And Do I Have To Watch TV, Too?: Switched At Birth (The Series)

Yesterday I wrote about Kung Fu Panda 2 which, it turns out, has an adoption sub-plot.    On the subject of popular media, there’s also this new TV series called Switched at Birth.   You can pretty well guess what it about. 

I’m not a TV fan and although I knew it was on I didn’t watch it.  But I compensate be reading TV reviews and criticisms and in that spirit, I’ll point you towards this from Ginia Bellafonte, who writes for the NY Times.     (I’m less interested in The Nine Lives of Chloe King, although it too has something to say about our fascination with the role of DNA in our lives.)  

(I’m going to pause for a little quibble/side note here as Bellafante refers to Harry Potter.   It seems to me that the critical theme in Harry Potter isn’t simply about DNA.   As Dumbledore says to Harry (more than once, I believe) it isn’t about the gifts you are given, what is most important isn’t the gifts you are given by your heritage, but rather the  choices you make about what you’ll do with those gifts.)

Anyway, I don’t imagine I’ll be watching Switched at Birth but it does once again demonstrate the ways in which popular media both reflect and shape our ideas about who is family and why.

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2 responses to “And Do I Have To Watch TV, Too?: Switched At Birth (The Series)

  1. marilynn huff

    I don’t want to watch it either. Something about the whole thing seems exploitative to me. I should watch before I rush to judgement but I’m honestly not all that interested in seeing stuff I take seriously played out for entertainment. That’s why I said no to the lady from ABC find my family. I really wanted their help finding my friend’s mother and they offered me so much money but they grossed me out – it was like a game show, pain olympics. Luckily I found her mom later that week. Part of me would love to be on tv reuniting people but the other part of me feels it might be disrespectful somehow. This theme reminds me of the ART mix ups that you’ve blogged about in the past. Those fascinate me and so I look for articles about them from different perspectives. I just found a scholarly paper that I swear you could have written on the topic. I’m uncomfortable with her stance but the whole point of me trying to educate myself was to really read stuff that I was not comfortable with – in the end so I could be more respectful to the social or adoptive families of people that I help reunite with missing family members.

    Here is the article, you must know her already – lots of baby switching in this.
    http://www.law.syr.edu/faculty/bender/bioethics/legalnews/genes_parents_arts.pdf

  2. I do know the article–may even have pointed to it before. It’s a very interesting one. It isn’t that mistakes are terribly common but they are very revealing. Thus, I think we end up paying what might seem like inordinate attention to them. Also, I think they are almost impossible to completely eradicate no matter how good your systems are.

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