It’s only the beginning.
I love this show so much (but unfortunately for my time management issues, I am giving up Netflix L). I hate it when I watch shows with people making dumb mistakes that are just against common sense. Yet, everything each person says in this show rings with so much truth, and it’s very difficult to argue against. Because what’s the point of arguing against something that is true?
It’s a new branch of liberalism, and I am so proud to watch how this series is changing society. There are a couple problems with the plot, but I think my issues are with how “incestuous” things were turning out, since the siblings aren’t actually related but are falling for each other. But, I guess that’s part of the twist. Just crossing my fingers in hope that it won’t twist too much.
1. Two Mothers and Adoption. This concept is novel and that’s what makes it great. As an untraditional household, the Fosters are led by two mothers who adopt foster kids. At the beginning of the series, they foster a girl, named Callie, out of juvie and teach her how to be responsible and loving. In addition, they foster her little brother, Jude, to keep the two siblings together. This follows the triumphs not only between Callie and her new foster moms, but also strong interplay between the other characters. Have you ever watched “Wizards of Waverly Place?” Max, the little boy from that show, is played by Jake T. Austin, who now acts as one of the twins that the two mothers, Lena and Stef, adopt. Yes, it brings in the concept of having a gay couple live in a state where liberalism may not be the most accepted thing, but here we bring up a core problem that is often ignored: fostering.
As foster parents, you must understand that you are not the children’s biological parents, and you must also understand that they KNOW that. So when you are adopted, yes, you feel loved by your new parents and family, because that is what family is. It is love, not genetics. However, this still brings up a subtle, yet hindering question about both the criminal justice system and biological wonders. Why did my parents give me up? Why am I being treated as if nobody trusts me just because I have no parents?
It questions the system in a very appropriate way, considering that one of the mothers, Stef, is a police woman. It’s fantastic, and my only criticism really is that I wished there was more opposition to the two mothers being together because I think it would 1) reflect most of reality, especially in the South where I’m from and 2) would bring some spice and plot twists since opposition is a problem that really needs to be faced.
2. Race and Embracement of Culture. The other problem with fostering is that your parents may not be the same color as you. Heck, you may be the only black child among 6 children, so you know you’re different. Despite any effort to bring cohesion and integration, you will feel different. Trust me, I know. I’m a half-Asian that goes to my white side of the family, where I know I don’t belong. They know I’m different, and they’re nice to me and all, but I feel as if I shouldn’t be there. I don’t look anything like my cousins or aunts and uncles or even father. The other problem with me is that my mother doesn’t bother to embrace culture, which is sad because I wish I could learn more about her ethnicity, my ethnicity, without her feeling shameful.
And that’s what the Fosters really focus on. Lena, one of the mothers, is bi-racial, being black and white, and she makes it clear how unsatisfied she is with being mixed because she feels as if she never belongs. Being that her adopted twin children are Hispanic, she throws her daughter a quinceanera to help her embrace this culture, despite how much money it is. It’s important to understand your heritage and culture, despite what color you are. Being different should be embraced, not shameful.
3. Sexual Orientation and Bullying. “Wearing nail polish isn’t wrong. What’s wrong is the people out there who make us feel unsafe.” Lena says this to Jude, who I bet is in the closet based on how he acts and how his peers treat him. In addition to wearing nail polish, Jude, a seventh grader, begins to develop a crush on his best friend, Connor. However, I also have my money on the idea that Connor may not be gay, and his family is definitely against homosexuality. As well as the fact that the crappy middle school bullying is hard for Jude to deal with, this is unrequited love where the other person DEFINITELY doesn’t want you or, even worse, is freaked out by you.
The Role of Eponine is the epitome of unrequited love, but I had never really understood what it could mean for someone who is homosexual. A couple years ago, one of my close friends told me that she liked me, and I had to be honest and tell her no. Not until I watched this episode did I realize what the roles were when they were reversed. The way she felt is exactly the way I feel when a boy tells me no, even if the reasons are different. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with turning a lesbian down, because, honestly, I’m flattered. I’m flattered that someone can find love in me, and that’s amazing. But, when you have to be honest about your sexuality, it can be difficult to turn another down. And, yes, that’s unrequited love in itself.
4. “There are people out there who are afraid that we are different.” The Fosters are the epitome of different. Adopting multiple kids and being married to another woman is tough to take on, but it’s amazing how this family holds their ground as other people criticize them. However, my hypothesis is that this may be due to the fact that the parental units have sturdy ground jobs. Stef is a police woman and Lena is the vice principal of her children’s school, which makes it difficult for the students to face direct bullying when it comes to adoption, family, and sexual orientation. So, a lot of the plot that occurs happens secretly and almost unnoticed, leaving the parents out of the loophole, which occurs a lot in real life.
5. Religion and love can be mutually exclusive. That includes sexual orientation. It’s the truth and honest fact that people stop going to church because they don’t feel support when they realize that they are gay or different. I’m not saying this occurs with every individual, but it definitely makes them begin to question themselves and their faith: is everything that was drilled in their heads true? More importantly, is being, let’s say Christian, mean that you can’t love another person, even if that person is of the same gender? What’s more Christian than family? And if family includes having a partner of the same sex, does that change the definition?
When this topic was brought up, it made me really question what was going on with certain religions. You see, religion isn’t just one thing. It’s not right or wrong. It’s a belief, and there are multiple beliefs, which is why there are multiple religions. If one person doesn’t believe in the same thing as you, does that mean you should take every stance against what they believe in and hate them or seclude yourself? The reverse is true, as well, though. If you’re gay and your friend is against that, should you try to force your friend to believe in homosexuality? Do you expect your friend to change all of his or her beliefs to match yours? Or is it just easier to go find a new friend? Well, there is such thing as tolerance, which is religiously-free and universal. If you can’t agree with someone else, you need to at least respect them.
Most importantly, I found my summer TV show (whoo!) and I believe the third season is going on ABC right now, as a matter of fact. The acting is amazing as well: Maia Mitchell is too good for whatever Disney’s Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie” rip off of “High School Musical” is. I am so glad I found this show, now, and can share all its goodness with all of you. When it first came out, there was a lot of controversy because there were a lot of media in the media industry who didn’t like the ideas of two mothers and emphasizing racial and sexual standards that weren’t being faced in society.
But…isn’t that the point? To challenge the norm and move forward?