Feature: Social Goodness

Switched at Birth: A Fresh Drink of Water

Author: Elizabeth Bennett
Published: June 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm
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As ABC Family is a network that gears programming towards the family, they have usually geared more to the younger generation. That was before the recent arrival of Switched at Birth. In its four episodes that have aired, I must say this is like a fresh drink of water.

The premise of this show revolves around two families from very different worlds. We have the Kinesh clan with John (D.W.Moffett) a retired ball player and owns a car wash. Kathryn (Lea Thompson) is a stay-at-home mother and socialite. Let’s not forget their charming kids Toby (Lucas Grabeel) and Bay (Vanessa Marano). In contrast, we have the Vasquez family with matriarch Regina (Constance Marie) who is a hairdresser and her daughter Daphne (Katie Leclerc) who is deaf. Through a school project of Bay’s, we learn that both she and Daphne were switched at birth. The Vasquez family moves into the guesthouse belonging to the Kinesh family. As these two families have absolutely nothing in common, the viewer is introduced to the growing pains of living in close quarters and we see the two girls dealing with all of this in their own way. Yes, we have drama as a result. However, a lot of learning and growing can occur with both families because of these differences and so far, we are getting a taste of this.

It is refreshing not only to see a program that will entertain people of all ages, it is also a concept never brought to prime time television. Through the years, we have heard of switched at birth stories here and there. I have always been fascinated with these stories and how these things are dealt with, which is what drew me to the show in the first place. We also get to learn about the deaf culture in our society through Daphne, Regina and their friends Emmett (Sean Berdy) and his mother played by Marlee Matlin. Not only is this entertaining, but a way to learn of a culture that those of us who can hear can learn about. Plus, there is romance and some underlying potential conflict between not only the families, but their friends as well.

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Article Author: Elizabeth Bennett

Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying from a Psychological Perspective and a strong Advocate for Adult Survivors of Bullying/Peer Abuse. Please visit http://www.peerabuse.net to learn more.

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