Tonight I watched the pilot episode of ABC Family's new series, The Fosters. I will be honest with you. I really, really wanted to hate this show. ABC is owned by Disney, and Disney is evil, right? And somehow, after watching the trailers, I felt that the show was trying too hard to be diverse and interesting. It almost seemed like the casting directors had a checklist of races and ethnicities they needed to have in the show. There was Teri Polo playing the blonde police officer, Stef, with the heart of gold. Sheri Saum plays the African-American vice principal of a perfect charter school, and Stef's wife. She also has a heart of gold. Stef has one biological child from her previous marriage with her ex-husband, who happens to be Latino. They adopted a pair of fraternal twins, Mariana and Jesus, played by Cierra Ramirez and Jake T. Austin who used to be their foster kids. And our protagonist, Callie, played by Maia Mitchell rounds out the cast. Before I watched the show I wondered, could they really pull off all the roles without falling into tokenism?
Thankfully, I was pleassantly surprised. If you watch the show, you will see that there are so many layers to the characters that you really begin to feel for them and relate to them as human beings. The acting is superb overall, with each actor adding depth to the characters they portray. By the end of the hour (which flew by) I saw them as a regular family facing struggles like any other. If that is the message the show's creators were trying to send out, I would say they succeeded.
My only complaint would be (and this probably not a problem for anyone else but me) is the lack of chemistry between Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum). I wonder if they did this on purpose?
Please be advised, due to violent scenes, this show is for older children.
The Fosters logo was taken from here.