I was excited about this show when I saw Vanessa Marano was going to star in it. I confess have not always been impressed about her acting skills. The first time I ever saw her was on the Gilmore Girls as Luke Danes daughter, April. She was around twelve or thirteen and she talked really fast. I thought her acting was all over the place. I do realize the way she spoke may have had something to do with the way she needed to be on the show but it was annoying to me. Well as on other shows it happens her annoying me was actually endearing. I believed she had potential despite her quirks on the Gilmore Girls. Recently I saw her in Marry Me, a lifetime movie with Lucy Lui and I could tell she had grown in her craft. I do realize she has been on other shows I just never had the time to view them over the years.
So back to the current series, Switched at Birth. I was fascinated with the idea of children switched at birth. How many times in your life have you wondered if you were with the wrong family? I know more than once I have wondered LOL. I missed the premiere of this show at least two times and I was not expecting to have a chance to see it without the effort of going to the website. It turns out today my four o’clock show, Gilmore Girls, was not on and instead, yes, Switched at Birth was on in its place. It was meant to be; so here I am.
In the beginning of the pilot, This is Not a Pipe, Vanessa, who plays Bay, takes a blood test at school and is excited to share the result at her home. She has a rare blood type, AB. Here parents are suspect that the results are incorrect because according to her father there is no way her blood type would be a result considering him and his wife’s blood types are both A. I have to insert here that I wish this big reveal was some how later maybe in the second episode. It could be bagasse I am such a mystery buff. It would have been cool if we had seen the way each family lived normally before this change occurs in their lives, oh well. Bay asks her parents to go along with discovering the reason for the inconsistency. At the hospital later, the administrator explains that Bay’s parents are indeed not hers biologically.
Bays parents seem concerned about having a chance to see and/or meet their own child of course but Bay seems to be the most upset about the new development. I can certainly see the reasoning behind her actions but it comes off as overkill in the scheme of things. She is the one who had always noticed the differences in her family and herself. If the story was to be accurate she should have been almost relieved however that would have eliminated the entire pilot as far as run time, hey I’m just saying. There are many shows that use even less of a plot point than this to make a series. In this series we have the rich family versus the poor single mother family as well as the hearing daughter versus the none hearing daughter. I believe they can do a lot with these premises.
Bay begins to behave angrily almost from the start. Her behavior comes to a boiling point on the day that Daphne, the girl who is really the daughter of Bay’s parents, comes to her home to visit. Daphne who is hearing impaired is witty and fun despite her handicap. Daphne’s open personality makes it easy for her birth parents to enjoy her company almost from the start. I found it appealing that the Katie Leclerc who portrays Daphne has such a range of expressions. When her birth mother finds her gazing out at the opulent pool in the home Daphne seems both envious as well as impressed and maybe a bit jealous of what she could have had growing up.
Daphne’s mother Regina, the one who has raised Daphne is as upset about the situation as Bay. Now what I didn’t understand about this part was that Regina has gained her own birth daughter but she does not seem to have the same interest in Bay as Bays parents do with Daphne. I found the pacing of that very odd. Bay takes her parents supposed fawning over Daphne as an affront as she chooses to leave to go out with her boyfriend, Liam. Liam is not happy with Bay’s current behavior. He says she is acting different lately. If Liam is to be believed she has suddenly gone from rich girl to ghetto in a short time. When I say ghetto I mean not rich in this review LOL. Liam leaves Bay at the tattoo parlor where she had instructed him to take her to get a piercing. They are instantly broken up it seems. This again is a bit abrupt because at school earlier in the episode the were quite close and obviously perfect for one another. I believe that is the flaw of some of these teen shows. I do realize advertising takes up some of the run time; but it throws off the pace when shows move to quickly to conclusions.
Okay I am about half way through this review and I got a theory. Stay with me but WARNING might be a SPOILER because some of what I am going to write may have been influenced by a sneak peek for a feature episode NOT SURE. Here is the thing, I think Regina has a secret I think its possible that Daphne was adopted at some point and Regina could have been her social worker who took her in. It’s possible Daphne may not even know because she was too young to remember. It’s speculation but it would, if its true, add a whole other layer the show. Okay back to the show.
So I am watching this on the website and I keep getting thoughts here is another one. I enjoy Daphne’s humor but its beginning to show she tries to hard to fit in. I am not deaf but it might be something real that happens. Just a thought.
Bay’s father takes Daphne home after she finishes her time playing ball with Bay’s brother Toby. He arrives at the location after making a comment about not having been in the area for a while. He acts like the typical rich guy who can’t stand being in places more prone to crime than not. The whole typicalness of the scene gave me a bad vibe. The show is going to need to stay away from the clichés to last. He gives Daphne a hug before instantly deciding he cannot let his little girl, who was raised in bad area of town, reside there any longer because he wants to be the big father/hero.
Meanwhile mom is at home looking at baby pictures wondering why she ever thought that Bay was really her child. It was a kind of sad moment to me. Yes of course, its bad to have received the wrong child at the hospital but in all respects you still raised a happy and healthy child without ever a thought that she wasn’t your own. I suddenly was not sure what I thought of the mom at this part. Dad returns home to tell the mom that he has to get Daphne out of her old neighborhood; he actually felt afraid when he visited.
I really wanted to laugh at this part. Oh my gosh so Mr. Rich guy goes to a neighborhood that is not as upscale as he is used to and gets nervous. Wow I have to say suddenly not so much on their side. Oh but it gets better because he goes over to Regina’s house the next day or so later and tells her he wants to fund an operation for Daphne. Regina tells him that Daphne is not broken that her hearing issues are better left as they are because she is used to them and able to deal with them quite efficiently. I was happy she told him that well at first it seemed stupid but later I thought yeah she is right. I cannot believe he accused her of wanting to keep Daphne deaf so Daphne could depend on her. It was a bold statement from someone who does not know either of them at all. If it where me I think I would have kicked him out of the house of course he would have simply gone to court. Personally because Daphne is older it should have been up to her to decide about the operation. It would have been the fair way to deal with consideration to her age. I have to remember the limitations of time on this show which do not allow for such trivialities as asking permission.
Bay decides to go over to Daphne’s house to see where the other girl lives. While she is sitting outside she is interrupted by a knock on the window. This gorgeous dark haired young man was last seen on 90210 as on old friend, of Ivy’s who took her virginity after previously having an affair with her mother. Yep this guy gets around. He starts up a conversation with Bay about her being a rich white girl looking for drugs and stalking good folk like Regina and Daphne. I of course I saw this as the big set up for Bay to get a new beau. You know, because all sixteen year olds have to have a boyfriend to moon over and complain about with their buds. I can see it now moon doggie and Bay down at the mall slurping on cokes. I digress.
Bay begins to ramble Gilmore Girls style about a pipe not being a pipe and something about eggplants which totally lost me or I just didn’t care to consider as moon doggie, cute guy, stares lustfully at her full lips thinking maybe she is a friend of my pseudo sister Daphne and maybe just maybe I can hit that. He instead says simply, “I don’t know what that means.” One point for moon doggie. Bay decides she better go and uses her womanly wilds, bats her eyelashes, then says I was never here. “What am I going to say I saw an eggplant in a Beemer casing the place,” he said with a smirk. Oh I think I am going to like this guy.
Over at the deaf school Daphne is rehashing her life with her bestie, Emmett. Emmett does not hear or speak and seems to enjoy not doing either because he can of course sign to his hearts content and loves his life. Daphne talks to him about how if things had been different she would be well, Bay, but it was not in the same words as that. I honestly was not that enthralled with their conversation so much but I did love the cool signing. I know a bit of it but not enough to converse. The word I would use for this scene was unnecessary because everything they covered could be done later when we see Emmett again.
Dad shows up at Daphne’s school during basketball practice to see how well-adjusted Daphne is in her surroundings or that should have been why he was there. Instead he talks to Daphne about the school that Bay attends called Buckner Hall. He explains how he wants her to become any thing she wants but that she needs a more varied environment instead of a school where everyone is hearing impaired. He could have a point I admit though I still see this guy as bull dogging or maybe it just all seems selfish that suddenly he shows up ready to change her life. He suddenly pulls a don’t tell your mother about my offer to get you a tour of this expensive school. Daphne looks disappointed as I felt. Okay yes I’m not feeling the guy but that’s out of the blue.
The next scene they are already on the school tour. Daphne looks flustered at all the attention she and her interpreter are receiving. I get that I would have felt singled out, Yikes. Daphne takes it in stride. A friend of Bay notices Daphne in the hall with Bay’s parents and asked about the girl, Daphne. Bay lies; she does not acknowledge Daphne as the biological daughter of her parents. Here again is the sense that Daphne’s life is more important than Bay. Why doesn’t Regina have the same interest in getting to know her own daughter? That was disturbing to me in this pilot. Bay is going through all these feelings basically alone as well as lying to her friends plus her ex about Daphne.
When Daphne wonders off alone she runs into Liam. He approaches her and instantly there is a bond. Liam is arrogant but in a cute way and Daphne enjoys his humor. Here we go again with the instant attraction, it is expected in these shows. I know I have said these shows before and yes I do still enjoy them despite all the obvious clues. LOL I guess I am a sucker for a love story thrown in to the drama of teen dramas.
Outside in the parking lot Mr. Hero had a confrontation with the daughter he has been ignoring, Bay, over her nose piercing. Her parents drone on about trying to make things right for Daphne who they believe has well, grown up in a dump and doesn’t know she is having a bad life. Bay is adamant that her behavior/and or piercings are not their business because yes, get this ,they are not her real parents. Ouch! I guess I should have seen that coming but if she was so concerned about her real parents she would have stepped up and out of the house with the pool to go to her single mother’s home for a real chat. Yes I digressed again, so after she pulls the you are not my real parents rant she storms off.
Here comes the part where they could have used the whole Emmett and Daphne conversation to save space for something else. Daphne is outside waiting for Emmett to pick her up when her real brother, Toby, shows up and like Bay was unaware of the tour at Buckner. They chit-chat for moments before Emmett arrives of course on his motorcycle because that makes it seem as though Daphne again lives her life in danger. Daphne takes the helmet before the conversation continues with Toby. The whole conversation is a basic set up for the audience to hear various statistics and details about the hearing impaired. Emmett’s family is deaf and he is only around deaf people generally so his desire to not speak is his choice. She also stated that it’s considered rude to speak about the deaf in their presence as a third-party. As a southern belle I am of the opinion to speak of anyone as a third person in their presence is rude, maybe that is just me. This conversation was overly informational to me but it did tell me a nice chunk about deaf culture. We had already learned that there is a deaf police earlier, though it was a joke, when Liam spoke with Daphne. I didn’t mention because it was a lame joke but it fits with the you – will – learn – as – you – watch program in this scene.
Bay who enjoys drawing is head strong and sneaky because after she left the school in a huff the next time we see her she is getting on her bike to leave the house. She drives to Daphne’s neighborhood to create graffiti on a house or wall. It’s the same graffiti/tag we saw at the start of the show that her mother was moaning about. It is a cool tie in to see that Bay is actually the one creating this pictures. The pictures are of a girl with a pink dress and a hammer. I am certain at some point we will see the symbolism/reason for her doing this pictures of the little girl. She is using it to express herself in a way that is anonymous. My thought now on this is that its one way to show how she is rebellious like her mother, Regina and also how she is different from the family that raised her. The streak of independence as well as disobedience is in her bloodline.
She is caught by moon doggie, cute guy from earlier, who calls her out on tagging across from his house. She says, I was never here but before he comments on that he tells her the fine for tagging as well as the time she could spend in jail before he compliments her artistic skills. “Looks like I’m keeping a lot of your secrets,” he confesses before she leaves with a smile. I am shaking my head though because I am not sure I am ready for Bay to be involved with any guy, I do not see her ready for a relationship based on the show so far. Moon doggie also seems out of her league, it could be its just the mother in me talking/writing. 🙂
At the Big house, mom has done something stupid. I thought oh NO, but when she announces she has done a background check I don’t think that is so bad. She found out that Regina had two DUI’s on her record. Ah so mom is thinking on her feet but it comes across as yes, a bit on the prejudice side. Just because the woman is part Puerto Rican does not make her or any Puerto Rican a criminal. WOW that was a reach and not an appealing one at that.
Across town, Regina is in the street by her car only to find out it has been robbed of a car charger and two bucks in change. Okay of all the things that can happen to a car in a bad neighborhood that was not a good example though it was a simple crime not something overly dramatic. While Regina is still adjusting to this act of injustice she gets a call from the police who tell her Daphne is in jail. She can’t believe it, Daphne is the good seed. Yes Regina is having a bad day.
Regina arrives at the police station to find her own flesh and blood child, Bay, is the one that has been picked up. Regina looks disappointed as she sees its Bay not Daphne. I still find their whole situation odd because Regina does not seem to have any feeling about Bay. In the beginning of the previous scene her mother had tried to convince her to invite Bay over. Regina had the belief that Bay wouldn’t want to be at her home since it was so different from her own.
At the police station after the commercial we find the Rich parents, the Kennishes, have arrived and Bay is arguing with mom. Regina takes up for Bay by saying its her body, they shouldn’t worry about the piercing. Bay thanks her. Dad comes over talking about the court date after he pays the fees. Mom suddenly confronts Regina about her DUI’s and asked if she was drunk when Daphne became sick as a kid which is the reason she is deaf. She had a bacterial infection called meningitis. The parents argue in the police station and Bay walks out again.
They drive around looking for Bay as they chat about how the switch happened fifteen years ago. They decide it was a blessing to have gotten Bay but they still wished they had gotten their own kid, Daphne to begin with.
Around the same time, Daphne is at home talking to her grandma about if she will go to the new school or not. Regina arrives then grandma goes to bed after encouraging Daphne to talk to Regina about her decision. Daphne assures Regina that she will always be her mother but she wants to get to know the other family. Daphne wants to go to the school but Regina says she cannot support her. Regina wants her to do what she wants but she wants her to do what she says which I think its manipulation on her part. It sounded too much like a threat that she won’t be able to fit in at the school but mostly because Daphne is trying to be independent from Regina.
Toby picks up Bay then argues with her in the car about the situation. Bay gets upset because she hadn’t really wanted to find out she was with the wrong family. He makes her laugh and tells her that there is someone else that will understand her situation. He takes her over to Daphne’s house. Daphne lets her in and they bond over music, Daphne can hear the beat if the music is loud. Bay admires the pictures on the wall and Daphne lets her know that Regina had drawn them. Bay says its okay if Daphne goes to her school. Daphne informs Bay that she and Regina might have to move because of money woes.
The next scene they are in the kitchen when grandma comes in to meet her biological granddaughter. There is an awkward hub before Regina arrives having suddenly turned mama to Bay after her being missing a few hours. She tells Bay she deserved to be arrested for trying to buy beer. Bay isn’t to worked up over it all she just makes a joke. Regina’s sudden concern comes across as contrived to me. Most of the episode she was so wrapped up in losing one daughter she didn’t have time to accept her own blood. Bay is upset they are moving away to Toledo and again it is a bit quick though the timing on the show is still off to me.
Back at the Big house, Bay is returned with a new appreciation of her life I suppose. She reveals to her mother the piercing was fake and the new wild colors in her hair are just clips ins. She mentions the empty guest house and the last scene brings grandma, Daphne and Regina to live at the Big house as one family. We finally find out Moon Doggie’s name is Ty which is a good thing to know for next time. Mom, Catherine, has a conversation with Regina to clear the air on why they are there and the reasons behind it. So it all begins for the two families.
Oh yes Daphne’s bestie, Emmett shows up to take her on another ride on his motorcycle. She tells Emmett Bay is her in another life, LOL.
So in conclusion it was an interesting start. As much as I liked the various aspects of the show it might be a couple more before I decide if its must see for me like Pretty Little Liars or Vampire Diaries. I am betting it won’t ever reach devoted status for me that I have for supernatural. There are aspects such as the hearing impaired culture that have tweaked my interest. The romantic parts I am predicting will be a bit boring or so I am saying at this point in time. Regina’s mystery as I have seen in the previews at this junction are what is drawing me in for next week. I will decide on the recaps for this show one week at a time. My rating: 6
Wishes for the show:
I wish the rich family would be less cliche.
I wish the poor family would be more real maybe throw in a dead beat boyfriend, I am sure the dad will come around soon enough.
I wish Bay’s brother was less of a plot device and will become more of his own person.
Until next time feel free to leave your comments. Thanks for reading,