Switched at Birth Season 3

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Glad to have this one back.

    Some of the storylines veered into after-school-special early on in the premiere, but went to that deeper realer place I expect from the show by the end.

    Love that they got RJ Mitte from "Breaking Bad" for this season. That promises to be a really interesting dynamic, the Deaf girl and the boy with cerebral palsy. The show hasn't really explored how a Deaf person experiences someone with a different kind of disability, and that's really fertile ground for storytelling.
    I thought the girl from the clinic would show up at the new ghettoized (in more ways than one) Carlton, but thankfully they sidestepped that expectation.

    Also love seeing Max Adler pop up here. He was one of the best things about the rather lackluster last couple of seasons of "Glee" that I watched, and you know he's going to bring more to the table than just being a stupd frat boy. And I love the fraternity angle, because anything that takes Bay out of her comfort zone and challenges her preconceptions is a good thing for the show. I really hope we get to see his portrait of Bay in the next episode.
    I'm also glad that Toby has something to do this season.
    It'll be interesting to see how the Daphne/John dynamic plays out. He's pissed at her because he's getting blamed for her screw up, but giving her the cold shoulder a bit is as far as that goes for him. But Daphne, who's never had a stable father figure in her life, has a lot of insecurity about that relationship. What she should do is just talk to him about it directly; we'll see how long it takes for that to happen.
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    caught up. I really do enjoy that Bay's character is facing challenges and accepting that she will have to work hard to accomplish them. The field hockey thing makes me laugh because, no kidding, there was just some controversy about Field Hockey at a local HS near us.

    That said, I'm not sure I like the general direction I think the Kennish's marital troubles are taking. It is as though we're leaving behind the storyline of her having a book that people liked and her own success, and all of that is by the wayside. I think some of that has to come back into play

    But it's good having these characters back
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I really enjoyed this episode, but I really wish they weren't so obviously setting up the real estate developer as a new love interest. Regina should get to have a storyline that's not about substance abuse or the men in her life.
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I love that the show has given the Sharee character space to be a person rather than a plot device, with real complexity and vulnerability. But given television's generally abysmal track record when it comes to portraying mental illness, I'm a little nervous. Bipolar disorder can be absolutely devastating to family members like Sharee, and I absolutely believed that household dynamic. The boyfriend was a bit of a red herring as the suspected abuser, but because the show played it straight, I had a good idea of what was going on as soon as I saw her mother's behavior. Bipolar disorder often responds very well to medication, but the people who successfully manage the disorder and lead normal lives are the people who commit to pretty dramatic lifestyle changes. There's also an enormously high correlation between substance abuse and bipolar disorder, which often makes treatment complicated.I hate John's storyline. Hate it, hate it, hate it. He's an unlikable character in many ways, and that's to the show's credit, but I just don't buy him cheating on Kathryn in any way shape or form. I find it very frustrating that nearly every family drama that goes on long enough seems to ultimately succumb to an infidelity storyline with the husband. Hopefully that kiss serves as a wake-up call that he needs to appreciate his wife more, and hopefully he comes clean right away.I wonder if Bay injuring her hand is going to have repercussions with her art. I had a friend in high school who was a tremendous artist but eventually had to set those ambitions aside because of problems with the bones in her wrist.I have to say, it's the height of selfishness for Nikki to extend her trip when she's just gotten married. Sometimes timing really is everything.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Loved Travis's storyline, and Mary Beth's insight into his reluctance toward college.

    Mixed about the storyline with Sharee's mother. On one hand, it reinforces the stereotype that people living with mental illness are violent psychopaths, when that's a tiny, tiny minority of the population. On the other hand, Sharee's emotional journey felt dead on, especially the helplessness and the guilt. And the way that segued into Regina telling Daphne about John and Kathryn was perfect.

    The thing with Bay's hand feels a bit overwrought. I hope the surgery's successful, rather than going for the most dramatic outcome.

    Speaking Bay: her track record of disastrous forced meetings continues unblemished. I figured there was going to be a big blow-up in the ice cream parlor, but I should have known better. The fight was handled at exactly the right pitch. It was true to both characters, for better or for worse. At any rate, John finally realized that he's in real danger of losing his marriage now. Kathryn may have been the one who changed, but if he wants to save his relationship he'd best start changing too. Even showing some sort of interest in her passions would help.

    I liked the conflict between Regina and Adriana over the neighborhood, but I think it's far less interesting if she just storms out of the deal. The far more interesting storyline is Regina making it work professionally with a man she doesn't particularly trust or like. At any rate, I'm glad she hasn't hopped into bed with him. It's nice to see her have a storyline that's not about her latest relationship.
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think that's the part that I appreciated most; that in a lesser show this would have turned into a fight in the ice cream parlor and someone would walk out. Instead, the argued, with some sadness, about what had happened to them.. and if things could ever be healed.
     
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  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Tonight's episode was a perfect example of how guessing any ending doesn't rob it of its power. Given the theme of the episode, it was obvious pretty early on what John's big gesture was going to be. And yet, that didn't make less emotionally satisfying. I also liked, after all of the big dance dream sequences, the real one was the kind of thing any family could do in their dining room with a little practice.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I normally don't go for the gimmicks, but the moment with Travis dancing was I thought very well done, and the dialogue was great. I loved that scene.
     
  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    None of the storylines tonight turned out the way I expected, yet every storyline was deeply rooted in the characters. I love that John and Kathryn are finally really communicating. I love that the old horn dog baseball buddy turns out to have gotten his life straightened out, and that John and Kathryn ultimately respect that. I love that a storyline the promos made out to be a sexual overtones between Toby and Sharee turned out to be Toby finding a passion in maybe teaching. I liked that Angelo saw what he did to Daphne and cared enough to try and mend it. I liked that when Bay had this bombshell dropped on her, Emmett stood up for Tank. And Bay, rather than lashing out at him for it, thanked him for it. And even though it didn't do her any good in the long run, I'm glad she was straight with Tank and told him what was going on rather than keeping him in the dark. And I like that even though he's pissed at Bay for getting him in trouble with his frat, Tank still sits next to her in class.
     
  10. mattCR

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    We've known for a while this is how that relationship was going to end. But instead of a bitter, mean ending it was a fairly calm assessment of the reality of their life. I thought that entire setup was done as well as could be imagined, and it sums up a plot while making neither character the 'bad guy', just foolish kids who found something and couldn't anticipate the future of their lives.
    I also appreciate that Bay manages to have a character that shows that the loss of virginity isn't the loss of fear or concerns about sex, she isn't a 'woman unleashed', she is very much the same Bay we knew before who struggles with finding what is right for her.

    Daphne's character is trying to embrace the difficulties of a relationship with someone who is disabled. Instead of the candid: it's all hearts and rainbows, they have a real world discussion that it will in fact be more difficult, and that nothing is for sure. I thought the frank nature of those conversations with all involved worked.

    And who wasn't rooting for Toby to find the joy in coaching, and maybe he will be a character who looks seriously at becoming a teacher (seriously) in the form of a HS coach.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I was pissed that the show turned Bay into a cheater at the end of the midseason finale, even though there were a plethora of mitigating circumstances, but coming back with tonight's premiere I was reminded how invested I am in this show.This episode was all about dealing with consequences, and the characters did about as well as could be expected of them. I like that Bay doesn't get defensive or deflect any more. Ultimately she takes responsibility for her actions and recognizes that this is something that she has done to Tank, and not something that is about her. She made the right decision to be upfront about what happened, and then she made the right decision to exercise some tact and not further destroy his world when his foundation was already crumbling. If she tells him in the next episode, then she'll have done about as good as she could do given the decision she made. Breaking up with Tank isn't a mistake, because you don't stay with someone just to avoid hurting their feelings. But giving into her passion before she ended things was.I really like storylines that bring Bay and Daphne together as pseudo-sisters, especially when it ties back into their strangely shared family bonds.I liked Daphne turning to Angelo, and ultimately telling him that he needed to learn to sign. It was an invitation for him to be a part of her life. I like that every character's path on this show, Angelo included, is to discover their better self. There are stumbles and setbacks and failings along the way, but the general arc of every character is to be a better person.The stuff with Emmett and Matthew was just visceral. It really captured how violating cyberbullying is, and gave a glimpse into why some of the targets of it kill themselves over it. Marlee Matlin really captured the visceral anger of a parent who sees her kid being hurt, knows who's causing it, but can't stop them from doing it.
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    There have been other programs that have dealt with cyberbullying, or the risk of it, but I think Switched did it with a character the audience is personally invested in. I liked that storyline a lot, because it's one of those things that does happen - far too often - and it is difficult for people to understand for many adults exactly how rattled it can make you. When you're a young(er) kid, it can quickly seem as though all of your options to battle a bully don't exist, because unlike a bully who beats you up you don't have the physical signs and you can't just run away.

    The thing I liked about the Bay/Daphne story is that they take on an issue where both sides expressed valid concerns about future development of a district. Daphne is right, the area is 'dangerous' and they need to take it back, but 'Nacho' the villain in this piece expresses that hey, if costs in the area go up, where will the people who live there now go? Will their be jobs to offer them, or is it just a situation of pushing them to somewhere else in favor of wealth?

    What really works for this show though is that the young leads are really effective in their roles. Bay & Emmet work because there are very few relationships on TV that have that easy, natural on screen chemistry.
     
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  13. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Really strong episode tonight. I was glad they show didn't try to muddy Tank's character to try and mitigate Bay cheating on him. When he lashed out at her during their breakup, she accepted it for what it was. When John lashed out at Tank over the morning-after pill, he realized what it meant, understood that John's lecture wasn't really aimed at him, and bitterly but calmly accepted that this was a relationship he needed to give up on.And then that feeds into Bay channeling her guilt at what she did to Tank into appealing to Emmett's better self. The reveal of what was really driving Matthew was one of those "a-ha" moments where I didn't see it coming at all but probably should have. That kind of hate doesn't come from nowhere. And then Bay, rather than blowing the whole thing up like she would have even a season ago, goes to Natalie and quietly solicits her input both as Matthew's friend and as someone who's had to deal with the experience of coming out. Rather than taking what Natalie said as a motivator to act on her own, she realizes that Emmett is the wronged party here and it's really his decision to make. And she frames it in those terms: yes, this kid hurt you really badly and shattered your world. Yes you have to do what's right for you. But if you can move past it, be the better man and move past it. Act with empathy rather than react defensively.I really like the way they've amped up the impact that the East Riverside project has had on Regina. I like that they're having her go about gun protection the right way, rather than demagoguing the issue. I just hope they don't turn the storyline into an over-the-top promo driving scene. If she ultimately doesn't feel comfortable owning or carrying a gun, I'd be happy with that outcome. If she trains on how to use a gun and carries it safely, I'd be happy with that outcome. But it seems almost like a literal Chekhov's gun scenario where because it's been introduced, it'll have to pay off down the line.I'm also worried that the return of Sarah Lazzard is setting up the reveal that John actually did cheat on Kathryn back when he was on the road. Certainly his conversation with Bay -- a great scene in and of itself that captured how far their relationship has come over the course of the show -- seemed to point in that direction. John is by no means a perfect character, and I like that he's flawed. But that just seems to be a red line that they can't walk the character back from.
     
  14. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Loved tonight's episode. It gave me first season level feels at time. First, I'm thrilled that they didn't make John a cheater. As I said in last week's post, he's got many flaws, but that shouldn't be one of them.Loved them grappling with scholarships and what it means to be Latina: is Daphne, who is culturally Latina, the right fit for those scholarships? Or is Bay, who is ethnically Latina, the right fir for those scholarships? Or are neither of them the right fit, because Latina is a label that encompasses both the culture and ethnicity? I don't know what the right answer is, but I love that the show is asking the question.I also thought the whole issue showed how far Regina had come. She still have a lot of insecurity about her role in Daphne's life, and some resentment about what the Kennishes can offer her. But she's secure enough now that she can set all of that aside and put her daughter's needs first. And even when she refuses, she was polite about it. I like that Regina and the Kennishes have made it past screaming at each other.I loved everything about Cameron's surprise wedding, because it captured how far all of those characters had come, and how much worse things would have gone had they not all had each other. I loved afterward when Emmett asks how he fits in now, and of course Bay is exactly the perfect person to ask that question. And she shares her experience with that, and there's no anger or sadness any more about it. She's internalized it. And that's because she's so profoundly grateful for what she's gained from it that she doesn't try to hold onto what she'd lost from it.The scene that really choked me up, though, was Melody and Bay's chat. Considering where that relationship started, and how awful Melody was to Bay, to think they've gotten to to point where she tells Bay that Emmett needs both of them in his life, well, that was just profoundly moving to me.I enjoy Travis and Mary Beth, and I appreciated their conflict about family, where Mary Beth's family is central to her life, while family to Travis is just scar tissue. And then of course, Derrick Coleman's cameo at the end. He's a class act all the way. A Long Island newspaper had a feature story on a Deaf football player on one of the local high school teams who attends classes at one of the schools for the Deaf that I work for. Apparently the student in question also considers Coleman one of his role models. The newspaper reached out to him for a quote, and he was happy to be interviewed for the story.
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    This show to me has really been great all along, but tonights episode is one of the best over all the seasons. And considering how much I love season 1, that's saying something.

    There are some really great moments as you point out.. but what I'm most pleased by is how well these characters have grown, and what a fantastic job in casting these actors they really did.

    And Adam, FYI, I'll be the jerk.. I don't think either of them should apply or get any of the special scholarships. Scholarships based on academic merit or athletic prowess fine.

    But when you take a special scholarship away, I think you hurt your community.. someone should remind Regina that there are a lot of people in East Riverside ;) :) who probably can't go to college under any condition without that scholarship. Taking that scholarship deprives them of an education. Whether Daphne or Bay get the scholarship, they have a means by which to go.
     
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  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    This was one of those episodes that seemed torn between the writers' impulses to make a naturalistic family drama, and the network's desire to have big promotable events. The final beat almost felt like it came out of a different show. That being said, as soon as Angelo and Daphne took the selfie together, I knew he was in trouble.
     
  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    That was a tough hour of television. I still feel like the big accident was a bit gimmicky, but the fallout was handled with the nuance and emotional honesty I've come to expect from this show. Some very harsh things were said in tonight's hour, but nothing you don't hear in various forms in hospitals across the planet in horrible situations like these.
     
  18. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I agree. The coping mechanisms, the sadness, the coming to grips, the lashing out all seemed totally real, and gripping. To me, only the kicker at the end seemed wrong and out of character.
     
  19. Brandy S

    Brandy S Stunt Coordinator

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    Great episode. Now if they can just get rid of Regina, all of my least favorite characters will be gone. :)
     
  20. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I had a nice long post that got lost when my computer froze, but to summarize:- I was a bit surprised by the cocaine storyline. That seemed a little too hard core for ABC Family. They did a nice job balancing the humor of the situation with the genuine frightening reality of trying cocaine.- As soon as it was revealed that Angelo died of aneurysm, I was waiting to learn that another family member had died of an aneurysm. Unfortunately, lots of intracranial aneurysms do run in families and likely have a strong genetic component.- I hate discourteous neighbors like Toby. I enjoyed Rachel Shenton as the disgruntled and wronged neighbor quite a lot.- I adore Tank, and I'm happy they found a way to weave him back into the fabric of the show in a way that's not Bay-centric.- The final scene with Kathryn and Bay playing with baby Abby on the living room floor was one of those transcendent moments this show manages to pull off from time to time. The shift in Bay from wondering selfishly if she was going to die of an aneurysm to expanding her perspective to wonder if her baby sister would die of an aneurysm was a great character moment that shaded a beautiful scene in a really melancholy way.
     

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