The opening episode of a TV series is a make or break deal. If it’s a great episode, people come back for more. I’ll share 4 such episodes that I think are outstanding. Continue reading “4 Examples of Television’s Most Compelling First Episodes”
Have you been watching The Gifted? I have. One of the things I notice each week is the great marriage between Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer as the parents of two ‘gifted’ teens in this sci fi drama. I haven’t thought much about great TV marriages since Friday Night Lights with Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler ended. It’s time to look at a few newer marriage examples. Continue reading “Great TV Marriages”
Time for a brain dump – a few short thoughts on a variety of shows. Let’s start with The Fosters. Continue reading “Brain Dump: The Fosters, Supergirl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
The Fosters ended season 3 on several cliffhangers. It was a season filled with stupid moves by teenagers. The Adams-Foster clan has plenty of teens to go around. Beware the spoilers if you haven’t watched the entire season yet. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Season 3 of The Fosters”
The new season of The Fosters begins on June 8 on ABC Family.
Jake T. Austin will not be returning as Jesus. Jesus and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) were in the car with their birth mother Ana (Alexandra Barreto) at the time of the cliffhanger accident at the end of season 2. One fatality in the accident was announced even before Stef (Teri Polo) arrived at the scene of the wreck. That may be how they write Jesus out of the story.
The actor playing Lina’s (Sherri Saum) dad is changing to Bruce Davison, according to TVLine.
If Lena and Stef have the loss of a child to deal with in season 3, I don’t see how that one kiss from Lena’s boss is going to matter very much, but you never know – maybe it will be a big deal.
In addition to the preview from ABC Family, here’s a video with some cast members commenting about season 3. Unspoken in this video is the patriarchy at work, because Cierra Ramirez got to speak about 14 seconds out of a 3 minute video. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy Cierra as the geeky Mariana, so I was a bit put off by the lack of attention she got here. Nevertheless, we do learn about Brandon’s (David Lambert) possible new girl friend and the continuation of Jonner.
A brain dump is little bits of this and that. Excess baggage from my brain. If you have thoughts on anything I mention, please feel free to dump your brain in the comments.
I’m happy to see that Stalker continues to mix it up between male and female stalkers and male and female victims. Beth Davis (Maggie Q) is finally going to open up about her own stalker and her own past. This aspect of the show gives Maggie Q a chance to show off some expanded acting skills, too.
State of Affairs and Madam Secretary
Wow! These two women – Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) and Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) – can work miracles. They can do anything that needs doing anywhere in the world. What I’m saying is the plot lines in these shows are a little grandiose. Come on writers, you know plausibility is a virtue in a plot. However, I’m loving the characters. I’m still waiting for Alfre Woodard to get her name dropped during the promos, but I’m happy her role puts her in so many scenes.
What I’m liking about the female characters in Stalker, State of Affairs and Madam Secretary is that they are strong and powerful, but also completely female.
The Fosters Christmas Special
The Fosters Christmas special is available early if you watch using the ABC Family app instead of waiting for the show to air on network TV. I have to say it made a complete mess of me because I cried all the way through. I cried because Lena (Sherri Saum) and Stef (Teri Polo) were fighting, I cried about the wonderful way that Lena talked to Jude (Hayden Byerly) about being a half sibling. I cried when Stef got so mad at her mom (Annie Potts). I cried when Stef’s mom gave the kids college money for Christmas. All that crying made me very happy. Everything about The Fosters makes me happy. “Thank you for the tears I’ve cried.”
Switched at Birth Christmas Special
This show is also available early using the ABC Family app.
Switched at Birth pulled a Christmas miracle switch. Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne (Katie Leclerc) were switched back to their right parents. Everything was different and wrong and a mess, but Bay and Daphne knew it. Of course, they switch it back to being with the wrong parents. A tired plot, but I love this show. Switching characters gives everyone a chance to make their persona completely different, which is entertaining for me. It reminds me that these people are acting.
No matter how much we love a character, it’s good to be reminded that the person playing the character is acting. Oh shit! That means Jennifer Beals isn’t really Bette Porter and Anna Silk isn’t really Bo Dennis. Damn!
The Fosters starts up for the summer on June 16. There will be new babies, new drama, new hair. Here’s a teaser for the premier episode.
I love that sigh Teri Polo makes over Mariana’s hair – it is the perfect mom of a teen sigh.
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.
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.
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.