Well hello there! It’s Thursday, which means two things: we’ve only got two more days left in our Much Ado Week, and it’s time for a brand new episode of My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of! How is this going to come together in your daily dose of Superfluous goodness? Why, with a teen drama about long lost families, of course.
Today’s theme is:
In Much Ado, deceit is double sided. There’s our Big Bad, Don John, who uses deceit to try and break up Hero and Claudio … but there’s also Hero herself, and Don Pedro and The Hangover Boys, who use deceit to try and bring Beatrice and Benedict together. It’s these untruths with good intentions that I’m most interested in, because they’re a major element in today’s Favourite Television Show: Switched at Birth.
Switched at Birth is the story of Bay and Daphne, who, at age 16, find out that the hospital they were born in accidentally, yes, switched them at birth. Bay’s biological mother, and the mother that Daphne grew up with, learns of the switch when the girls are toddlers, but keeps the information to herself to try and keep her family from being torn apart. Lies that come from love as the basis of a drama about teenagers and their families? Sign me up!
I was being snarky there for the sake of a little Thursday morning humour, but the truth is that this show is really, really good. I’ve left out the coolest part: Daphne
contracted meningitis when she was a toddler and lost her hearing. She communicates through American Sign Language and lip reading. She attends a school for the deaf and has lots of friends who are deaf, so much of the show’s dialogue is signed, or signed and spoken simultaneously, by hard of hearing or deaf actors (including Oscar winner Marlee Matlin!) Which means that this isn’t your typical teen drama. And it’s almost impossible to watch it and be snarky at the same time.
As my favourite entertainment blog Vulture (who are so totally trying to be me, by the way, with this feature called “The 10 Best TV Shows You (Probably) Didn’t Watch This Season) says:
If you ever tire of shows about rape and murder, or dark dramas about antiheroes, or screechy reality shows about horrendous piles of human garbage, or reference-laden comedies, take a break with Switched at Birth, a family-set drama that, while occasionally sort of corny, does not shy away from strong — yet not outrageous! — human emotions.
Switched at Birth airs Mondays at 8pm on ABC Family. If you’re looking for a new show to get hooked on this summer that involves real human situations rather than 1,000 year old time traveling aliens, you might want to give this one a shot! In the meantime, I hope you’ll come back tomorrow, for the grand finale of our Much Ado week! I’ve saved the best theme for last …