Saying Goodbye to Daphne and Bay

Last night, FreeForm (formerly abcfamily) said goodbye to Switched at Birth. As usual, I was late to the party with this show. About a year ago I had just finished binge watching One Tree Hill and was looking for a new show to binge. That’s when I remembered Switched at Birth, the story of two girls who, you guessed it, were accidentially switched in the hospital. The switch wasn’t what caught my attention. It was that one of the girls was deaf.

I’m an ASL student, currently taking a break, but hoping to become an interpreter. My interest love of ASL goes back to my childhood. Around the age of eight or nine, I learned how to fingerspell. I would practice constantly, spelling words that I heard or read, trying to get better, faster. In fact, I still catch myself doing that quite often. Fast forward to my late twenties when I realized I wanted to become an interpreter after watching an ASL class on TLC every afternoon while my kiddos napped. But, being a homeschooling, stay at home mom, I wasn’t able to go to school full-time to pursue that. So, I’ve been waiting patiently, taking a few classes here and there, for my youngest to graduate from high school. She has a year and a month until graduation and I plan on being a full-time student the following fall semester.

Back to SAB – I love reading books or watching shows and movies that feature deaf characters. So, I decided it was time to jump into Switched at Birth. It’s a really sweet show, a little corny at times, but not enough to turn me away. It follows the two girls, Bay and Daphne, and their families as they try to build relationships that are fifteen years overdue. Thankfully the writers didn’t try to make it seem like it was all rainbows and unicorns. I think they wrote a real show, portraying all the hurt, anger, resentment, anxiety and love that one would experience in that situation.

The writers also addressed other real life issues, like rape, drug use, bullying, discrimination and alcoholism. Yes, happy endings were usually the order of the day, but the struggles were shown and not ignored.

Of course, I would have loved for the whole show to be signed. That’s never going to happen, but having deaf actors, like Marlee Matlin, for whom ASL is their first language was wonderful. I could sit and watch them sign all day. Yeah, I’m a geek, which is not news to anyone who has read this blog in the past.

Last night’s finale was a great sendoff for the show. After five years, the ‘kids’ are making their way out into the world. Bay, the artist, is becoming a tattoo artist who is getting recognition. Daphne is working her way toward med school, despite her disability and the challenges it might present. Their friends are also moving forward with their lives. Even the adults are heading into their next chapters. All in all, it was a great place to end.

One more thing about the finale. I’d like to thank the writers for keeping the fan manipulation to a minimum. Yes, they brought back characters from the past. But, for the most part, they did it in a way that seemed organic. (Unlike another show that recently ended after eight seasons. I’m looking at you, TVD.) I get sappy and weepy enough on my own. I don’t need to have the issue forced.

Thanks to the cast and crew of Switched at Birth. For five season, you aired a show that was entertaining and definitely worth watching. I’m only sorry that I didn’t discover it sooner.

Next week, Pretty Little Liars starts its final ten episode run. I can’t wait to see what the girls and ‘A’ have lined up for us. If you have any thoughts about the SAB finale, I’d love to hear them. Please share in the comments.