It's not a wonderful alt-life on ABC Family's Switched at Birth (Monday, 8/7c), as this endearing family drama imagines a "what if" scenario that hinges on Regina having gone public about the switch after she discovered it when the girls were but 3 years old. (The fact that she kept it a secret until their adolescence was the crux of an argument last week between her and John Kennish that ended with him collapsing from what appeared to be a heart attack.)
For the cast and crew of ABC Family's Switched at Birth, shooting a scene in American Sign Language (ASL) is a pretty standard practice. But shooting an entire episode in ASL presented a whole new set of challenges.
On Monday's episode, "Uprising" (Monday at 8/7c, ABC Family), the students at Carlton School for the Deaf are devastated to learn that their school will be closing. Inspired by a famous successful protest at Gallaudet University in the '80s, in which students fought to have the deaf school's first deaf president, Daphne (Katie LeClerc) recruits her classmates, including Emmett (Sean Berdy), Travis (Ryan Lane) and Natalie (Stephanie Nogueras), to pull off a "Take Back Carlton" campaign and make the public aware of their cause.
Upon learning that Switched at Birth would be doing an episode told entirely through sign language this season, the show's hearing cast members weren't sure quite what was in store.
"My reaction was, 'Well, it looks like I'm not going to have a whole lot to do," Lucas Grabeel told TVGuide.com with a laugh. "I'm going to have some time off."
Added Vanessa Marano: "All I know is...
Season 2 of Switched at Birth can be summed up in two words for just about every character: New beginnings.
When Season 1 left off, Bay (Vanessa Marano) had finally come to her senses after breaking the rules (and the law), Daphne (Katie Leclerc) was left heartbroken by her first love, and the Kennish' trial came to an end naming them victors in the switched at birth case, but rewarding them just a dollar in compensation and Angelo (Gilles Marini) a whopping 5 million. As Season 2 picks up (Jan. 7 at 8/7c on ABC Family), every character will essentially be starting over, but some will struggle more than others.
Switched at Birth's Daphne and Bay have had to learn to grow together, but in the final part of Season 1, they'll be breaking away.
"This cycle we really push each of the girls," executive producer Lizzy Weiss tells TVguide.com. "There's a big arc... for each of them about growing up, breaking away and pushing boundaries."
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