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February 3, 2011 / TerranceTheTrailerTrasher

Three New ABC Family Members

The ABC Family channel announced three new additions to their original series programming lineup on Tuesday.

SWITCHED AT BIRTH – 1 hour drama. Two teen girls from vastly different backgrounds discover they were switched at birth. Daphne (newcomer Katie Leclerc) is wealthy, Bay (Vanessa Marano from “The Gilmore Girls“) is poor and deaf. Wait, what? Also stars Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett and Lucas Grabeel.

@@@ – Talk about a freaky Friday! Interesting cast makes it worth a definite look, but a meningitis-induced loss of hearing? Really?

THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING – 1 hour drama. Teenage girl develops heightened abilities and discovers she’s part of an ancient race which has been hunted by human assassins for millennia. Based on a young adult book series by Celia Thompson. Starring Skyler Samuels.

@@ – Sounds like a second-rate KYLE XY or a third-rate HEROES. I might give this one chance and one chance only. I don’t expect this one to last unless the books have a big enough fan base.

THE GREAT STATE OF GEORGIA – Half hour comedy toplining Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné as Georgia, an aspiring actress with a larger than life personality and her science geek best friend who try to make headway in New York City.

@ – Sounds too outside ABC Family’s niche, like it’s aiming more for its sister station, The Disney Channel. Doesn’t sound unique. Doesn’t hook me at all.

While I’m on ABC Family, a quick word on their highest rated show, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. I met a chick in a bookstore last month. Her 12-year-old daughter was raving about the PLL books and the TV show. Mother and daughter watch it together every week. I hadn’t heard of it, but the kid did a really good pitch. Made it sound like MEAN GIRLS meets TWIN PEAKS.

I checked it out and I think that’s a pretty accurate description. (The show’s okay, although a more accurate title would be “Pretty Little Secret-Keepers.”) Initially the show’s creators set out to develop a kiddie version of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. The Bionic Woman’s hot younger sister Lucy Hale plays a minor whose having a torrid affair with her high school English teacher. Another girl comes out as a lesbian. Girl number three bangs her sister’s boyfriend. And the leader of the clique is murdered after she catches a neighbor boy having an incestuous affair with his stepsister (PS: steps are not blood relatives, so it’s not really incest), burns their house down and blinds the stepsister (making the deaf girl in “Switched at Birth” a little less groundbreaking).

Mind you, I’m not complaining about any of that. I’m just surprised that a mom is watching this with her twelve-year-old daughter. This is far more mature than MTV’s SKINS and it’s targeted at a much younger audience.

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3 Comments

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  1. choff / Apr 18 2011 10:24 am

    Just FYI – As a teacher of Deaf students, many of my students are so as a result of meningitis; it is one of the most common causes of deafness 🙂

    • TerranceTheTrailerTrasher / Apr 19 2011 12:42 pm

      Thanks for the info. No offense toward the hearing-impaired was intended. I dated a deaf girl last year. My “Really?” wasn’t meant to suggest I doubted meningitis as a cause of deafness. I was surprised at the way deafness seemed to be thrown into this concept non-sequiturily. I think it’s odd the show’s creators chose to make the girl from the less affluent family deaf. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I imagine children in wealthy families can lose their hearing too.

  2. TerranceTheTrailerTrasher / Jun 9 2011 7:41 pm

    Update on “Switched” — I got the names mixed up. Bay (Marano) is the rich one, Daphne (Leclerec) is the poor, deaf one. I also see from the pilot it wasn’t a random choice to make the poor one the deaf one. (The rich mother blames the poor, recovering alcoholic mother for causing the girl’s deafness by not getting the meningitis treated soon enough because she couldn’t afford adequate health care — so I still wonder, did that come from a real-world perception that deafness is more prevalent in poor families?) BTW, so far I like the show a lot and plan to keep watching.

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