Did anyone else watch Switched at Birth? ABC Family isn’t one of my go-to stations (since Greek ended, that is) but when I saw a teaser for the show I had to check it out. I was hooked pretty quickly.
The title of the show gives away my surprise here, but the two main characters were switched at birth. *Gasp.* It comes to light when Bay discovers in school that she doesn’t have the same blood type as her parents.
Do schools actually ever do blood typing? Isn’t it a common plot that people find out they are adopted this way? We never did this in my school. Maybe I’m adopted. Mom? Dad? Can you confirm in the comments section please?
Anyway, we soon meet the other girl, Daphne. And the twist…she’s deaf. So in addition to the drama of the switch, there are communication barriers, at least at first.
Bay’s family is wealthy and she grew up wanting little. Her mom was a sweet, stay at home mom, her dad a professional baseball player, and she was close to her older brother. A perfect little life. No one questioned where she got her artistic abilities. Or why she was Puerto Rican.
Daphne grew up in a tougher situation. She lost her hearing at the age of three to meningitis, causing her dad to leave. Daphne and her mom, Regina, lived in a rough neighborhood and struggled for money. Also, Regina is a recovered alcoholic and a Puerto Rican artist. Hmmmm.
Bay’s family decides to let Regina and Daphne move into their guest house. The families experience all the normal things: anger, confusion, growing pains, mourning over missed years with their biological daughters, etc. In addition to that, there’s plenty of normal teenage dating drama. But what I really love about the show is how it slips into subtitles during the sign language portion. It’s such an elegant transition and I notice that there is always pleasant white noise in the background, like chirping birds or running water.
Groundbreaking deaf actress Marlee Matlin plays the mother of Daphne’s best friend, Emmett. She’s so effortless on screen and it’s nice to see her interacting with talented young deaf actors. As the only household name in deaf acting for so long, she must be thrilled to hep make that circle wider.
All of the characters are flawed, sympathetic and inherently good. The story moves rather quickly and changes often. ABC Family does their seasons in a weird way, so the final ten episodes will show later this year in “Volume 3.” You have plenty of time to catch up on the first two volumes and get on board.