Created by Lizzy Weiss and with a majority female writing staff, Switched at Birth is more than just soapy teen fare—it’s a nuanced and interesting look at disability, race and class.
The plot revolved around teenagers Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), who find out they were switched at birth due to a hospital error. Yes, I know it does sound like a soapy premise but this premise is further complicated by Bay’s newfound Latina heritage, Daphne’s deafness and the collision of the Kennish’s who have too much with the Vasquez’s who have too little. These families have to navigate learning about one another, dealing with clashing class issues, dealing with a major character with a disability, and it wouldn’t be a good teen show without some major angst. Throw in excellent supporting characters namely Daphne’s best friend, Emmett and his mother, Melody (Marlee Matlin) are standouts.
Weiss has created a show that deals with multiple issues deftly and the scenes that are all done in sign language never cease to be brilliant.
The premiere episode of season two did not disappoint. Check it out if you want a smart female run show that gives you some of that teen drama (reminds me of great early WB programming) that you might secretly want—in a very well done package.
If you are behind, season one is available on Netflix Instant. It airs on ABC Family Monday nights at 9pm.