Friday, June 10, 2011

Switched at Birth Premieres; Adrian Loses Baby; Kyle Ages

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Reviews & Commentaries for "scripted" shows this week include: The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Switched at Birth, and South Park.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
"...Or Not to Be" (S04E01):  We open with Ashley and Amy in the kitchen... Amy is dancing around [like an idiot] listening to her mp3 player. She's excited about going out with Ricky. Leo's assistant ended up standing up George the night before (last week's episode). Kathleen's husband is surprisingly home early from Africa. Adrian and Ben are going to the hospital to meet with the doctor. Lauren tells Madison that she wants to break up with Frank... because he wants their families to spend a meal together. [I can't say I blame her. That would've been reason enough for me to break-up with a boy when I was in high school...] Madison's dad hears Madison tell Lauren that she's not planning to have sex with Jack... and he gives her $50 to go out to dinner with Jack. [haha] Lauren leaves and Madison admits to her dad that she and Jack did it once, but they don't want to do it again. Tom has met a girl on the bus, Rachel, and wants to go out with Jack and Madison and Rachel's two children. [Rachel's two children??] Grace wants to meet Grant's ex, Angie. Jeff is telling Kathleen all about Africa, and admits that he wants to go back, and wants her to come, too. Tom told Jeff about the two kids but didn't tell his mom yet. Kathleen doesn't care about seeing the world, she isn't impressed. [interesting. wonder what makes her say that?] The doctor takes Adrian and Ben to a room. Back at school, Madison tells Jack that she told her dad that they had sex. Frank wants to make-out with Lauren, and she starts breaking up with him. He doesn't fight it and ends up just walking off. [odd. wonder what he's thinking?] Alice is worried about Ben and Adrian being late to school because she had a dream about a broken mirror. Henry convinces her not to bother Ben about it. Ben and Adrian applied to and got accepted to the same college. [this might play out interestingly...] Ashley and Toby tested out of high school, and she wants emancipation status. [should've seen that coming!] Toby and Ashley want to drive across America. [why?] At the hospital, Ben and Adrian haven't called anyone, and Ben is crying in the hallway. Amy shows up at the butcher shop and goes upstairs while Ricky works. Ricky tells Bunny that he loves Amy, and she gives him the rest of the afternoon off. [The Nora and Amy scene was SO awkward!] Nora says that Ricky would love Amy even if John wasn't in the picture, but she isn't sure she believes her. [I don't know if I'd believe her, either.] Margaret shows up, since she's going with Nora to meet Nora's girlfriend. Margaret and Nora both tell Amy to be careful. Leo tells his assistant that he's got to get to the hospital, and has the assistant track down Betty and Adrian's mom. We see Tom with his girlfriend and her kids on the bus, and the girlfriend tells the kids that she's trying to make it work with Tom. Angie meets Grace and Grant at the restaurant, and Grace is surprised at how large the girl is. Grace accidentally calls the girl fat right off the bat. [jaw drop!] She's dieting and exercising. Kathleen and Jack talk about Tom's girlfriend, and that she may be after his money. [he apparently has a LOT.] Anne and George talk to Ashley, who wants to do what she wants now that she has a GED. George tells Anne that he'd have sex with Kathleen if given the chance. [foreshadowing?] Tom calls Adrian, who says she can't talk since she's in the hospital. Tom tells Jack, Kathleen, and Grace that Adrian is having the baby, and word spreads to Grant, Angie, Lauren, Madison, Henry, Alice, Ashley, George, Anne, Amy, and Ricky. [Who texted Henry and Alice?? Amy? I can't think of anyone else who would have, but they show Amy finding out AFTER them...] At the hospital, Ben tells Leo, and they both cry, not knowing why the baby died in the womb (though they have not yet made it clear that's what happened). Adrian's parents are with her, and Ruben thinks it's his fault. Henry and Alice are the first friends to arrive at the hospital, and they have a giant teddy bear. They see Adrian's parents walk away, crying, and more of the gang shows up. Leo tells Ben he'll handle talking to them, and Ben goes in to see Adrian again. Leo tells everyone that the baby passed away, and Amy and Ricky show up late... Amy starts to tear up as she approaches Leo [this is when I lost it. of course, the music  - Sarah McLachlin's "In the Arms of an Angel" - doesn't help!] and asks Leo if everything's alright, he says no, and they start crying. Ben comes out again, and tells Amy that Adrian wants to see her, but Amy doesn't want to go in. [can't blame her!] She goes anyway, and Leo tells Ricky that the baby was fine yesterday, and that Ben and Adrian will never be the same. Henry and Alice embrace Ben while Amy hugs Adrian. Ricky consoles Ben, Ricky and Amy console each other, Ben lays with Adrian. Amy and Ricky get back to his place and just lay there, then Amy says that she wants Ricky, and they start making out. [we never saw or hear from Betty... weird. ]

Switched at Birth "This is Not a Pipe" (S01E01): The opening is on Bay's science classroom, where they're doing a genetics lab. [I'm not sure I would have been allowed to prick blood in my high school... though 1 in 40 people have AIDS in the city where I went to high school.] Bay flirts with her lab partner, Liam. Bay finds out she has AB blood, which is rare. But her dad explains that both parents have A, so she has to be A or O. [I appreciate a smart father figure.] We find out that Bay's older brother, Toby, plays lacrosse. Toby is two years older. Her dad, John, claims the blood smear must be a mistake. The next day, Bay's mom, Kathryn, is driving her to school, and Bay points out that she enjoys the art that her mom calls graffiti. Bay questions why they're different in every way, and wonders if she was adopted. Bay asks her parents for a genetic test, and it turns out that, six weeks later, there's a 99% chance that Bay isn't related to them. Two weeks later, the Center (in Kansas City) brings both families together to meet. Then, Daphne and her mother, Regina, are driving to Bay's house, and they go over what they know about the other family... John was a professional baseball player and now owns a bunch of car washes. They're going to have lunch together, and Kathryn tells Bay to be nice... and Daphne signs for Regina to be nice. Daphne is a vegetarian, and has been since she was eleven. Daphne has the same allergy to kiwis that Toby and Kathryn have. Regina is Puerto Rican. Daphne explores the house a little bit. Kathryn is afraid that she could lose Bay, though she also wants Daphne. [interesting conundrum... sounds selfish.] Toby gives Daphne a tour. They have tennis courts, a gazebo, a guest house, and a basketball court. [a little much! but, nice to see those two getting along.] Daphne and Toby play some one-on-one, and she's good. Inside the house, the parents are talking about the kids - Daphne had meningitis when she was three, and the hearing aid she wears only helps with ambient noise. Regina has to go, and John offers to drive Daphne home later, which is cool with her. Daphne's mother is a hairdresser who operates out of their home, and only Puerto Rican on her mother's side. Bay has a fake ID which makes her 21, and she wants a nose piercing. John gives Daphne a ride home, and he meets Daphne's grandmother, too. [Interesting moment when the Dad just listens to everything going on outside Daphne's house, showing all of the sounds she can't hear.] When he gets home, Kathryn says that they have to get Daphne out of there (and presumably into a better life). The next morning, Kathryn notices Bay's nose piercing, and she's also drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. John shows up at Daphne's house and mentions to Regina that he's heard about cochlear implants, which can help deaf people to hear. He offers the $100,000 surgery with follow-up, and then they argue about whether Daphne can be happy being deaf, etc. [great note about deaf people being happy with themselves. many abled people struggle to see that.] We see the deaf school where Daphne goes, and she's signing with a friend at lunch. He points out that she might not be deaf if she had lived elsewhere as a baby. [good point.] Bay parks in the neighborhood where Daphne lives, and a guy comes up to her and tells her to move along. [I didn't really understand why she was there anyway.] John goes to Daphne's school gym to talk to her about going to the same school as his kids. He understands that she likes where she is, but he wants her to have all possible options available. John also asks Daphne not to tell Regina about it for now. [tricky!] John and Kathryn take a tour of the school with Daphne, and she finds out that she'd have a full-time interpreter. Daphne meets Liam, and they flirt a little. She tells him that a deaf person has to give you a name sign. [love that they're teaching deaf culture already!] John asks Bay to remove the nose ring, and she gets upset that her parents want Daphne to go to the same school. Toby meets Daphne's friend Emmett, and she teaches Toby that you can ask deaf people questions directly, as it's rude to talk about them in the third person. Emmett comes from a deaf family and is rarely around people who can't sign. Bay has stencils and spray paint and does some graffiti in broad daylight. It looks the same as the graffiti that she pointed out earlier. [I'm thinking that she's craving attention...] The same guy who saw her watching Daphne's house catches her again. Kathryn runs a security check on Regina, since she was upset that Regina let Daphne ride on a motorcycle. Regina has two DUIs. Regina's mom tells her that they should have Bay over. Regina's car has been broken into... to steal a cell phone charger and a couple bucks of change. [sucks.] Bay gets arrested and has them call Regina, who thinks it was Daphne who was arrested. Bay used a fake ID to buy beer. Bay's parents show up, too. Court date is the 26th (though I'm not sure what the alleged current date is). Bay runs off and the parents look for her. Katherine accuses Regina of being drunk when Daphne got sick and that's why she's deaf. [wow. that's harsh.] Daphne tells her grandmother about the private school, and says that she doesn't want to tell her mom. It seems that the grandmother lives with them. Regina tells Daphne that she shouldn't go to a hearing school because she'll be an outsider, like she was in elementary school. Bay is seen sitting on a curb, and Toby picks her up. Toby suggests that she talk to Daphne about what she's feeling, since she would understand. Bay goes to Daphne's, and they talk about music. [um, so Toby took her there? and then didn't tell his parents?] Daphne tells Bay that her mom is two months behind in rent and they may need to move to Toledo to live with an uncle. Bay calls her dad. She meets Regina's mom. Regina yells at her for the beer. Bay wants to get to know Regina, and Regina gives Bay some hair clip extensions in bright colors. Turns out, the nose ring was fake. [good.] Regina, her mom, and Daphne move into the guest house. Regina tells Kathryn that she's been sober for eleven years. Now Bay wonders who her father is. [Overall, I thought this was a pretty good pilot. It gave us a lot of information about the characters and their backgrounds, though I wonder how much of future episodes will be family-oriented rather than school-oriented. This makes me suspect that next week's episode will center on the school and we'll meet more of the characters there.]

South Park "You're Getting Old" (S15E07): Stan's 10th birthday is at a pizza place. Cartman's mom gives him presents each time Stan opens one. [if the kids have been friends for years, why are they all surprised that this happens? I expect Catman's played this one before...] Stan's mom takes away a CD that she doesn't think is appropriate for him. Stan's dad listens to the disc - a "tween wave" of music, popular 2009-2012. [haha.] All of the parents stop their kids from listening to it, so the kids are upset, and Stan's dad is upset, too. To the adults, the tween wave sounds like farts, and to the kids, older music (like The Police) sounds like farts. Hence the idea that music from a generation other than your own "sounds like s#!t." Stan sneaks some of the tween wave music onto his mp3 player and hears it as farts. He asks Kyle about it, who doesn't agree. Stan goes to the doctor, who tells him that ears and tongues change as you grow older. There's a major dig at Kevin James' Zookeeper movie. The doctor suggests that Stan has become a "cynical @$$hole" instead of just thinking that new stuff sucks. Stan then literally sees stools coming out of the doctor's mouth. [horrifying.] Stan's dad keeps listening to the tween wave music. Stan is totally cynical to the other kids. [hahahahaha.] Stan's dad becomes a one-man-tween-wave-band, performing at the bowling alley. Jokes on Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Nicks. [not the best.] The other kids won't hang out with Stan because he complains too much. They all go to see the new X-Men movie, and they see a trailer for Mr. Poppin's Penguins only Stan sees the penguins as stools. [this is getting old..] Two old men break into the Marsh house and steal Stan's dad's pants so they can't be soiled anymore. [ridiculous, but funny.] Stan's parents talk about how they see one another differently now, too. Stan's parents split up and sell the house, and we end with Kyle laying in his new bed. [weird way to end!!]      
[mid-season finale]

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Off season/Coming Up:

Hot in Cleveland (June 15th picks us up at Season 2, Episode 11)
Futurama (Season 6, episode 14 on June 23rd)
Burn Notice (Season 5 begins June 23rd)
Melissa & Joey (season 2 starts June 29th, 8pm)
How I Met Your Mother (Season 7 in September)
Terra Nova (premiering in September) 
The Simpsons (Season 23 in September. In the meantime, go online and vote for what should happen to the Nedna relationship)
The Middle
(Season 3 in September)
House, M.D. (Season 8 in September)

Mr. Sunshine (Canceled. we saw nine episodes.) 
The Paul Reiser Show (Canceled. we saw two episodes, and at least 5 more were filmed.) 
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