So, on June 10th, I had just watched the summer premiere of Switched At Birth and I left ABC family on as I wandered in and out of the room. I then looked over at the TV and saw Teri Polo, who I’m only really familiar with as The Chef Who Dated Ben On Felicity. So, I was kinda like, “hmm, interesting, what is this?”. And so began my summer obsession with The Fosters. So, nobody reads this blog. But, those of you who do know that I kinda love foster children. I mean, I devoted not one, but two posts, to Parenthood’s adoption storyline last season. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that this was about a family with two foster kids. And two adopted kids. And they’re headed by a lesbian couple. And one half of this couple has a biological son from her previous marriage. And yeah, it’s all a little too much but, I was kinda in love ya know? So, ‘summer obsession’ might be too tame of a term. I literally watched many of the episodes multiple times over the course of the summer. And while that might just sound really crazy especially in light of the fact that I had many other shows to catch up, I think this really highlights the fact that there isn’t really anything like The Fosters on TV right now. And I don’t just mean all the things I previously mentioned. There’s something about the way the kids and parents interact that’s really real. I don’t feel like I’m watching the same old stuff where the kids are always smarter than the adults or teenagers are dressing and acting provacatively and everyone acts like it’s completely normal. In a world where the teens of Gossip Girl and 90210 are traipsing around as adults in teenage bodies it’s so refreshing to see a show capturing what feels like real adolescence again. When I watch The Fosters I’m like, “yeah, I used to know these people”. With that being said, I am also really excited about the foster, adoptive, biological, lesbian family that is The Fosters. There’s something about the way the family weaves so seamlessly together. There’s something about the way that all this stuff matters and yet, it doesn’t. So here, in no particular order are my top ten moments from Season 1 of The Fosters (it was so hard to pick just ten!):
- Mariana apologizes…and gets a mama sandwich.
Just when we were ready to write Mariana off for being super selfish for not dancing with her moms at her Quinceanera, she pulls out a truly heartfelt apology. A scene that could have just been really corny was really all about identity, It’s not easy being an adolescent, let alone an adopted adolescent, let alone an adolescent adopted by two women. The fact that Stef and Lena completely understood where she was coming from made it all the more better.
- Wyatt tells Callie to ‘go for it’.
Whether you are a fan of Wallie or Ballie (Brallie?) this scene was just so sweet because it showed how much Wyatt really got Callie. While I don’t really love Callie and Brandon as a couple, ‘go for it’ is pretty good advice to live by. Yeah, it kinda didn’t work out in the end, but seeing Callie take this first step toward her leap of faith was pretty satisfying to see from a character who started off being so insecure.
- Mariana worries that her family won’t want her anymore.
After Mariana reads the poem that was given to her and Jesus by Stef and Lena on their adoption day, she wonders out loud if her parents will even want to keep her after the tragic results of her actions. As viewers we were like, ‘of course they are going to keep you’, but if we keep in mind the pervious scene where we saw that Stef met Mariana and Jesus when their foster parents dropped them off at her police station, it all becomes very clear. Connect this with my next pick and it all makes perfectly sad sense.
- Mariana connects with Callie the way only a former foster kid can.
We did wonder if Mariana had in fact read Callie’s journal until this scene when we realize that despite all the animosity, Mariana really connected with what Callie was going through (“I rememember what that was like, being passed around all the time. I don’t think I ever felt safe until I came here.”). This was our first indication that there’s way more to Mariana than her selfish exterior and a great example of how layered these characters are.
- Stef confronts her dad.
Probably the most tear-jerking scene of the season. We assumed Stef was just being Stef when she didn’t want to do all of the traditional wedding customs only to find out that she wasn’t able to drown out the inner voice of her father telling her a lesbian marriage was wrong. I’m glad Stef’s dad didn’t miraculously show up at the wedding. The Fosters reminded us in this scene that emotional scars do run deep and they don’t just get resolved by the end of an episode.
- Stef and Lena get married.
Knowing that this was being filmed the very day that DOMA was overturned makes it all the more special. Simply said, it was simply beautiful. And, hey, now that they are official, they are up against Eric and Tami Taylor for my favorite TV married couple of all time!
- Lena tells Jude how unfair the world can be.
If I was ordering these, this scene would be very close to, if not at the top. This is just another example of how this show is unlike most others on TV. What other show has a 12 year old boy painting his nails not as a joke but as a silent exploration of his sexual identity? Lena’s story about how she and Stef, though comfortable in who they are as a couple, are not always comfortable sharing this with the world reminds us that although we’ve come far, we have many miles to go. Sherri Saum and Hayden Byerly were pitch perfect in this scene.
- Mariana and Lexi make up.
All the other scenes on this list seem like they are of a different caliber, but this is here because I was genuinely sad when these two were on the outs. I think what I liked about this scene was how understated it was. There was no dramatic dialogue. The forgiveness was understood. And the support that life long friends have for each other was front and center.
- Lena struggles with forgiveness.
So raw and honest that I didn’t expect it. For a character like Lena, who is so warm and loves her kids so much, to admit that she was struggling with forgiving them was truly shocking. Another great example of these layered characters. You can be a good person and still struggle with forgiveness. Sheri Saum played anger and hurt so well, that I was actually starting to wonder if she was going to forgive Mariana before the end of the episode. But of course she did!
- Stef and Lena decide to adopt Callie and Jude.
Yeah, it happened kinda quick, but we were waiting for this moment all season. Of course we knew something had to go wrong in the end but seeing the looks on Callie’s and Jude’s faces was heartwarming. We’ve waited five and a half months to see how this is all going to play out in light of Callie and Brandon’s relationship…
But the wait is over! So there ya have it, folks, my ten favorite moments of The Fosters season 1, part 1. I hope you are all going to be tuning in to The Fosters winter premiere. I know I will be, so I I can start compiling my next top ten!