TV Previews

ABC Family Summer Preview: ‘The Fosters’

Photo Credit: ABC Family

The new drama from executive producer, Jennifer Lopez, centers on the Foster family, a group of biological and adopted children being raised by a lesbian couple. Check out our summer preview and find out why you should tune in.

The Fosters follows a multi-ethnic family made of foster and biological children being raised by two mothers, Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum). They have a biological son, Brandon (David Lambert), from Stef’s previous marriage, and two adopted twins, Mariana (Cierra Ramirex) and Jesus (Jake T. Austin). Their lives are forever changed when Lena meets Callie (Maia Mitchell), a teen with an abusive past, and welcome her into their home.

Jennifer Lopez is the executive producer and explained to Entertainment Tonight, “Although the script was about a non-traditional family and had some newer themes, it had some really basic themes as well about family and love and what’s really important in life. And life can be complicated and messy sometimes and not simple. It was really a true depiction of family in this day and age.” Lopez was especially drawn to the fact that the heads of the Foster household are a lesbian couple. “I had an aunt who was gay. I lived with her and I loved her. She just passed away from cancer. I thought of her often when I was thinking about taking on this project and the prejudices that she faced.”

What You Can Expect:

Photo Credit: ABC Family
Photo Credit: ABC Family

1. Tears. Seriously, keep tissues on hand. The first look exchanged between Callie and Lena brought me to tears. It was loaded with desperation and heartbreak and fear. Watching Callie acclimate to a household that she doesn’t expect to stay in is equally heartbreaking. She owns nothing, not even a toothbrush. Let that put your life problems into perspective.

2. “So, you’re dykes?” Callie proclaims upon realizing her foster parents are lesbians. It’s one of those weighted moments that shows this drama won’t be shying away from the tawdry gossip and comments people share about same-sex couples. Lena and Stef face some relationship drama when Stef gets a difficult job assignment. It’s obvious it’s going to cause some tension throughout the season.

Photo Credit: ABC Family
Photo Credit: ABC Family

3. True to what Lopez promised, the show is realistic when it comes to family. There are frank conversations about the identity of an adopted child (from figuring out what their biological parent means to them to accepting adopted parents), having protected sex, and marital disagreements and understandings. It’s like watching a real family navigate the breakfast table through small talk and the morning hustle and bustle. In short, I just love their familial interaction.

4. Brandon is a seriously talented musician, so he’s already won the ladies over. Just wait until he explains his musical piece and how it represents his family – so swoon worthy! His interactions with Callie are some of my favorite in the pilot, especially when Brandon ditches school to go on a little trip with her and learns a secret about her. You can already feel a friendship and understanding building between them. Brandon has been fortunate to grow up in a loving home and Callie is going to open his eyes to some harsh realities. He is the first to learn about her former living situation and it leads to a dangerous confrontation.

5. Mariana has quite a few secrets – who she’s meeting, what she’s sneaking when no one’s looking, and why her wallet’s filled with cash.

Why You Should Watch:

Photo Credit: ABC Family
Photo Credit: ABC Family

Switched at Birth has been an eye-opening family drama about deaf issues, life, and prejudices. The Fosters has the same potential, specifically in regards to same-sex relationships and family households. It also provides insight to foster children; what it’s like to be one, the world they live in, etc. The show is heavy and will make your heart hurt.

It’s a good, family show, and to be honest, there are so few of those on television. Sit down with your kids (if you have them) and open the door to some conversations about real life.

Best of all, the cast is fantastic. Polo and Saum have great chemistry and work well as the heads of their family. The children are diverse (culturally and personality-wise) and each role is well-acted. It’s emotional, it’s raw, and it’s going to make for a great series.

The Fosters premieres Monday, June 3rd at 9:00 ET/PT on ABC Family.

About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.

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