Not only is Switched at Birth (one of) the best family show out there right now, but it's also easily one of the best standalone shows. The concept of the hearing world clashing with the deaf/non-hearing world is truly original and riveting. After the premise, I knew the show had great potential to captivate/hook viewers, but then again it could be disappointing if they wasted such a great concept by taking wrong turns. And fortunately enough, I was taken by surprise.
I have not seen an ABC family show or let alone an American TV show that discusses the values of family and the purity of relationships since Gilmore Girls. Though, I'll admit that I rarely watch American shows anymore, simply because most of the series nowadays are atrocious. Shows like, Gossip Girls and Sweet Life are only about teens yearning to satisfy their hormonal/whiny needs. Their characters are two-dimensional cardboards and the story lines are abysmal or they fall flat overall. Even though Pretty Little Liars doesn't fall under the same category as the two shows mentioned above, the main plot line is extremely unrealistic. The characters are stagnant or they develop in ways where you don't feel emotionally invested in them. They're just actors glamoured up with pretty/trendy clothes. I'm tired of the unnecessary suspense and how unrealistically they react to certain dilemmas.
Switched at Birth has so much more heart and soul then all of those shows combined. Nonetheless, I admit that those were my once upon a time guilty pleasure. After viewing Switched at Birth, I feel shameful for even admitting that.
The Switched at Birth's pilot episode was engaging and refreshing. It got me hooked from the get to, but the first episode can easily work that kind of magic on me. However, this unique show gets better and better with every passing episode. I must applaud the people who have created this show because the pacing of the branching story lines is almost perfect (aside from all the love interests coming and going so quickly). There are also moments where you fear that certain situations will unfold only resolve in preachy manners. But no, that never happens. The resolutions of dramatic problems are heart-warming and endearing to the point where you can forget that you're watching an ABC family show.
The storyline is simple, but the emotional impact that is tossed at you is what makes this drama addicting. The storyline never goes in loops or stretch for too long. You grow to care for these fictional characters that feel real. What I admire about these characters is that they make understandable/close to realistic decisions that don't make viewers mad.
Every single character that ARE STILL ON THE SHOW has remained interesting thus far! I usually get bored from subplots like the parents' storyline for example, but no, I enjoy them just as much as Bay and Daphne's stories.
The characters are well developed so far. Their personalities don't change 180 degrees like a lot of teenage shows do. They stay true to who they are or at least when they change/adjust, it's believable. Each character is important because they all link to each other in some way. I enjoy how friendships/relationships form because they don't feel forced, but instead they seem genuine.
On the other hand, they have literally picked amazing actors to portray these well written roles because every single actor seamlessly fit into the role that you forget they're even entertainers at times. It is obvious that the real life deaf actors are the main reason why this show shines. If it weren't for them, I don't think the show would have been as amazing. Katie Lerclerc, Sean Berdy and Marlee Matlin are the ones who bring the scenes to life. You get to see their perspectives and how they feel/view the hearing world. I am no expert on the deaf world, but after watching just 10 episodes, I definitely want to learn more. They make me feel ignorant for lacking knowledge and missing out on this beautiful culture. If a show is able to get you to this level, then it must be a very, VERY good show.
Daphne, who is played by Katie Leclerc, is my favourite character. Sometimes I forget that Katie is not completely deaf because she seems so natural. Her voice/accent change is incredible. Moreover, when the deaf people interact with one another, they steal the screen. I adore Sean and Marlee's characters' bonding.
I especially love Regina out of all the hearing characters. Constance Marie, the actress who plays Regina, is doing a phenomenal job of being the only character standing on the edge of both worlds. I really feel for her character's struggle. Lea Thompson and D.W Moffett who plays Vanessa Marano's parents on the show can be quite stereotypical American parents. Needless to say, they are essential to the development of other characters. They're just not the hardest roles to play. I still enjoy them a lot. Bay and Toby who are played by Vanessa Marano and Lucas Grabeel are also solid actors. I've seen Vanessa on Gilmore Girls before. Vanessa still acts the same way, except less annoying. I don't see a huge improvement, but she definitely got better in conveying her emotions. Nevertheless, her character grows on you by every episode. I've never seen Lucas in previous projects, but he's one the characters on the show that can deliver witty one-liners. He can change the mood of the scene quite quickly.
Overall, I love this drama to bits despite some minor flaws. You may as well call me obsessed (and I'm proud to admit it). I mean what's there not to like? Original plot, interesting script, inspiring characters, wide range of talented actors and so much more to offer. This series has it all! This show deserves to be much more popular!
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