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Switched at Birth Season 2


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#21 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted June 10 2013 - 06:19 PM

Strong start for the summer run. Except for the marriage storyline that isn't really doing it for me, I thought it was an episode that plays to the series's strengths: all of the complex, fraught interconnections between this family.

Regina and Bay's conversation at the end of tonight's episode was one I've been waiting for a long time now. Regina has always given Bay the cold shoulder, except when Bay absolutely needed her. And it was nice to see her finally admit it and explain why. The reversed living situation was the natural progression for this story, and while I don't think it'll last I'm interested to see where it takes us.

#22 of 39 mattCR

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Posted June 10 2013 - 09:02 PM

I agree.   I think this was a natural progression.  I think there is a lot of realistic, parental conflict here that makes for good storylines without going over the top.   I really liked a lot of the setup.  The wedding isn't working for me either, but I don't think it will happen.  I think it's becoming clear to Toby that his girlfriend, while pious and trying to do her Christian best has a lot of dubious thoughts about his family just because they came from wealth.   And that starts the cracks in the relationship.

 

FYI- I LOVED the moment with Emmet/etc.. "I have no idea what lesson you were supposed to learn, but how about we all agree you learned it and move on." (something to that effect) hilarious stuff


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#23 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted June 17 2013 - 06:18 PM

I loved seeing Daphne get a taste of what Bay's been experiencing this whole time. Not because I want Daphne to suffer, but because I think this near-term conflict will ultimately allow the girls to understand each other better. Even though they're off in the own worlds most of the time, it's that relationship that's at the center of the show. And it's nice that Bay finally gets to feel a little of that biological family camaraderie after being abandoned by Angelo and basically frozen out by Regina. I liked that the show was careful to sprinkle in moments between Daphne and Kathryn where they had some of those moments of sameness too, to remind us just what Daphne and Kathryn have had all this time.

I figured the show was going to come to some everybody's-happy solution where Travis and Toby were co-managers. So glad the show didn't do that. Travis got screwed, but mainly because he's not the boss's son -- not because he's Deaf. Unfortunately, he probably won't see it that way. I really liked that John was looking for reasons to say yes to Travis, while everybody around him was pushing him the other way. At the end of the day, I think Kathryn telling him he was acting like his father is what pushed him solidly into the Toby column. Which might have been the right call for his family, but it does suck for Travis.

I like that they're not romanticizing the wedding storyline. You can see the fracture points already, as well as the upfront sacrifices that Toby is willing to make in order to keep things sailing smoothly.

I'm always wary of shows telling stories about veterans, because for the most part it's a case of writer who have never served putting words into the mouths of veterans played by actors who have never served. A little of that unease crept in for me in tonight's episode, but they did a really good job using that angle to comment on the particular characters of Bay and Ty rather than trying to make some statement about warfare or military service. The difference between what Bay thought the tattoo meant and what it turned out to symbolize was a really nice turn through a really dark reveal. An artist seeks to speak through her work, and that's especially true of Bay. Seeing her work used to symbolize something meaningful politically and personally for Ty is just about the biggest honor someone could show her. In other words, the tattoo was more meaningful because it wasn't to do with her. Her voice was put out into the world, and in it Ty found meaning profound enough to wear it on his body the rest of his life. Tank girl allowed Ty to find meaning in a meaningless horror.

God this show gets me, week in and week out.

#24 of 39 mattCR

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Posted June 17 2013 - 06:33 PM

Whoever does the casting does an exceptional job.  The characters, when formed into their show families are such dead ringers that you have absolutely no problem believing the biological connection.   It's maybe one of the scariest dead on castings I've ever seen.   Tonight, as Kathryn and Daphne left the scene of their dancing counterparts, turned and looked at each other I thought: there is so much said not just by non-verbals here, but also in the framing of the group; the way the hair is made, the outfits, the demeanor to sell us on the "their native family" angle that you could see how this has implications to all of them.


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#25 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted June 24 2013 - 05:50 PM

I missed the first ten minutes of tonight's episode because the National Weather Service issued an EAS message right before 8 and those always make the tuning adapter connected to my CableCARD go funky. What I caught was pretty standard fare for this show, and Regina getting the job with the interior designer was a bit of a TV gimme.

That being said, it was worth it for the ending. I love that the whole hour basically built to the girls reconnecting. Seeing them okay again gave me a little bit of optimism that everybody else will be okay again too. They're like the nucleus of this weird but wonderful extended family.

#26 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 01 2013 - 05:49 PM

A heart attack is such a soap opera convention, and yet the way this episode built to it was a case study in foreshadowing. It didn't feel like a plot twist because the show built up to it and earned it. John's confrontation with Regina wouldn't have happened if the majority leader hadn't sexually harassed Katherine and his friendly visit to Bay's work hadn't turned into a big confrontational blow out. And his heart attack wouldn't have happened without that confrontation.

And having Regina be the one to find him was exactly right; in a moment like that, it's most interesting when it's the two people who are most antagonistic toward one another. And if John survives, it gives them a way to start to move past it -- because while Regina may have robbed him of thirteen years with Daphne, something that's unforgivable, in saving his life she might have given him many more years than that with all of his children.

It was nice seeing Emmett's father show up again. I hope they don't make that storyline too much about the cochlear implant debate, because it really should be about Emmett's deeply conflicted feelings toward his father.

The one thing I did like about the cochlear implant storyline was Travis's admission that he was considering it after losing out on the manager job to Toby. He's as Deaf as they come, so I doubt he'd go for it, but it's nice that he's thinking constructively about his future instead and just lashing out like he did for so long after his character was introduced. It was nice that Emmett reinforced that losing out to Toby was a matter of nepotism rather than anything against him. Because that was absolutely true.

And I really appreciated how both of the sexual harassment storylines were handled. So much of these stories when we hear about them is focused on how the man's indiscretions affect his political future. The woman (or women) involved simply aren't news. But they're the victims in this, and it was nice to see the story told from their side. It was nice to see that John didn't have even the slightest hesitation about Kathryn's story, and it was particularly nice that when the intern fessed up to Daphne, she remembered what happened with the chef and had only empathy for the young woman. It'll be interesting to see if the barista runs with the story in spite of what he promised Daphne. He's a very slick individual from whom things come easy, and that makes him very hard to trust in my book.

I also liked that when Bay was freaking out about her disastrous mini-golf meet cute, Ty didn't see anything wrong with what she did at all. The results were a disaster, but the intentions were good and it was worth a shot.

After that cliffhanger, all I can think is: is it next Monday yet?

So, what are the odds that Angelo gets screwed on this restaurant deal?

Edited by Adam Lenhardt, July 01 2013 - 05:52 PM.


#27 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 08 2013 - 05:50 PM

If there were any justice, tonight's episode would win an Emmy. The first 40 minutes or so made it a really interesting stand-alone "What-If?" story of what would have happened if Regina hadn't made the horrific decision to keep the switch a secret. The last two minutes made it one of the most important episodes of the series so far, because it wasn't necessarily what would have happened, but rather what John saw happening. And what the alternate timeline he saw everything broken, and -- unlike Regina's choice -- unfixable. I don't know if you can ever completely forgive what Regina did, but now John's ready to accept that Bay and Daphne are better for having Regina in their lives. And that's the selfless acceptance of a parent who realizes that what's best for him might not be the best for those he loves so much more than himself. I find that beautiful, and the a huge marker in John's evolution as a character.
 
I love all three parents in different ways, because while each comes from a very different place, they all put the wellbeing of their children first.
 
Also, while Vanessa Marano did a great job capturing a tentative and careful Bay who has spent a lifetime walking on egg shells, I'm used to praising her work on this show. But Katie Leclerc acted the heck out of this episode, portraying a Daphne who's a 180 from real Daphne but still the same person under the surface. When she was in the closet hugging the one thing from her old life, I damn near lost it. And that scene with Adriana at the end... wow.
 
And at first I thought it was pretty hackneyed having Regina die on the girls' birthdays. Then it sunk in that it probably meant Regina committed suicide, and it was like a blow to the chest.

David Paymer is a great big screen actor, but I think he's an even better television director. He's directed some of my very favorite hours of "Everwood", "Life Unexpected", "Bunheads" and now this. This hours is the top of my list, and one of the best hours the show has done.

Edited by Adam Lenhardt, July 08 2013 - 05:57 PM.


#28 of 39 Brandy S

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Posted July 09 2013 - 10:59 AM

Amazing episode,

Wow



#29 of 39 mattCR

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Posted July 09 2013 - 03:13 PM

Yeah, I thought the choices made here and Johns realization were very good.

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#30 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 15 2013 - 06:10 PM

Okay episode. Not as dramatic as I thought it would be, given where John was at the end of last week. That being said, the final scene with the lead up to Bay's first time was just pitch perfect to character.

I'm pretty bored with the British guy. He's a bit of a Mary Sue.

#31 of 39 mattCR

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Posted July 22 2013 - 05:29 PM

There are going to be a lot of people who will be unhappy with the political storyline this week, and of course the repercussions that will happen later.  But frankly, as someone living in Kansas, I tended to root Daphne on, big time.   But that's just me.  So, without discussing politics we will leave that storyline at that.

 

But I also thought the storyline of Bay meeting her sister in St. Louis was truly effective; it was a chance to see Bay express the inner feelings about how hard he was fighting for this child when he apparently gave up on Daphne as he did; and how those parents might be good for the child.  This is one I'm pretty torn on as well, and it pushes a lot of buttons.   But it was handled in a very straightforward way that made it clear this was a closed adoption of sorts and that the prevailing wishes of the mother were respected... this presents a lot of complications.. not just legally but morally and ethically, and I thought they did the right thing by not making this easy at all, and giving us no "bad guys" "good guys". 

 

I liked Toby starting to feel as though his marriage proposal is really putting some weight on him, and that maybe he lept into it for all the wrong reasons.   I thought there were some good moments, and it was good to see SImone again.

 

Finally, saving for me the best for last, I really enjoyed everything to do with Emmet accepting both his mother dating again and his hardened stance against his father.  Her realization that much of her inner anger was also playing into the negative feelings Emmet had made for a good tough conversation, and the fact that despite serious flaws she didn't want Emmet to hate him for a legitimate decision he had made.  I thought the back and forth between them in front of his house was a great moment for me, and it really shows how deep the plot and storyline is on this show, that tangential characters can really be realized in a way that isn't just a character.


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#32 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 28 2013 - 09:11 AM

The storyline with Angelo's daughter/Bay's half-sister is really excruciating, which is as it should be. At this point, there are no good solutions. Tearing the baby from a loving home with parents that she's bonded with for four months is a terrible ordeal, however it's not Angelo's fault that it happened. And when the girl grows up and discovers that her real father wanted her and her adoptive dads blocked him from being in her life, she'll never ever forgive them.

And, man, that one state senator is a real slime ball. Something tells me that that storyline isn't over, and there might be worse repercussions for the intern he knocked up and possibly pressured to have an abortion. With certain news coming out of New York City this last week, it feels very timely and relevant.

Agree completely on both points with Toby and Emmett.

#33 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 29 2013 - 07:04 PM

I thought it would have been more interesting if Nikki had already known about her dad's drug use. Other than that, I quite liked the episode.

I've never liked the Jace character. I think he rubbed me the wrong way initially because he magically picked up sign language in the blink of an eye. That instantly set off my "TV plot device" radar. So after starting out as a bit of a Mary Sue, it's been nice to see the show slowly weave in really douchy touches. I love that he's the guy that everybody congratulates you on snagging, only for you to secretly know the truth. I think Chef Jeff is a scumbag, absolutely despised that storyline, and think that Jeff's fiance probably has a right to know what kind of guy she's marrying. But that was Daphne's call to make, and she would have never wanted Jace to do what he did. She'd put it in the past, and Jace had to dredge it all up to satisfy his own self-righteousness.

I'm still uncomfortable with how the show uses the military as a plot device, even though it's own of the oldest plot devices in the book. There's something vaguely disingenuous about it for me. That being said, I think the Ty/Bay storyline is one of the most successful on the show right now.

Joey Lauren Adams has been cast as Nikki's mom. I can't wait for her to show up, because she's a really great actress.

#34 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 05 2013 - 06:22 PM

Absolutely loved Emmett's storyline this week. The episode really stayed with him through the whole experience, right to the perfect ending. We've all seen the videos on YouTube with Deaf people hearing for the first time that give us the warm and fuzzies inside, and it was nice to see that same scene from the perspective of a person just off camera whose insides are being torn up because he's witnessing something he will never have. And then they bring it back around to his drumming, with that beautiful scene in Melody's living room. Anthony Natale really knocked it out of the park; he made it about Emmett and not about his character. This was his way of tying Emmett into the experience instead of leaving him feeling left behind.

I'm also really liking Daphne's storyline. It's about who she wants to be as a person. The state senator is absolute slime, but no worse than a lot of the real ones out there. And now Jace's arrogance is going to set her whole world spinning. His character really captures the zealot whose so committed to his principles that he sacrifices the morals that supposedly underpin those principles. For Daphne, people are more important than politics. And Jace just doesn't get that at all.

I was glad that Nikki's mom knew about the father's drug dealing. I thought it was to the show's real credit that the mom didn't throw it in Toby's face and blame him. She knew there was no good outcome to that conversation, and I think she also knew it was inevitable sooner or later. The wedding continues to be a slow-motion train wreck.

I think it shows how far the show has come that Regina gracefully accepted John's handouts to a point, and then politely told him they were even. She wasn't defensive like she was in the early days; she understood what was going on and handled it appropriately. And likewise with John's gesture at the end. A pretty small thing compared to the car and the life changing job prospects, but far and away the most meaningful. She told him he didn't owe her anything, and he told her that they were okay. Probably the most fraught relationship on the whole show, and they mined it in a really satisfying way tonight.

The storyline that isn't working for me is Bay's. I did really like that she didn't have a life changing moment leaping from the tower, though. The way that played out was exactly right for Bay.

#35 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 12 2013 - 05:37 PM

I was happy with the way Ty's story played out tonight. Even though he was a bit dishonest, I thought John handled the situation exactly right. Ty made it clear that he had deep reservations about pursuing this course, and was only doing it for Bay. And then he gave Ty an out without throwing him under the bus in Bay's eyes. I also really liked the scene where Toby told Nikki about possibly contracting chlamydia and Emmett, seeing her reaction, got on board with the marriage. I still think it's a terrible idea, but I'm glad the show's giving us little glimpses into why they want to get married in the first place. It keeps the storyline from being a plot device.

I also like the storyline between Travis and Mary Beth. While Ryan Lane is implausibly good looking in the manner of most TV casting, and B.K. Cannon does not fit your standard TV dress code range, they completely work because Travis and Mary Beth are two deeply insecure and deeply damaged people. And even if there's no long term future to the relationship, it'll be huge for both of them because for once they reached out to someone else and got a positive reaction in return.



#36 of 39 mattCR

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Posted August 12 2013 - 06:55 PM

I agree, I really liked the Ty storyline a lot, and thought that the fact they played him as not-so-onboard was a much better conclusion then any other direction that storyline could have taken and helped make his character more real.

 

I also tend to think the marriage is a bad idea, but I like the idea that they aren't playing it as though it is constantly doomed from the beginning and that they will actually work on this and not just stupid/flighty.


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#37 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 19 2013 - 05:31 PM

Great finale. Everything seemed to be heading for explosive fireworks, but instead the show got back to the quiet moments that have always been its strength. Just about every storyline had the potential for a lazy, tired wrap up, and every one sidestepped my expectations.

When I saw the promos for the finale, I was ready to throw something at the TV. Having Ty cheat on Bay would have been the easiest most cop-out way to wrap that storyline up in a tidy little bow. What actually happened was far messier and more emotionally rewarding. As soon as Ty's overenthusiastic motor pool mate asked to use his room, I knew where it was headed and the more I think about it, the more right I think it was. Ty knew that he couldn't let Bay live her life around him when he was heading for a situation with a high likelihood of a lethal outcome. He did not plan the lie, but when it presented itself, he did not dissuade her. He loved her enough to spare her heartbreak, even if that meant her hating him.

The downside of that, of course, is that Bay has had two serious relationships in her life and now she believes that both ended with her being cheated on. The danger is that she comes to the conclusion that that's just what guys do and allows herself to be cheated on. That would be a tragedy. When she burst into Emmett's house, I thought she was going to fall into his arms. What we got instead was so much better. I loved that entire speech. I love that sex is meaningful to her, and that cheating is so foreign to her and how she was raised that she can't even comprehend it. That speaks incredibly well of the Kennishes, and it says so much about her as a person. Bay's the cynical one, but she's also the perpetually naive one, and that combination just breaks my heart every time.

The other scene the broke my heart was when the moving guy for the party rental company told Daphne what a lucky girl she was. It was such a culmination of her whole journey through the entire series so far. She belongs there now, she's a part of that world and there's a certain security with her position within the family. She would not have associated his words with her identity before, but now she does. And realizing that the guy is right, and that she is lucky, she does the morally courageous thing.

So much of dramatic television these days is dark and cynical and dreary. It merely aspires to reflect the world as it is in the name of art. That does nothing for me. I think there's even danger in that it normalizes the miserable state of affairs in the world today. The last few years have all been about telling us what we can't do, the compromises we have to make, how the consequences for doing the right thing instead of the easy thing are simply too steep. It was really life affirming to me that Daphne is brought to the point where John can make the whole thing go away and she can get on with her life with no lasting consequences, or she can do the right thing and face possible prison time. And faced with no consequences or potentially life-ruining consequences, she chooses consequences because it's the RIGHT THING TO DO. God, I felt like cheering. And when she does the right thing, she doesn't hide behind her ideology, she doesn't blame Coto for her predicament. She talks to the real victim in this whole thing, she takes public responsibility for her actions, and then she faces the consequences. You can see bits of what all three parents have taught her in that final decision.

I've got to admit, the shot of master of the universe Coto sitting at his desk as his entire world crumbles brought the hugest smile to my face.

Other things I love:
- Kathryn: Well, it doesn't say anything about whether he got in or not, but on the plus side, at least he doesn't have chlamydia.
- Toby and Nikki make the calm, thought out and rational decision to have premarital sex to make sure they're getting married for the right reason. The morning after, they call off the big wedding -- but go through with it all the same at the courthouse. Part of my impatience with this storyline is that it's always felt so doomed to failure that I just wanted them to get on with it already. Now I genuinely don't know what's going to happen, and that makes it a lot more interesting to me. Also, the stick has come out of Nikki's butt quite a bit.

Not sure how I feel about:
- Angelo giving up his daughter. On one hand, she had a loving home with the two gays guys and there's definitely an argument to be made that he's doing what's best for his daughter. On the other hand, it seems like a milder version of what happened with Daphne all over again: the going got tough, so Angelo got going. I can't imagine as father being satisfied with being the parent that's only around for birthdays and holidays. I can't imagine being able to bear not being a daily part of my child's life. What Angelo has with Bay and Daphne is easy, and it's mostly on his terms. That may seem like an attractive option with Abbie, but he'll never have the kind of relationship with her that John has with Bay and Daphne. Because that requires hard work and a real investment of time. Paternity is a matter of biological fact. Fatherhood is an earned privilege and grave responsibility.

#38 of 39 mattCR

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Posted August 19 2013 - 07:02 PM

I really thought this was something pretty special tonight.  Just really solid script.  I say that not because it painted all the numbers exactly right, but because I spent a lot of the episode rotating between complete surprise at what happened and then recognizing that while I'm surprised the result was more rewarding then most of the tropes that get trotted out there.


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#39 of 39 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 21 2013 - 01:36 PM

"Switched at Birth" Returns Monday, January 13th

Edited by Adam Lenhardt, October 21 2013 - 01:39 PM.





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