Regular Switched at Birth blogger Corey Axelrod is attending a conference this week. Please welcome guest blogger, Justin Drezner.
What an interesting beginning to this week’s episode of Switched at Birth. We meet Bay’s grandmother. Seeing Daphne for the first time, something interesting already begins. Daphne gets all the attention and even gets a family heirloom, while at the same time “Grandma Bonnie” ignores Bay and does not even hear Bay tell her she was selected to paint a mural for the school.
What’s also interesting is a development pertaining to the Spanish culture and American culture. A few scenes depict how certain people feel about those of Spanish heritage; that they are perceived as criminal or have no English-speaking skills. This came about during the locker room scene when Daphne’s classmate, Simone, loses her watch and hinted to Daphne’s friend Monica, who is of Spanish descent, that she thought her watch was stolen by Monica.
Additionally, when Bonnie (Bay’s grandma) meets Regina and her family, she speaks what little Spanish she knows to Regina’s mom, assuming she didn’t speak English.
This goes a bit further when Daphne revealed that she used to live in East Riverside, where certain parts of the city are referred to as the “Barrios” or Spanish neighborhood. During a discussion at the Ainsley Club with Daphne, Bay and her mother, Grandma Bonnie, talk about how all they hear about in an area like East Riverside is crime, and wondered how Daphne was able to live in an area “like that.”
The discussion leads to Bay walking out, starting to let her feelings show to her mom that she was supposed to be a Vasquez, and suggests that her name automatically means that she’s not a good student or is looked at as an illegal immigrant (which is interesting to me that the writers decided to bring this into the story, especially while immigration is quite a hot topic in Congress and throughout the United States).
What would have been nice for the writers to explore is more background on how Daphne was able to co-exist in an area much different from what she’s used to. For instance, a Deaf white girl growing up in a Spanish area is something many people wouldn’t understand, and perhaps elaborating on that may have served a useful purpose.
I have a feeling that the show will develop more storylines on culture issues since Daphne, a white girl, is living with a Spanish woman (Regina) and Bay, a Spanish girl, is living with white people. This was not something the show’s audience expected to occur, but it adds a new twist to the show. In addition, this may be an opportune time to have the show develop a deeper relationship for Bay and Regina in light of these cultural clashes.
One thing that is very true is when Bonnie tells Daphne just because your zip code changes does not mean you change, or that you are any different.
With the new developments, I look forward to seeing how much further the writers decide to take it or will they rein in the fireworks?
Justin Drezner received his master’s degree in hotel and service management from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010. He currently works for Starwood Hotels and Resorts as a front desk agent at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel. During his free time, he enjoys playing and watching sports, as well as interacting on social media. You can find Justin on Twitter @JDrez.