Switched At Birth: Volume One – DVD Review

ABC Family’s highly acclaimed new television drama Switched at Birth is now available on DVD.  This opening half of the first season is a fine way to introduce the story to newcomers and will be a delight to the show’s already avid fans.
A standard high school science assignment, typing a drop of one’s blood, leads Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) to suspect that she is not the biological child of her parents John and Kathryn Kennish (D. W. Moffett and Lea Thompson).  She tells her family and they agree to genetic testing that confirms Bay really was switched at birth with another baby girl. 

The Kennish family sets out to locate the other girl, finding that she is Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc) and has been raised by a single mother Regina (Constance Marie.)  Daphne is deaf as a result of a meningitis infection she had as a baby.  Regina has worked ceaselessly to provide the best for Daphne, and make certain that her deafness will not hold her back. 

The Kennishes are perplexed by the situation, and make an effort to adopt the Vasquez family into their lives.  What follows is a dramatic, touching, and frustrating time as the two families try to get to know each other and build relationships.  There are many false steps and mistakes made, and Bay seems to be getting the worst of the deal, struggling with feelings of alienation. 

Everyone learns hard lessons, and there are heartwarming moments as each girl discovers who she is and her importance regardless of birth or upbringing.

Switched at Birth Volume One DVD is presented on two discs containing the ten episodes that comprise the first half of the first season.  Well crafted, with talented actors and actresses, Switched at Birth is truly a family series. 

Parents watching with their children will find opportunities for discussions based on the challenges the teens face, whether it is underage drinking or the search for personal identity.  Care has been taken with the production to give viewers a sense of the world of the deaf, using sign language that has been overseen by an experts including recurring cast member Marlee Matlin. 

The characters seem real, with strengths and weaknesses, and the overall sense of the production is that these people have been placed in a bizarre situation through no fault of their own, and they are all trying their best to improve the future.  Love and care abounds, and strength of family relationships is everyone’s goal

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