Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts Together Again on The Fosters

From 1998 to 2002 a series called Any Day Now captured my devoted attention. It starred Annie Potts as Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) Sims and Lorraine Toussaint as Rene Jackson. The two grew up together in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960’s. Despite their difference in race and the upheavals and violence of the civil rights movement swirling all around them in Birmingham, they were best friends.

Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts
Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts

Years have passed since those childhood days, which we see in frequent flashbacks. M.E. has been in Birmingham the entire time and has a husband (Chris Mulkey) and kids. She’s a housewife and aspiring writer. Rene has been gone, working as an attorney in Washington. She returns to Birmingham after her father’s death and they strike up their old friendship.

Any Day Now was about friendship and marriage and family. It was set in a crucible of the civil rights movement. The reverberations of race and the struggle for equality that affected the two friends’ childhoods and continued into their adulthoods made for powerful storytelling. Even though there were heavy themes involved, the stories were told with warmth and understanding.

While I loved it for the characters and the stories, it’s safe to say that it was a groundbreaking story of civil rights and race relations.

These two actresses – Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts – worked together to weave stories with a message about equality and human rights. Any Day Now ended over 10 years ago.

This week on ABC Family’s new series The Fosters, these two actresses will be together again.

The Fosters is about a multi-ethnic family of foster and biological kids raised by two moms. The moms are Stef Foster (Teri Polo), a police officer, and Lena Adams (Sherri Saum), a school Vice Principal. ABC Family emphasizes the family relationships and downplays the two mom aspect of this show to present it as just another family.

Much as ABC Family doesn’t make the lesbian couple the focus of this family drama, there’s still the lesbian issue right in your face. And the race issue. Lena is bi-racial. Two of the adopted children are Hispanic. While I love it for the characters and the stories, it’s safe to say that it is a groundbreaking story of civil rights and race relations.

The Fosters Wedding
Sherri Saum and Terri Polo

Monday night on ABC Family, in the season 1 finale of The Fosters, Stef and Lena are getting married. Their parents will be in attendance. Their mothers will be played by Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts.

On the very day the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the wedding scenes in the series finale were filmed.

When the civil rights struggles began in the 60’s, no one knew how long the fight would last or how hard the battles would be. A movement that originated around justice for African Americans has grown to include women’s rights and gay rights and encompasses numerous social justice issues. It isn’t over. We still struggle, despite all our progress.

It’s a long and painful history of struggle and progress that I will remember when I see the wedding of two women on The Fosters. A history that is tangibly tied to the early struggles in Birmingham and the South by the presence of two women who worked on a show called Any Day Now. This episode of The Fosters represents much more than a modern love story. It represents 50 years of the fight for equality in America.

Bravo to ABC Family and The Fosters for pulling these threads together into this powerful television moment with two brilliant casting choices – Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts.

Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts images via Lifetime.

Update: This post was syndicated on BlogHer.com.

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27 responses to “Lorraine Toussaint and Annie Potts Together Again on The Fosters”

  1. I love The Fosters! I have watched it from the first episode. They really do tackle a lot of “social issues,” everything from gay parenting and gay marriage to teen pregnancy and birth control. But I especially like the theme of people putting together their own family, Even Steph’s ex-husband is an extended family member to the rest of the kids. It is very cool!

  2. Utterly AMAZING!! I was so excited to see them together again! Any Day Now was one of my favorite shows of all time.

    • The Fosters creator told Variety that Lena’s parents are coming back to town in season 5, so we will get to see more of Lorraine Toussaint this season. He didn’t mention if Annie Potts would be around at the same time. She was around quite a lot in season 4.

      I loved Any Day Now, too. They took on so many important topics and made it entertaining.

  3. I have not watched the Fosters I was looking up the song Any Day Now and here is where I landed . Please Tell me How to contact and In quire about the possibility of a reprisal of the Series of Any Day Now??? Now would be a perfect time in the state of our Country and the state of the ways that our country is coming to gather on issues such as Black Lives Matter Move and The fact that Civil Rights Should and Should have Always been always been for all Races No matter what .

    • I have no idea how to go about requesting the reprisal of a series. They sure are bringing back plenty of them these days. Maybe contact various producers, directors, and stars on Twitter? Or start a hashtag campaign on Twitter? Sorry, I’m not very up on this sort of thing.

    • Any Day Now is being broadcast on the Start Channel, #1255 on Spectrum. It is on at 10 am in NYC. I loved it back in the day, and I love it even more now. It is so current. We have the same problems we had in the 60’s and the 90’s.
      Jane

      • I love this show so much, I wasn’t able to watch it when it originally aired as I was working but since I’ve semi-retired I watch every day even Saturday and Sunday. Great stories, writing and actors. So thankful START tv airs this wonderful dhow.

    • I missed Any Day Now back in the day–however, the reruns are on in Phx every morning at 10 am on Ch. 45.5!

    • I watch Any Day Now every morning on Start TV in Seattlr! I agree w / everything said.I Love Love the Series!!!

  4. I’m of the time when segregration was happening and ending…would your writers consider following the lives of the women who grew up and through those times? I was born in 1953

  5. I never even knew this show was on when it aired but I’ve been out on medical from work caught it on day and now whenever I’m home I don’t miss a show..This is a wonderful program and so sad that we’re still dealing with the same issues in 2022.

  6. I started watching any day now on Start TV here in Sacramento CA about a year or two ago and I love it. They tackle some hardcore racial issues on the show! Some of those scenes when they flashback are BRUTAL! The ugliness of racism exposed for what it is:. FEAR! you don’t look like me so there MUST be something dangerous and wrong with you!! Right? No! RIGHT!!?

  7. I loved Any Day Now when it was on years ago and was so happy when I found it again on Start TV. It’s amazing how relevant the show still is today. Annie Potts and Lorraine Toussaint are two of my favorite actresses, and I was so happy to see them together again in The Fosters, another of my favorite shows. Maybe Potts and Toussaint could reunite again on Young Sheldon! How enjoyable that would be! Toussaint could be an old friend of Meemaw’s! I’ll bet Annie and Lorraine are friends in real life. Nice to think so. I’m born in 1951 so I have enjoyed you both for many years, and your contributions to acting in your shows are very much appreciated. Brava ladies!

  8. I don’t know where I was when this originally aired (probably working 2nd shift), but am watching it now on StartTV. Love it!! Never miss it and will set my alarm, if sleeping in, just to get up and watch. Wish each episode was longer and that the show aired for much longer, just so I could have more episodes to watch! Wish they’d do a reboot with the original actors.

  9. I didn’t see this terrific show when it originally aired, but I accidentally watched a couple of episodes on lifetime, I love this show, Annie Potts is great an Lorraine Toussaint is just wonderful, I wish I could buy the complete set on dvd,but haven’t found a reliable source. Please if anyone can help me finding it let me know. These two actresses are amazing. Thank you

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