June 27, 2011

ABC Family Energizes A Tired Story Line

When I first saw the preview for ABC Family’s summer series Switched at Birth, I jumped up and down a bit; I LOVE a good switched story line. Then I was nervous; it has been done, and done and done before. Veronica Mars, Ghost Whisperer, The Young and the Restless and (my personal favorite) The Face On The Milk Carton, all boast switched story lines. Could ABC Family turn a tired story line into an entertaining series week after week?

My vote, a big resounding YES! For starters they have a pretty strong cast. Vanessa Marrone (The Clique, Gilmore Girls) plays Bay Kennish, a spoiled teenager with a famous baseball player Dad and a stay out home Mom. She has everything a teenager could ask for, but always feels out of place. Marrone is perfect for this role, playing vulnerable, tough, and spoiled perfectly.

Katie Leclerc (Veronica Mars) plays Daphne Vasquez a deaf teenager living with her single mom in a run-down part of town. Leclerc, who is actually deaf, brings a genuine flair to Daphne that makes you root for her. Television veterans D.W. Moffett (Friday Night Lights) and Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City) play Bay’s parents, and Constance Marie (George Lopez) plays Daphne’s Mother.

The first few episodes focus on the two families becoming one big blended unit, as Daphne and her mother move into the Kennish’s guesthouse. Comedic tensions flare as each person tries to figure out how to deal with this unique arrangement. Sometimes heart wrenching, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but always smart, this Switched story line is anything but tired.  With so many themes such as race, disability, family and secrets to work with, I will be coming back week after week.

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