Friday, August 16, 2013

The Fosters Perfect Forbidden Love Story and Switched at Birth's Wedding Storyline

I remember reading an interview with Tabitha Suzuma around the release of Forbidden about how she wanted to write a tragic/forbidden love story but there just weren't that many circumstances anymore where love was forbidden (thus resulting in tragedy). And so she wrote a story about incest, one of the last taboos.

I think The Fosters found a better solution and while it has the same sort of basis (familial relations) it has a lot less squick factor and is forbidden in all the right ways. There's nothing to really prevent you from rooting against Callie and Brandon except for their a couple their moments are genuinely cute and you get the sense that the aim of the writing is for them to be good for each other as individuals. And of course they are attracted to each other. But Callie is a foster daughter in Brandon's family and she has more than her own future to think about...she has a little brother and he has had a hard time fitting in with various families. The Fosters have really welcomed him and made him feel safe and valued and that's not a small thing at all. Callie has had a past experience where she was kicked out of a foster home because of a relationship with the son, so she knows the risk. And yet, she has a real connection with Brandon. It's not like they can make the decision to stop seeing each other--they live in the same house! So naturally they grow close even as Callie tries everything to fight her attraction. It's basically a time bomb waiting to go off...and since this is a soapy drama OF COURSE it goes off in the finale. It's a relationship that might benefit each individual teen, but has an actual impact on others. So when Jude walks in on them kissing, he naturally thinks about the precarious position it puts them in. And Callie's response to run is natural. She doesn't know what else to do! All she knows is that she doesn't want to ruin Jude's chances, and she doesn't trust herself to stay and have that not happen.

I don't know, it's just kind of refreshing to see such a well considered conflict for a relationship. This kind of angst actually appeals to me a lot and I started out with pretty shippy feelings for Brandon and Callie, though they've faded a bit.

Other things I love about The Fosters:
*I love that this show is about the family you choose for yourself and how that impacts family relations. I think with blood family there's often an expectation that if you screw up you'll find a way through it. Or there's almost a laziness in interacting and dealing with each other because you're family. You take each other for granted. But in a family like The Fosters--the reality that love is a choice is far more present in their minds. And I think it makes them a better family in many ways for it.
*The episode where Brandon considered moving back in with Mike and then decides he can't, but sees the piano his dad rented for him and breaks down? One of my favorite scenes on all of television this year. It was just so full of aching and the sadness over things that can't be changed. No one was wrong in this scenario, it was just one of those unchangeable facts of life.
*This is maybe the most feel good show I watch, I mean it just oozes warmth, but at the same time there's a very real acknowledgement that the world is not a safe place, that life is often unfair, that people will let you down and disappoint you and make selfish choices with no consideration of you. I like that Stef's dad didn't show up for the wedding because that's real life. Same with the conclusion of Callie's court case. I think what makes this show feel good is all the love. It's not based on unrealistic/happy outcomes, but on the love the family has for each other.

Basically at the end of the season I've realized that I really love this show a lot!

Switched at Birth's Wedding Story line.

I'm pretty sure this is an unpopular opinion, but I'm actually really enjoying Toby and Nikki's storyline. It rings very true to me, a lot of my friends got married at a young age. And one of the things it's made me think about most is one my friends that did. I was so against it, too, at the time, and told her as much--thinking I was being a good friend and doing the right thing. But you know, they got married and are still happy. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. And I think in our culture right now we dismiss that young people might know what they want and assume marriage is better later. And you know what? That might be true in a lot of cases, but it doesn't mean it's true in every case. People got married young for years and made it work, there's no reason that can't still be something people want. So the complete and utter lack of support from Toby's family and friends rings so true. And it's funny, because this is actually the time he needs it most! The lack of support ends up being an extra stress on him. Also, Nikki is Switched at Birth's representative character of faith so the different ways they deal with that is also interesting and real.

I don't know if they are actually going to go through with it or not...but I've really enjoyed watching them negotiate their relationship and needs and desires as they try to make a relationship work and plan a wedding when no one wants them to!


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