The Fosters, ABC Family’s new heartwarming drama about an interracial lesbian couple and the various kids they adopt, premiered last night. And then, I GIFed all over the internet.
The Fosters stars Lena (Cierra Ramirez), the vice principal of the local high school, and her wife Stef (Teri Polo), who’s a police officer. The main cast also includes Brandon, Stef’s bio-son, Mariana and Jesus, the adopted Hispanic twins, Callie, the new foster daughter from an abusive home, Callie's brother Jude, and Stef's ex-husband (with whom she had Brandon) and new (police) partner, Mike.
To recap: The Fosters family first get Callie right out of juvie, but are quickly assured that Callie isn’t violent. Turns out, Callie’s dad caught her brother cross-dressing, and started beating him, so Callie tried to intervene and ended up wailing on her dad’s car with a baseball bad. When the cops arrived, they decided to arrest the small girl beating up a car, not the large man beating up his son. Callie runs away with Brandon from the Fosters’ to go talk to her little brother, Jude, and as her father starts getting violent towards both of them, Stef and her gun and badge come in and, you know, shut that whole thing down. By the end of the episode, both Callie and Jude are now part of the Foster clan.
Stef’s been assigned a new partner by her police chief (who, FYI, is a black woman!) – and that new partner is her ex-husband, and Brandon’s father. AWKWARD! Lena’s a bit uncomfortable with this, in an adorably insecure-but-fighting-it way.
Mariana and Jesus are waffling on if they should meet their bio-mom. Jesus hasn’t wanted to, but Mariana has… right up until now. Mariana’s been stealing Jesus’ pills and selling them in order to gain up the cash to meet with their bio-mom behind everyone’s back. Sadly, her bio-mom turns out to be a drug addict looking for some money, and nothing more. I’m not super qualified to assess adoption plotlines, but I really like that they explicitly say that Stef and Lena are the twins’ “real moms”, while still acknowledging the pull that so many adoptive kids have to find out where they came from, and while showing Jesus and Mariana as having totally different views and needs.
Things I Loved About The Fosters:
- The leads are an interracial lesbian couple. Not just lesbians. Not just interracial. INTERRACIAL LESBIANS.
- Within the first twelve minutes, Stef, has a talk with Brandon about if he and his girlfriend are using condoms. When he gets embarrassed and tries to get her to leave his room, she says her job is to “protect and serve.”
- There’s diversity everywhere. Main characters, supporting characters, characters with two lines, extras in the background, everywhere.
- When Jesus is about to blame his twin sister’s mood on PMS, Lena interrupts him with the phrase, “If you say ‘that time of the month’, I’m going to sign you up a women’s health workshop at my OB-GYN. Don’t ever say that in a house full of women.”
- When Mike comes over to pick up Brandon for a piano recital, Lena expresses her discomfort that Mike asked to be Stef’s partner, and Mike explains that he felt he could protect Stef better than a rookie. AND THEN LENA SAYS, “As a feminist, I’m totally offended and everything, but as her wife, you know… thanks.”
- A man who beats up his cross-dressing son is portrayed as an abusive, homophobic, transphobic monster to get away from.
- It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel the warm fuzzies right before bed.
Things I Hated About The Fosters:
- That, sadly, Lena and Stef are not real people, and thus, I cannot actually have them as my new moms.