entertaining. =)

    Both girls have a lot of growing up to do, but given that they are only 16, I think viewers can give them a bit of a break. I am really happy to know that their relationship is getting better. If nothing else would, that alone is reason to check out the next episodes. That is what makes a show so fun; picking out favorite characters and watching them grow. I might completely change my mind about Bay but last I saw of her, I felt she had matured in comparison to the girl who snuck out to "paint."

    No, I've not seen Make it or Break It. I have wondered about it but have not watched any episodes…

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    I know there are more BC films I like but I can't think of them right now. Too tired. =/

    Make it or Break It is interesting, not the greatest acting but enjoyable.

  • Rissi February 11, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Cool! I'll have to rent that show sometime – I do like to occasionally watch gymnastics on TV and did once rent a film that centered on the sport. The name escapes me just now but I now it [the name] was a certain technique in gymnastics. =)

  • Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    If you enjoy gymnastics you would probably enjoy MIOBI. =D

  • Rissi February 14, 2012 at 4:44 AM

    Awesome! Thanks, Jen. =)

  • […] it that caught my eye not the least of which was its leading lady. Since I’ve seen Katie in Switched at Birth, the prospect of seeing her in something completely different than a teen drama is exciting! As […]

  • […] the past month I watched the first half of Switched at Birth. In it, two families discover their daughters were switched, and for sixteen years, they raise a […]

  • […] 11: Kathryn Kennish and Regina Vasequez (from Switched at Birth) […]

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