Saturday, January 14, 2012

Switched at Birth: It's 2012

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

There's not a lot of doubt in this episode that it's 2012 (though you could get away with 2011 if you wanted). From Kathryn naming off books that celebrities have written to Bay and Emmett "planking" all over town, this episode will surely be dated. In five years, will anyone remember the fast-fad of planking? It took quite a while before I even heard about it, according to my younger compatriots. Yes, Monopoly and artichoke dip are rather timeless. And, high schoolers obtaining fake IDs seems to be pretty common (though it seems to happen more often these days, if you ask me). But I keep going back to the fact that this show is very in-the-now. And I like that about it. It doesn't always work for a program, but I think they're doing it right in this case. Have you noticed? Do you think it makes a difference?
Switched at Birth "The Tempest" (S01E12): Bay and Emmett take pictures of one another planking in public spaces. [I've never understood how people start making out and don't hear knocks on doors. maybe I'm just overly paranoid and can't get lost in the passion of the moment if there's a chance I'll get caught?] Melody finds out that Emmett is dropping AP Biology to take Speech Therapy, and she's not happy about it. Bay thinks that Melody hates her, so as soon as she gets an opportunity, she signs that the speech therapy wasn't her idea. Emmett suggests that Bay come over for dinner and board games so that his mom can get to know her. [not a bad idea.] Bay panics and invites Regina to come along.Bay then asks Kathryn how to get Melody to like her, since Kathryn is so lovable. [true. Kathryn really has that Midwestern-girl-next-door thing going.] Bay has to admit that she's dating Emmett, which surprises Kathryn. [I imagine that we'll soon see Emmett over at the Kennish's...] Kathryn's advice? lay off the sarcasm and to bring artichoke dip. [food! the universal win-all!] But, when Bay and Regina show up at Melody's, the dip isn't put out, which bothers Bay. [really? I mean, you have to be trying to cause a problem to not put out the food that was brought!] Bay asks Regina not to interpret for her so that Melody can see she's trying. [good for her.] Melody is fuming since Emmett failed a history test (which he should have studied for while he as with Bay), so she's a bit off. She signs way too fast for Bay to keep up with while they all play Monopoly, and when Bay accidentally uses the sign for "circumcise" instead of "hang out," Melody laughs at her. A lot. Bay ends up leaving, with Regina following after sternly telling Melody to apologize to Bay. [glad that Regina stood up for Bay rather than stepping aside as her character tends to do.] Melody comes to Emmett and they talk through their issues - we learn that Melody didn't want Emmett in speech therapy as a kid because it would have taken hours away from other things he loved. [you know, that's a great point. to a certain extent.] We also learn that Melody was hit with a ruler if she signed instead of spoke when in school. [I'm glad that they're bringing this up a bit. The hearing and deaf cultures used to clash so much more from what I've been taught, so it's good that true (albeit sad) stories are surfacing.] 

Oh, speaking of Regina. Because she's spending more time with Bay, and realizing that Bay is spending more time with Emmett, she wants to talk to Daphne about Bay and Emmett. Of course, Daphne just says it's no big deal, but Regina is worried about how much time Daphne is now spending by herself. [I hadn't really thought about it, but that's a good point. And probably exactly why Daphne begins to fall into a bad crowd...]

Daphne is taking cooking with Simone, and they also both play basketball. Bay tries to warn Daphne about Simone, but Daphne gets upset at Bay interfering. Bay sees Wilke about getting a fake ID, and she's off to meet the girls at a 21+ lounge. [Daphne is so good at playing the "good girl" that I never expected her to do things like this! This is like the third "bad girl" thing we've seen her doing now.] Wilke shows up at the club where Daphne is, thinking that they're somewhat together. She corrects him, but he blows her off as saying that she's stuck on Emmett. (which, of course, she denies.) The girls dare one another to make out with guys at the bar, and Daphne doesn't want to be treated any differently, so she takes the dare and kisses a guy, messing up his relationship with his girlfriend. The girls end up leaving, and Simone doesn't pay the check, but nobody else sees that. [this Simone ain't gonna last. I wonder how deep Daphne will get in before she gets out??] 

And then there's the basketball thing. Yes, playing a team sport is supposed to keep you out of trouble (didn't work for Mary Camden tho, did it?), but quitting one team for another is frowned upon if you're not a pro. So, after Daphne is approached by the Buckner coach to play for their team, John tells her that you don't quit a team in the middle of a season. She's upset at the fact that the Carlton girls don't care if they win and aren't all that good, so she longs for a more competitive edge. She asks Toby for advice on how to quit, but he really just tells her that she's the athlete that John never had. [good point. for a former baseball star, it would be rough to have kids who were into music and art.] Daphne then goes to Regina for advice, who says that she should switch if she wants.... so she decides to do it anyway, regardless of how angry John may get. [coming from someone who has quit a basketball team (after only 2-3 practices and before any games), I see no harm in what Daphne's doing. If you want to excel, you need to play with folks who are as good or better than you.]

But let's take a second to go back to her fake ID. She went to Wilke because her old hook-up graduated, and since he's a wild one, he's an obvious choice as to who to turn to. But, since Wilke is struggling for money (he wants to rent a capybara for a music video) and working at John's car wash is just going to take too long, Wilke decides to go into the ID-making business... dragging along poor Toby. Wilke will market to Carlton students (and others, I'm sure), and Toby will actually make the licenses. Bay warns them against it, but it doesn't do a whole lot of good. [I don't get why people change the birth date... why not just the year? wouldn't that make it easier? or would that make people foul up more? I dunno, I think I've only even seen a fake ID once, much less had one of my own.]

Enough of the kids, let's look at the adults. Except, there really isn't anything going on except for the fact that Kathryn meets with the reporter from the Kansas City Herald who wrote that article on the family a while back. Kathryn is shocked at how much the reporter knows about the family, and she's now talking about having a book written rather than a second article. [wow. that's a big change!] The lawyer calls, and says that the book can be written legally if someone wants to take it on, so it's better to collaborate. But, Kathryn is worried that the woman will fill it with salacious stuff, giving her a bad name in the process. John says he'll call the lawyer, but Kathryn insists that she's handling it. [good for her! We really get the impression that he's been taking care of the "important" things forever, so it's nice that she is taking charge.] Kathryn picks up a bunch of autobiographical books and eventually decides to write her own story instead. [WHOA. this is going to be an ongoing storyline. I imagine it'll even lead to her going back to college, don't ya think?]

The episode ends with Emmett being arrested, and we're not sure why. We do, however, know that it wasn't really fair... the police were talking to him and shining lights in his face, and he had no idea what was being said. [I'm betting someone tracked him down as the person who tagged that billboard. what do you think?]
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