SWITCHED AT BIRTH: VOLUME ONE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
ABC Family starts a new, popular teen drama, “Switched at Birth.” The story follows two families – a wealthy one and a single mom struggling to raise her daughter – who discover that they took home the wrong baby girl fifteen years ago. The two families learn to deal with this drama and the realization that they’ve been raising someone else’s daughter.
Like most ABC Family shows, “Switched at Birth” focuses almost too much on the premise. Similar to “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which fixates on teen sex in almost every scene, “Switched at Birth” constantly reminds you that the girls were literally switched at birth.
However, unlike many other ABC Family shows, the acting and line delivery is a little more even, especially with the adults. Of course, being made for a teenage girl audience, this show follows the ABC Family method of having every character act and react like a teenage girl, no matter what age they are. This, to me, is an indication that the cast (particularly the adult actors) are better than most other shows, and that makes it more watchable.
Both girls are fine actors. Katie Leclerc channels Rachel McAdams (to the point that it’s actually mentioned in the show) but fortunately is written into a less perfect character by the end of this volume. Similarly, Vanessa Marano lays on the sullen, dark-haired teen girl with the nasally, sarcastic quips a bit too thick. Again, by the end of the episode on these discs, she’s evened out a bit.
Basically, once the show rises above the OMG factor of the premise, things turn into a more standard teen drama.
The two-disc DVD has the first ten episodes of the series, with no special features.