Switched at Birth Episode 1-1 Review: This Is Not a Pipe

I wasn’t planning on watching Switched at Birth until I read a summary–two girls switched at birth end up in completely different situations. That’s the kind of wacky ideas that can make a show totally unwatchable or, if executed well, into something worth watching, so I immediately perked up. My curiosity got the better of me and I went ahead and watched it.

For the first three-quarters of the pilot, I was very uneasy about the whole thing. There was already the massively stupid, childish cliche about Bay being the same as her biological mother and the complete opposite of the parents who raised her, as if biology is the only thing that determines how someone turns out. And the same went for Daphne. The writers make no attempt for nuance, instead presenting a black and white distinction. I’m sure the lines will be blurred as the show progresses, but force feeding differences in the pilot is a bit obnoxious. Another problem is that the Kennish parents are very stuck up, almost expecting Daphne to be given to them simply because they can provide better monetary support. It smooths out after a while, but they still suffer from government-syndrome, the idea that they alone know what’s best.

But the pilot manages to right itself eventually. As the characters of Bays and Daphne are developed, we really get the sense how much everything is weighing on them. Their worlds have been upturn and alternative lifetimes are placed right in front of them. Their parents, meanwhile, are squabbling, so their best option is each other. They may have completely different backgrounds, but they no what it’s like to be on the outside, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Score: 8.1/10