• Network: ABC Family
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 6, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39

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  1. Jun 8, 2011
    7
    At the moment, "Switched at Birth" looks like a cross between a daytime soap opera and an Afterschool Special--er, make that FIVE Afterschool Specials. Yes, the "oops, wrong baby" plot predates daytime television, as a joke about Mark Twain acidly reminds us, but "Switched" uses the soap opera version: a bombshell from the blue, unmotivated and unsuspected. But that's a minor problem compared to the relentless sermonizing. The pilot preaches the gospel of: (1) adoptive parents versus birth parents; (2) deafness as culture, rather than disability; (3) the danger of class-based stereotypes in self-expression, self-destruction, and self-adornment, among other things. Just to be clear: I'm not an art-for-art's-sake aesthete; I've played on Team Horace since a seventh-grade production of "El Mago de Oz" brought down the "English Only" signs in my middle school cafeteria. Moreover, I believe that parenting, deaf culture, and class bias are important issues--important enough to be treated with subtlety. That said, I think this series has GREAT potential. The cast is strong and varied, including accomplished film and theatre actors (D.W. Moffett), proven TV stars (Lea Thompson), and dazzling newcomers (Katie Leclerc). Particularly fine are the show's three deaf actors (Leclerc, Sean Berdy, and Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin), who have such talent and charisma that I can almost understand ABC's compulsion to jump on their coat tails and ride around signing "We were here first!" More pluses: some of the writing is wonderful--smart and disciplined, willing to pass up an easy laugh to help build character. Pulling in the other direction, however, is a drive to schematize, to set the moneyed, athletic, diplomatic strawberry-blond charmers apart from the destitute, artistic, cynical brunette rebels. It's ok in the pilot, which introduces a dozen or more characters, but the impulse must fade, along with our recollection of the show's improbable premise, if the show is to realize its immense promise. "Switched at Birth" could easily become great--one of those rare shows with near-universal appeal--but it could just as easily become unwatchable, a turgid morality play in which Sir Fix-a-Lot and the Knights Exemplar battle Baron von Bias for the soul of Everyteen Expand
  2. Jun 13, 2011
    9
    the way the show is going I think it's great. How it portrays the deaf community and the problems they face it's actually great. At times the family's fights can be a bit infuriating, but it's part of the drama I guess. Katie Lecrec is just fascinating in her role as Daphne the deaf girl and so is the one playing Bay and Emmett, though Bay's character needs a little more depth, though her actress portraits her very well. The whole plot and idea of identity confusion being brought to this is just genius, also the fact that the families have different opinions on each other raising their child is an excellent topic to add to the drama. Also, the different cultures and atmospheres that each character has lived through is an excellent touch. So far I'm hooked to the series, and I expect great things from this. It looks like ABC family has another masterpiece in their hands that can last for a long time. If the series gets better this 9/10 rating might change to a 10/10 perfect rating, let's see how it goes on everything. Expand
  3. Jul 5, 2011
    7
    I'll admit it...this show is a guilty pleasure for me. If any of my friends saw it on my DVR, I would deny, deny, deny that I put it there. But the show is actually good...the storyline is a little implausible, until you realize that it has happened in real life. I still can't see how a Latina mother would think her daughter would come out red haired and fair. I'm sure it's to show just how different these families are. It's also a good example of the nature vs. nurture concept, which I think the show will explore in later episodes. And don't get me started on Vanessa Marano...that girl is gorgeous. And Lea Thompson! I'm glad she's back on TV! Collapse
  4. Jul 25, 2011
    8
    I thought this would be shallow and goofy at first watching. But the show is growing on me and explores some interesting social issues. The only oddity is that one of the girls is protrayed as coming from the wrong side of the tracks yet appears to be living a very middle class life.
  5. Aug 1, 2011
    2
    Switched at Birth is one of the worst shows to come out of ABC Family, bettered even by Pretty Little Liars. The acting is sub-par, the writing is even worse, and the deaf girl storyline, along with the whole i lost my baby idea isn't very captivating. the idea that the parents are suddenly ok with their daughter not being their daughter is too unlikely for my taste.
    Watch at your own risk
  6. Nov 25, 2012
    7
    To be honest, I didn't have very high expectations for this show when I first decided to give it a shot. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed it thus far. It's not an amazing, in-depth look at the deaf community, nor is it particularly believable as a family drama. Everything is simplified. The acting has a pretty severe mixture of terrible and incredible (the girl who acts as Daphne is superb, while the people who act as John and Kathryn feel like they are constantly over-acting). The plot is simple, and aside from the fact that a large portion of it is focused on the deaf community, the storyline is actually not really very unique at all. But despite all this, I still seem to really be enjoying myself while watching it, and find it to be a great show to watch if I just want to relax and ease myself out of a busy day. I'm not usually a fan of ABC Family shows, but this one I'll probably keep up with as long as new episodes keep coming my way. Expand
  7. Nov 25, 2011
    10
    This show is actually good!!! It gets me mad though how bay is with emmet, i think daphne and emmet would be better together!!! Anyways cant wait til it comes back!!!
  8. Sep 6, 2013
    7
    This show is a usually safe, family show. It has plenty of teaching moments for us to share with our 10 year old daughter, but it never gets overly preachy. It also is a wonderful view into what life is like for people with hearing disabilities.
  9. Aug 1, 2013
    10
    An amazing show! Definitely recommend to anyone. I am so glad I found out about it. It is seriously my favorite show on television. The actors on this show are phenomenal and the way that this show incorporates actual American Sign Language it incredible. It has inspired me and surely many other teens to learn and get connected to the Deaf community. Amazing actors, amazing acting, amazing writing.. what more could you want? Expand
  10. Sep 22, 2014
    9
    Well written, interesting characters, infectious actors, educational, life-like, and even edgy! The first episode hooked me and I've been reeling in ever since. Sometimes I find specific scenarios, or reactions completely nonsensical, but I'm quick to remember that they are still possible. I'm really looking forward to the latest season. Thanks ABC for making a quality show.
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Despite all the implausibilities and irritations, Switched manages to make a positive impression, thanks to some sturdy writing and solid performances that adequately sell the premise.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jun 6, 2011
    70
    If the situation of Switched at Birth often seems surreal and at times contrived (seriously, no one is going to even call a lawyer? Or a therapist? Or the hospital?), the performances keep the story grounded as yet another alternative American family blooms under the California sun.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 3, 2011
    70
    ABC Family has another bright and bouncy addition to the family--one that with proper care and feeding looks born to run for a good long time.