Tag Archives: new family drama

This Is What a Family Looks Like

So, I will now be watching two “young adult” shows on ABC-Family. Switched at Birth was a guilty pleasure that turned out to be a justifiably great show.  The summer premiere is next week. Yay! The Fosters, is a new family drama, with a too-cute name. It’s the story of a family, two moms, the biological son from a previous relationship, two adopted kids and the new foster girl. The way I figure it, if it pisses off the so-called “One Million Moms,” it deserves a chance. That’s why I shop at JC Penney.

Having briefly worked on the outskirts of the foster care system in Vermont, I find the premise not unrealistic. I’ve met families like these – adults who’ve built families by taking in kids that need them, and often spend their working lives serving the community as well. In this case, one mom is a cop, and the other a vice-principal at the bestest charter school ever.

The pilot throws a few curve balls. One mom is black, the other white. The adopted kids are Latino twins – Jesus and Mariana. Jesus takes medication, and though it’s not stated, it seems to be for ADHD. Mariana is “the good one,” but she has some secrets. Brandon, Stef the cop’s biological son, is a talented musician, the oldest, and an understated hottie. His girlfriend is a bit uh possessive, or maybe just a run of the mill mean girl. All of them go to a magical charter school on the beach (!) where teachers go by their first names, and the cafeteria is probably organic. Callie, the new girl, was recently sprung from  juvie, but by the end of the pilot, we find out she landed there trying to protect her cross-dressing kid brother. And just to throw more into the mix, for no good reason, other than “family drama” Stef’s new work partner is her ex-husband, Brandon’s father.

The acting is good, and the writing has a bit of depth. I was impressed by one scene with Stef’s boss, where a bunch of stuff about their relationship — including its boundaries, was nicely implied. That had to have been thrown in for the adults. Nice touch.

I wonder if they’ll make having two moms seem as cool as being deaf? All I know is if I were Callie and I landed at that school, I’d do just about anything to stay. At one point, Stef talks to Lena about making space for the growing brood and says, “We’re not The Brady Bunch.” But really, given how functional this blend is, they aren’t very far from it.

I’d say ABC has another show families can watch together, and even olds like me can enjoy. If you don’t have cable or missed it, you can check it out here, free and legal, and/or watch this trailer:

(Enjoy this review? Isn’t it strange that Marion, who loves these sappy television shows writes hard-hitting transgressive fiction?)