TV Show Review: Switched At Birth

Vanessa Marano

Vanessa Marano plays Bay Kennish, one of the girls who was "switched at birth" in the show of the same name.
Vanessa Marano plays Bay Kennish, one of the girls who was "switched at birth" in the show of the same name. | Source

Switched At Birth Is A New Show To Me

When the character, Bay Kennish, from the show, Switched At Birth, feels like an alien in her own family, she has no idea that she actually is in the wrong family! When she discovers that she is in the "wrong" family, and was switched at birth, her feeling of alienation makes much more sense.

The slightly eccentric, artistic teenager finds out that her family actually took home the wrong baby at the hospital and that explains why she's different than the rest of her brood.

Switched at Birth, produced on the channel ABC Spark in Canada is new to me. Like many shows, I discovered it late. Canada only recently began airing this channel, which airs as ABC Family in the USA. The program will be going into its second season in January of 2013.

Impressively, the show has received numerous honours in its first season, including winning an award for Television Critics Association for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming, and being nominated for four Teen Choice Awards.

The show has some big names associated with it, as well. The character of Kathryn Kennish is played by Lea Thompson, who is perhaps best known for her role as Lorraine in Back to the Future, but whose face is familiar to most of us.

Regina Vasquez, played by Constance Marie, is best known for her role as Angie Lopez in the show, George Lopez. And perhaps the most familiar face of all, Marlee Matlin, who is an Academy Awarding Winning Actress who also happens to be deaf. She recently appeared in the public eye as the runner-up in the show, Celebrity Apprentice.



Katie LeClerc

Katie LeClerc plays one of the girls who was "switched at birth" in the show by the same name.
Katie LeClerc plays one of the girls who was "switched at birth" in the show by the same name. | Source

Confused Family Relationships

Although the premise might sound a bit goofy and far-fetched, it is anything but goofy in its execution. Neither is the series overly earnest, like a Hallmark movie. As unrealistic the premise might sound on paper, the show itself is very gritty and real.

The series deals with real social issues that affect teens and families. First of all, the issue of confused family relationships occurs frequently in our society with divorce and the subsequent stepfamilies that are created afterwards. Children are often torn between loving their parents and stepparents, and being forced to figure out who their "real mother or father" is.

And the issues of identity that Bay and Daphne are dealing with are issues that all teens have to deal with: figuring out who they are, and how they can separate from their family to become their own person. The unusual family circumstances only serve to accentuate and intensify these common adolescent concerns.



Deaf Culture: Being a Minority

The other thing that is real is the issue of deaf culture and all of the issues that come along with this. The thing is, many of the issues that deaf children deal with are issues that any child or person in a minority deal with.

The show demonstrates how people make assumptions about those who cannot hear. Some examples from the episodes are that when they first meet some of the non-hearing characters, they talk loudly and slowly.

Deciding how much to integrate and how to preserve your culture is an issue that affects minorities of all types, not just the deaf community. Daphne must decide if she is going to go to a regular hearing school, or remain in the more cloistered deaf school that she has become accustomed to.



Great Dialogue And Realistic Characters

I love the dialogue in this television series. I find that the conversations between the characters are realistic and well-written. Each individual character is portrayed with depth and understanding. There is humour but it is not done for the sake of a cheap laugh, but rather flows out of the honest rendering of the characters.

The teen characters are not done as caricatures, and seem very real to life. The mom and dad on both sides are real, in the way they make frequent mistakes and are lost as to what to do next. The situations they find themselves in also reflect real life, including depression, criminal activity, addictions and rebellion. But easy answers are not offered. Instead we see the real grappling that real life entails.



How Do You Like This Show?

4 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Switched At Birth

I Recommend "Switched At Birth"

I would recommend this television show, and give it a five out of five. It is one of the best shows I have seen on t.v. for a long time. Although it might be considered a "teen show," I think it appeals to people of all ages. The acting is excellent and the dialogue is realistic. I cannot wait to see what happens next season. And I highly recommend this show to the readers.

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Comments 20 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good to see a new hub from you my busy teaching friend! I hope that new job is everything you were hoping for. Holidays are almost here, so you can rest up for a little while.

I don't have a tv, so there is no reason for me to comment on this show, but great review. :)

Best wishes,

bill


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Bill, so nice to hear from you, my friend! It's been a crazy week there in the States. Thanks so much for the quick response, even though you don't have a t.v.! Yes, the job is going fairly well but feel overwhelmed at the moment. The holidays will be a wonderful break. I hope you and yours are doing well. Take care!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

What an interesting review of this TV show. I have not seen it, but it really sounds very interesting. Excellent write.

Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful.

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


mpropp profile image

mpropp 4 years ago from Minnesota

I haven't seen the show, but it sounds like it would be well-worth checking it out. You wrote an excellent review, very nice job.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Congrats on winning the daily draw in the Rigorous Review Contest on this great hub.

I haven't watched this show yet, but it sounds like something I would like.

I recently watched a true documentary about a real baby that was stollen from a hospital and grew up thinking the woman who stole her was her biological mother. As a teenager she discovered the truth and it caused a lot of issues for the girl and both her biological family and the family she grew up with, so I guess this show's premise is more plausible than it seems.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Great review and well done on the win. I hope we get to see this in the UK soon.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

From what you have shared, it looks like this series is a good watch. Marano is sucha beautiful young lady, and it is nice to know that she is adding to her talent. Thanks for the review.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Nice review! And congrats on your win! :-)


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Faith Reaper, thanks so much for the comment. I think you'd like the show. Have a great day!

@Mpropp, I do think it's an excellent program. Thanks so much for the comment. Have a good day!

@Happy Boomer Nurse, that's interesting. Perhaps that is where they got the idea for the show. The situation would be very difficult for those involved. Thank you so much for the congratulations. Take care!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Jools, thank you so much. It was so exciting to win. It is such a good show. I can definitely see this going overseas. Have a great night!

@teaches, Marano certainly is a beautiful young lady and very talented. Thanks so much for the comment and have a wonderful evening!

@Victoria, thank you so much for the congrats. It was fun to write. Have a great night and nice to "see" you!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I've never heard of this show but definitely want to see it. What a fascinating premise. Since we often work with the deaf community, the plight of Daphne is a real one. Thank you for sharing!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Vespawoolf, if you are involved with the deaf community, you will definitely want to check this out. It has taught me a lot about this community, and I am sure you will relate! Thanks for the comment.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

How surprising you had to introduce me to a show I should have known about. Guess I am one of those who thought of it as a teen show. Your insight and interesting review leaves me wanting to check it out!

Voted up useful, and interesting.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Till, I hope you enjoy the show and I'm glad to introduce you to something new. Thanks for your lovely comment, and have a wonderful day!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend great interesting article, wish i could say more but i don't watch TV any more so i never seen this show.

Vote up and more !!! Have a great week my friend !


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Kashmir, thanks for the comment. That's great that you stay away from the boob tube. Lots of junk, although this is one of the good shows. Cheers, and nice to see you again!


Breanne Ginsburg profile image

Breanne Ginsburg 23 months ago

I agree that Switched at Birth is a great show! I must admit that Bay can be an annoying character at times, but other than that, I really enjoy watching it. The show can be very touching as well.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 23 months ago from Canada Author

Breanne, it's so nice to meet a fellow fan of the show! I can't wait for this next season to come out. Thanks for the comment.


Breanne Ginsburg profile image

Breanne Ginsburg 23 months ago

No problem! I haven't seen it since the episode where Bay went to jail for Daphne so I have no idea what's been going on! Anyway, I'd have to say that Daphne's my favorite out of the two girls.


Besarien profile image

Besarien 10 months ago

Hi prairieprincess! This is a well-written and thoughtful review. Getting switched is probably less a problem these days with DNA tests and better procedures, but has been known to happen both temporarily and permanently in the real world. On a side note, my husband grew up feeling like he had been switched or was somehow a changeling or an alien. He found out later as an adult that he had Asperger's. I think feeling like the outsider or fish out of water is something many people can relate to really well for one reason or another.

We don't watch much TV, especially as it is airing, but marathons do happen from time to time, watching whole seasons if the show interests at least two of us. This is how we watched Breaking Bad and most of Downton Abbey for example.

This show sounds really intriguing. I am a huge fan of good acting and clever dialogue. For me, any kind of a TV show that has those elements is definitely worth checking out on the odd movie night. I will let you know if we get hooked. Thanks for the recommendation!

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