Summary: Two teenagers from very different backgrounds find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love (I mean that’s up in the air lol).
I saw a promo for this show on Facebook or something. I’ve heard of Cloak and Dagger before, but I knew nothing about them because they’re kind of secondary or even tertiary characters in the Marvel universe. So, with all the popular ones, I just never really knew about them. But the promo was cool, and I was like “hey it’s that girl from that Disney show”, that my younger brother loved to watch and would get excited when I would sit and watch it with him Kickin’ It or something like that. Some time went by because the promo was like a year in advance. Soooo then my friend and I watched Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu which I also loved, and then I decided to read the Runaways comics and they had a run in with Cloak and Dagger and I was like “Oh wow!” So, then I remembered the show. Then I started seeing way more promos, especially on Instagram and I was getting hype, the promos all looked so good! Then the show premiered, and I was hooked from the first five minutes.
I’ve been trying to do this review for so long but for some reason, I kept putting it off. Season two has started and now I really needed to get this out! Plus, I just rewatched season 1 so I am reinvigorated!
There will be spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
Cast and Character.
Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen / Dagger. She is a teenager and street thief. Tandy is connected to Ty through a shared childhood tragedy and she can emit light daggers. She also can see people’s hopes and later learns to steal them to give her some kind of high. Tandy is interesting because her character is very cynical and almost world-weary due to the way the death of her father tore her family apart. She lives in an abandoned church and makes her way by stealing from rich kids. She worked alongside Liam who clearly was in love with her and they did their thing for a while. I think it’s funny that Tandy is so pessimistic, but her powers allow her to see people’s hopes and the best in them (outside of Scarborough). I love that kind of juxtaposition of her character and personality. I don’t think she’s hard to like, I just think she’s a bit hard to get a grasp on because she’s so guarded. I like Olivia Holt in the role, I think she manages to make Tandy likable, perhaps if it wasn’t her, I wouldn’t like her. At least not this version of her. I like how smart she is and that she thinks quick on her feet and while she and Ty work best together, she does know how to get things done on her own. She has a hard time trusting people and tends to run away from her problems, but she grows through the show by learning how to face her problems head on. Tandy seems to have an addictive personality shown by how quickly she reverts to feeling numb through drugs. She’s like a viper. She curls in on herself but has no problem lunging out to attack you if need be. Olivia Holt is good here. She does do this thing where she’s like breathless in between each line of dialogue, she inhales really hard. Just me who noticed? Otherwise, I do think she’s the better actor out of the two but she’s also more experienced. I like her facial expressions and I can’t wait to see her not be so hopeless in season two.
Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson / Cloak. He is my favorite character in the show. He is connected to Tandy through their shared childhood tragedy. He can teleport, later he develops the ability to engulf others in darkness and transport them to the Dark force dimension. That happens in the last episode and it’s AWESOME! I totally freaked out because I’d been waiting for him to use that power. I guess he really had to get over his personal fears of the man who killed his brother and ruined his life before he could tap into that. He is also able to witness people’s fears as he’s lived in a world of fear since his brother’s death. I love that he’s able to see that he’s not the only one who is afraid. When we first meet him, he’s kind of coasting through his life. He’s very quiet, almost like he’s shy but he has a sense of justice. When he realizes that he was right as a child about the man who killed his brother, he makes it his mission to bring that guy down. He really starts to come out of his shell as his mission continues, but also as he hangs around Tandy and spends time with Evita. I like Ty’s growth because his journey is very similar to a lot of black people. Fear because of what they witnessed or of what happened to them. He deals with a lot of anger, anger he probably would never have let out before this moment and I love watching his idea of justice and how he feels even worse once he gets what he wants. I do believe Aubrey Joseph is a newcomer, but I think he does very well in the show. He’s a natural and I think he’s very likable in the role, though I think Ty would be likable regardless. I think his eyes are very expressive, which is good because a lot of Ty’s emotional moments are through his eyes. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for his character!
Supporting Characters. Obviously, we have our supporting “main characters” like their parents who I’ll kind of mention but not going into super detail about. I just need to mention them, as well as Evita who isn’t a regular but reoccurring.
Gloria Reuben as Adina Johnson. Tyrone’s mother and Roxxon employee who invests heavily in making sure her son has a good life. Ty’s mother spends a lot of the time emotional as she is constantly thinking of the men in her life, especially Tyrone. She’s already lost one son and her biggest fear is losing Tyrone as well. I’ve only seen her in Mr. Robot, but she is so good with her emotional scenes. Every time she talks to Tyrone, I just feel all her emotions.
Miles Mussenden as Otis Johnson. Tyrone’s working-class father who tries to provide for his family and is also an associate of the Wild Red Hawks. He’s like any good father, worried for his black son and wanting him to own up to his problems. He takes Tyrone to his old stomping grounds, so he can see where he came from, while also showing him where Billy might have been going if he wasn’t killed. He’s also the reason why Ty found his cloak. I like his dad, he’s trying to be a good man and he admires his wife for pulling them out of where they were and her strength. He talks about it a lot. It’s nice to see that.
Andrea Roth as Melissa Bowen. Tandy’s drug and alcohol-addicted yet optimistic mother. She’s going through a lot, I mean a lot, she still wants to get justice for her husband, but she is still unable to really push past her issues with drugs and alcohol. She meets this man who seems to be a good man, he’s helpful. She does work on getting better later and it’s clear that she wants Tandy to come home but on her own terms. She has some great emotional moments and you really kind of pity her in the first few episodes.
D. Evermore as Connors. An intimidating scar-faced detective of the New Orleans Police Department’s vice squad with a secret. Legit, Billy’s death was an accident and I don’t condone him being so jumpy that an explosion caused him to shoot Billy, but the real problem comes when he uses his Uncle’s position and his own in the police force to cover it up. Not to mention, he gets away with this murder, involuntary or not, and then goes on to do things that make him a dirty cop. I mean really? Besides, the way he treats Tyrone later… oooo boy. I wonder if we’ll see more of him later.
Carl Lundstedt as Liam Walsh. Tandy’s partner in crime and ex-boyfriend. I like Liam and I don’t think he’ll return, at least not as a regular. This boy looooooves Tandy. No matter what she may think, he loves her. He does anything he can for her. He gets into some trouble and Tandy for a long time doesn’t come through for him. It’s argued that she didn’t care, at least not enough for it outweigh her own issues. But later, she does come through and he basically repays the favor by stealing all the money she acquired. It was kind of funny. You feel bad for him because you know he’s in love with her and it’s hard to say if she feels the same. He was a very likable character though.
Emma Lahana as Brigid O’Reilly. A detective from Harlem with hardened New York sensibilities who believes no one is above the law, including other cops. She works hard to figure out what happened with Tandy in her encounter with the rich kid, but when that’s pushed under the rug, she meets Tyrone and makes it her mission to help him receive justice for his brother. She’s cool and I like how she manages to understand both Tyrone and Tandy and doesn’t judge them for what they want to do. Besides, she’s from New York, she knows Misty Knight and I’m sure she knows all about The Avengers and is hardly phased by anything she sees. I like her. I’m interested to see how things go with her in season 2.
Noëlle Renée Bercy as Evita Fusilier. A friend and love interest of Tyrone’s. Bercy, who is from New Orleans, was familiar with the voodoo culture of the city, and was able to speak to people regarding it for her part. I quite like Evita. It was a little weird at first because she did seem to pop out of nowhere at certain times and she came off a little pushy at first. However, when she and Tyrone started to really get close, I was like “Aww, I like this” and I do. I just hope that they don’t do something to her and their relationship to make Tyrone and Tandy get together. I just hope that Evita doesn’t die or become a crazy person… or something stupid. I like how she cares about Ty and she understands him and introduces him to things that help him understand himself on a deeper level. I also like that she’s smart and has her own thing going on. I like her! Don’t do anything crazy to her now!
Character Chemistry. Tandy and Ty have their first meeting in the first episode, but they don’t really come together again until episode four. The end of a powerful episode three ended with Tyrone going to Tandy’s church and then we get to finally see them talk and interact with each other. I don’t think I have ever seen such great on-screen chemistry in a long time. You have shows that want to force people together that don’t have any chemistry (looking at you Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars. Sorry not sorry.) and then you have shows where the characters have no romantic link (at least not yet) and have chemistry that pops off the charts. In the comics, Tandy and Tyrone have many relationships depending on the writer. Mostly it’s one where they depend on each other regardless if it’s a brother/sister or romantic one. Personally, I prefer the romantic relationship because it makes it less weird lol, but I love the idea of making them become really trusting friends. Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph just light up together on-screen. It’s amazing. It really shows in later episodes when they’re really spending time together. I also think Aubrey Joseph and Noelle Renee Bercy (Evita) also have great chemistry, which makes sense as they are dating, and I like them together actually. It was a little cringe at first lol, but it grew on me and they’re sweet. Olivia Holt and Carl Lundstedt also have good chemistry in their scenes.
Slow Burn. I love things that are slow burn because it takes its time to get to such big moments, which makes the payoff more satisfying. Yeah, it can be slow sometimes, but I think it worked in this show’s favor because we learned a lot about both Tyrone and Tandy that I feel like I know them intimately. Almost. I love how it took so long for the two of them really have the chance to have a real conversation because life doesn’t work that way. People don’t meet, have a magical reaction to each other and then put their lives on hold to find and talk to each other. Life moves on. I liked that the show wanted to make sure we as the audience knew and understood Tandy and Ty on their own before pushing them together. Evita and her auntie are integral to the voodoo and spiritual part of the show as Ty and Tandy are part of something bigger.
Storytelling Aspect. I loved the way the show told their story. In all the promos, they always had them doing things in their life at the same time through a split screen. They do things like that a lot in the show without the split screen. We see them in their separate lives and sometimes the lighting is different, sometimes the music is different depending on who we were spending time with. I loved those little details.
Strong story. Of course, with it being an origin story, we must have a lot of set up for things and while the “villains/Roxxon/Connors” operate in the shadows most of the time, the main villain, I thought was Tandy and Tyrone themselves and being slaves to their feelings of revenge for what happened to his brother and her father. It was a season about facing your own demons more than a physical villain. I like it when shows or even books/films do that. It makes the journey more personal. This goes hand in hand with episode 9 “Back Breaker” where Father Delgado gives a nice monologue about heroes and their journey. It was to be a backdrop for what was going on with Tyrone, Tandy and O’Reilly as they all fall from “hero” status to a darker place. Such a great episode. It’s moments like that that really stand out. Also, in episode 3 “Stained Glass” which is my favorite episode of the season, we see Tandy in a spiritual vision watch Ty, get his revenge but he never is victorious, something always happened. We see Ty watch Tandy run away from her fears and get stuck each time. They help each other in these visions and it was so powerful. I watched that episode three times in a row because Freeform played in three times in a row that night lol. But while they had their bigger reasons, the smaller ones, I thought, were much more powerful.
Steeped in New Orleans History. Being honest, I don’t know a lot about New Orleans history and the show wasn’t a crash course in it either, but I think it was cool how they used the history and connection of voodoo. It’s not the way it’s normally shows like this evil kind of thing, but something that’s important to the spirituality of black people. Evita and her auntie are integral to the voodoo and spiritual part of the show as Ty and Tandy are part of something bigger. Not to mention, how Ty found out about the cloak, and the group his father used to be part of which is how he found the cloak in the first place. I hope we continue to see more about New Orleans and that they continue to make it be its own character, the same way some of the Marvel movies make New York its own character. That’s important.
The Cloak and The Daggers.
So, in this promo picture, we get to see Tandy’s daggers and something Ty is using as a cloak. It looks like a sheet which is what he has when we first see him use his powers, but it could also be the hoodie. Now in the comics, his cloak has a very specific look to it. I’ve seen it in a few different ways but the most common way I’ve seen it is this picture below.
Very kind of textured looking, with the black lines on a long purple cloak and a very distinct hood. It is exciting is when he gets the cloak. I wondered how they were going to incorporate that very particular look without it looking cheesy and too comic booky, but I thought they managed to do a really good job. Ty’s cloak in the show looked awesome and I loved how they managed to bring it into the show by having it be tied to a New Orleans’ tradition and belong to his older brother the same way the hoodie he wore as a kid also belonged to his older brother.
Also, the way it moved whenever he used it was amazing. Good job show! *round of applause* However, before he gets the cloak, he would accidentally teleport using other things that were black and flowy. The first time he teleported it was with the sheet from his bed, there was also a black curtain, some black tarp… and it was cool each time. I loved that they had smoke be the way of which he would appear and disappear. I’m glad it wasn’t just the cloak that made him teleport but a way for him to control it or to use to make it easier to concentrate. He does end up losing the cloak in the finale, so I hope he makes another one because that thing is iconic and awesome.
As for Tandy, she doesn’t have a costume, at least not yet, I’m curious to see what they’ll use for her white jumpsuit down the line. It might be interesting if she takes ballet up again (according to the promo for season two she does! Look at me predicting stuff before it happens lol) and makes her suit from a leotard or something. I don’t want them to make it like the classic Dagger suit with the major cutouts because she’s 16 lol, make it more like the animated version.
It would just make more sense and be more realistic. I’m sure they’ll find some way to make her first suit be something that makes sense. Anyways, about her daggers, they seemed to appear whenever she needed help, like when that rich boy tried to attack her, and she stabbed him unknowingly of course. Later, she can control it better after she saves herself after she tried to drown herself. After that she was able to summon them more often. It wasn’t until they got stuck in the mind of Ivan Hess and she stayed behind that she got good at throwing them (Ty was also pretty good at teleporting at this point). I loved how they looked like pure light and energy and that they fit perfectly in her hand and of course were super sharp. It’s interesting that her power is active while Ty’s is passive (until we see the one he develops later which I spazzed out when he got to use it). Her daggers looked real and not just fake things she was supposed to use.
Powerful Dialogue. I really noticed this the second time watching it. I noticed it before and thought it was great but rewatching, I often would go “That’s so good”. In Tyrone and Tandy’s first conversation, they talk about their powers, their lives and it turns into a conversation about privilege. After she mentions she’s thought about killing herself, he says “it can’t be that bad”. Now, I know that conversations about suicide should not be taken lightly in any situation, but I don’t think this conversation, with Tyrone said, was meant seriously. At least not in the way I saw people on Tumblr talking about it. But anyway, she asks him where he lives, what his family is like because she’s alluding to the fact that he has it good because he lives in a nice house, goes to a prep school and has both of his parents in his life. He needs to “check his privilege” before he starts judging her. He then retorts what it’s like to be a black boy in America. Even though he lives in a nice place now, he spent most of his childhood in the hood. He can’t walk down the street and not worry that someone thinks he’s a threat, or he can’t just walk around with his hood over his head (even in the promos, he walked with his hood up, and when he came past police, he lowered it). Tandy then retorts that she’s had to steal everything she has, and he says, “because you can!” It was such a great moment. I totally get Tandy. I’m not saying that she hasn’t had it hard, she has. However, she can get away with the things she’s gotten away with because of her skin color. I mean, that girl is smart and she’s able to get around some obstacles that if she was a person of color, she probably wouldn’t have been able to. She can do things that Ty couldn’t get away with doing. Just by walking into a store, Ty would be considered a threat and probably watched throughout the store. It shows a lot of their pain and their roles in society no matter where they are in the social classes. I thought it was a great piece of dialogue. Also, the scene with Tyrone and Duane in episode 6 “Funhouse Mirrors” where they talk about justice. Then a great scene between Tyrone and his mom in “Ghost Stories”, episode 8 about her fear when it comes to her son. Ugh, I teared up. Also, in “Lotus Eaters”, Tyrone has some great lines when he’s trying to get through to Tandy… listen, the dialogue is good. Sometimes it can be cheesy, but I think most times it’s good when they’re talking about real life stuff.
Future Possibilities. There are a lot of directions this show could go in and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do. Cloak and Dagger have a lot of stories to pull from, and one of them I hope is a crossover with The Runaways. I feel like Ty and Alex would be friends in this moment in their lives (they both need some friends honestly). I know they can’t really crossover with Spider-Man/Peter Parker since he’s in the big leagues in the movies, but it’d be cool to maybe spin it and throw in Miles Morales. That would diversify the show even more and put into place that he exists but make him younger since he started out with his powers at like 12 (maybe not 12) but you get the idea. There’s also the whole thing with the X-men (which since the Disney/Fox merger, not sure what that means for that show The Gifted) where they (and by they, I mean Tandy) wondered if they were mutants, there are ways around that lol and then the whole thing with Mr. Negative…. I just hope we don’t get watered down plots since the first season was so strong in the storytelling aspect. So many options! OH, before I forget, Tandy and Ty technically meet because they ran away from home and got involved with Roxxon who experimented on them with drugs… they become very against drugs because of that… curious to see what happens in the future with them and Roxxon. I don’t think that fight is over.
Shaky Camera. A big pet peeve I have while watching movies and TV shows is the shaky camera. It’s annoying when something emotional is happening on-screen and the camera isn’t still, or if there’s action and the camera is shaking like someone is running behind the actor with a camera attached to their chest. It should be steady. In some instances, it can work to show the intensity of a moment but when it’s ALL THE TIME that’s a problem. It was literally all the time in the show to the point where I would always notice it and while the show itself is basically a masterpiece, the technicality of it was annoying. The only time there should have been shaky cam (preferably never) could have been in the finale and in episode three. That’s it. NO SHAKY CAM NEXT SEASON PLEASE! It’s not cute.
Teenagers So Dramatic. Overall, I like both Tandy and Tyrone but they’re teenagers so there are moments where I’m like “y’all need to sit down somewhere”. Sometimes Tyrone gets smart with his parents and I’m just surprised at their reactions because if it was me, I’d be ready to hit him upside his head like ‘who are you talking too?’ While I rewatched, being that he lives with his parents, Tyrone answers to them, (whereas Tandy only answers to herself), he reacts in the way a teenager would. He keeps secrets, he lies (like with the bolt cutters), he has his outbursts. He told his mom “enough!” he got smart with his dad, I was like boooyyy. I kind of give him a pass because he’s a teenager but I wish the parents stood firm more. They did later as things got more intense, but I hope moving forward, if he shows back up, they’re more involved and they don’t allow him to just do his own thing. I mean, he just be out and about and I’m like “I know he can teleport, but do they know he’s not home??” lol. I hope we get to see more of them because Gloria Reuben is so good as his mom.
Slow Pacing. So, I mentioned the slow burn aspect which I liked, but I do think the show has an issue with pacing. Sometimes, it lingers on things for too long when it needs to keep it moving. It’s like transitions have a hard time transitioning. I think all of Marvel’s shows has this problem (especially Daredevil, my goodness lol). I think this is most prevalent in the first few episodes, while I loved episode 3, it was almost jarring whenever we switched back and forth between the two. As Tyrone and Tandy only met that one time at the party and jump started their powers, they didn’t really meet again so the show would bounce back and forth between their stories. I liked it because we could see their lives apart, but it also made progress feel slow.
Overall, I adore this show. This is my favorite Marvel show. It just feels so raw and genuine and it’s not trying to get you to the superhero stuff so quickly but for you to feel these characters and understand them. I think that’s what’s important when you’re making an origin story. I love Tyrone and Tandy as people, they’re so layered and interesting and Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph do such a great job at maintaining who their characters are throughout the show, while showing us their fall from grace at some points in the show. They also have fantastic chemistry with each other. The show rides on them working. The supporting characters and cast are also all very good in their roles, no matter how small. The dialogue has been handled very well, with some moments and monologues standing out more than others. There are political messages there but they’re not overwhelming. The slow burn of the show, while the pacing isn’t great, allows for the characters to grow. The use of their powers is handled extremely well, I think they have translated Cloak and Dagger’s abilities that they look realistic. I mostly dislike the shaky camera. It’s like in a constant state of shock which I hope it stops that in season two. Of course, they’re teenagers but sometimes it’s like “y’all are children, parents tell your kids to shut up!” lol plus, I hope the parents are more involved. I also hope the pacing of the show improves in season two. Listen, I think this show is great. I can’t wait to see what they continue to do with these characters. I truly hope we see a lot of power and character growth and that we start tapping into some comic reserves of story lines and villains. I like the contained feel and I hope it doesn’t lose that because that’s what makes it so great. It’s intimate and it works.
Rating: 4.8 out 5 stars.
Have you watched Cloak and Dagger Season 1? If not, what’s wrong with you!? Give it a try, especially if you’ve watched Marvel’s Runaways. Let me know your thoughts below if you have watched it, I would love to hear other people’s thoughts.
Summary: Series of adventures, war, and evil that occur throughout the history of the Four Lands.
The interesting thing with this show is that when it first came out, I wanted to watch it. I knew it was on MTV, but I had no idea when it came on, so I never caught it. I was interested because I like high fantasy shows like this and it was accessible being on regular TV instead of something you had to pay extra for, plus I liked Austin Butler enough from Switched at Birth (read that review here) that I wanted to follow him to be a leading man on his own show.
I forgot about it for ages and picked it up recently on Netflix once I watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (review here) and wanted to watch something else. I watched the first episode at work and then I fell down the rabbit hole of the show. So interesting thing, once I finished, I wondered why it was cancelled after two seasons, in ways I kind of get it but after researching it, I see, but I still want it to continue. I feel like Netflix should just pick it up, or Amazon since both Networks have their own “fantasy” like shows and being that their streaming, it would help the show’s viewership. It needs at least a third season to finish what was started in the Season 2 finale. IT’S NOT RIGHT TO END ON A CLIFF HANGER! STOP CANCELLING SHOWS WITHOUT MAKING SURE THEY HAVE A PROPER FRIGGIN ENDING!
Anyways, on with the review and there will be some spoilers because I have a lot of feelings and thoughts on the show, but I don’t know if I can get it all out in this review. Oh yeah, get to use the word “consistently” because I’ll be using it a lot.
Cast and Characters. I think it’s important that I say this. I didn’t dislike any of the main characters at least not consistently, they annoyed me sometimes but what character doesn’t. I feel like they all had the potential to be interesting and I think they were but also stupid and… well anyway lol while I have this in the pros, I’ll probably mention cons too just because I’m talking about the characters.
Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford. He is a half-human/half-elf who is the last of the bloodline of the ancient Shannara family. He is destined to help save the Four Lands from demons. He possesses three Elfstones, which belonged to his late father, Shea Ohmsford. So, Wil is basically a farm boy, who grew up in a small town, used to people treating him like crap because he is half elf, which shows in his ears, even if they are short tips. When his mother dies, she tells him of his destiny and he ends up being thrown into something he never thought he would be a part of. The usual hero trope, reluctant and all that. He’s awkward, passionate, stubborn, determined but also reluctant. I like Wil overall, I think the show could have done better with his characterization because there are times where he does things that makes me roll my eyes because I think he’s being extra and it’s dumb. I like his snarky and sarcastic comments about certain things, he does play the role of the audience sometimes where he says what we might be thinking but that comes and goes, it’s not consistent and I think it should have been for him throughout. If there’s a chance for a third season to come about, I hope his stint in the Forbidding (which is where I think he is after his wonderful sacrifice in the finale) kind of helps his personality. I feel like Wil could have been extremely annoying if Austin Butler wasn’t playing him. I don’t know what it is about Austin Butler but not only is he physically dreamy, but I love every character he’s played, and I feel like those characters aren’t always meant to be likable. I think he looks like an elf lol, and I think he makes some of the best facial expressions and he’s always so smirky. I like smirky. I feel like he’s the reason why I enjoyed Wil because if it wasn’t him, I can’t say I would like him as much.
Poppy Drayton as Amberle Elessedil. She is the Elven Princess and the first female to be accepted as one of the Chosen, a group of elves responsible for protecting and caring for the Ellcrys tree. In the beginning I was like “oh yeah, here’s Amberle making new moves for female Elves” because she was the first in a lot of things in her kingdom. She remains as such mostly, she is determined to save the Four Lands and wants to protect the people she loves. She’s a bit wise and tries to be smart when it comes to dealing with people. I like that she knows how to fight and that she has this big destiny that she must choose or choose love. I mean, it’s also a little meh because really, choose love or duty… but I liked how it was handled. It was a choice but at the same time, you know throughout the show there might not really be another option for her because of what she wants. I’ve never seen Poppy Drayton in anything when I saw the show but she’s likable and a good “reacting” actress. She makes some crazy faces sometimes but tis just her face… can’t be helped lol. I thought she had nice chemistry with both Austin Butler (which means a lot) and Ivana Bacquero for the friendship that develops.
Ivana Baquero as Eretria. She is a human who is raised by Rovers, a band of thieves. We meet her when she saves Wil from a troll and she basically doesn’t leave a good impression because she flirts, lies, drugs and then steals from him lol. She’s untrustworthy for a while in the first season but ends up becoming an ally. I think it’s clear that she grows romantic feelings for Wil and I think that even lasts into the second season even though she’s in the relationship with Princess Lyria. I had a little hard time liking her until probably midway through the season. I thought she was trying too hard and maybe that was part of the character, but it was a bit annoying to me. BUT when she started to truly show up for her comrades, I was like yasss girl! Ivana Bacquero is cool in the role, I like her badassery and she does well with emotional moments.
Manu Bennett as Allanon. He is the last druid who has been in a Druid Sleep for the last 300 years. He awakens and sets out to find Wil. He becomes a guide and a mentor for the group. Allanon has a lot of secrets and it really becomes his downfall in later episodes but it’s clear he cares for Wil just like he cared and befriended Wil’s father. Allanon is the type of character who you’re not sure if you like because of their off-putting nature. He always seems a bit indifferent as well when it’s like “dude! Show some emotion!” but it’s usually being shown in his eyes. We learn a ton more about him in the second season with his connections to Mareth and what he feels about certain things. I’ve seen Manu Bennett in Arrow and he was like Allanon when we first meet him on the island which I was like “oh hey look at you” lol. I think the old wise man thing he does well, and he also later plays the villain in the second season (not Allanon but a different character) and he was okay in that role, I get why they did it, but I wish it was someone else.
Aaron Jakubenko as Ander Elessedil. He’s the youngest son of King Eventine who has a reputation for being irresponsible. He blames himself for his brother’s death Aine (Amberle’s father) and he really takes her under his wing and encourages her in everything she does. He ends up having to take on a more responsible role and I really grew to like him as the show went on. I liked him so much that I am still upset with what happened in season two. I’ve never seen Aaron Jakubenko in anything but he’s a likable guy.
Marcus Vanco as Bandon. An Elven boy with the gift of a seer, meaning that he can see possible futures when he touches someone. When we meet Bandon, it’s sad because he’s chained up in the barn, but I never really trusted him. I thought something was up with him from the beginning. He is afraid of his ability because he was taught to by his parents (or the people who raised him) but Allanon tries to take him under his wing to help him and it becomes a huge mess. In the second season, he goes down a dark path and I think what ends up happening to him was either a cop out or it was just lame. I feel like he wasn’t as much as a threat as they wanted him to be and I was a little annoyed by him and his naivety. Marcus Vanco did a great job though whenever Bandon was going through his emotional states. The indifferent scary thing though was kind of meh for me lol.
Malese Jow as Mareth Ravenlock. A half-human/half-elf searching for Wil in season two. She has magic and basically becomes his partner in crime. She has her own reasons as to why she wants to help him, and I don’t really want to reveal it, so I won’t but it’s an interesting development. I just think the casting was an interesting choice but sure it works. I like Mareth, she’s strong in her own way and determined to do what it takes but you also understand her position. I recognized her from The Vampire Diaries and I was like ‘oh lord, will she be whining here too’ and she did a few times, but I liked her overall because while Mareth had things she was going through, she played it up on her face. Plus, I thought she had nice chemistry with Austin Butler and I really thought she had her time to shine in the last two or three episodes.
Vanessa Morgan as Lyria. She is human who is in a romantic relationship with Eretria. I mean she plays her role, but I don’t think we really get to know her or anything to really care about her. You care about her because you care about Eretria, she also brings in some diversity, but I was kind of meh on her. I wanted to include her here because she’s likable and I think Vanessa Morgan is fun to watch sometimes but otherwise sure.
Gentry White as Garet Jax. He is a bounty hunter who starts out looking for Lyria for her mother. I was a bit unsure about him in the beginning because I thought he was basically going to play the role that Eretria played in the first season, which he kind of did but I enjoyed him. He not only brought in some much-needed diversity, he was one of the few people on screen who could fight lol. I liked Jax overall and I thought Gentry White played his role, he was cool, sympathetic when he needed to be and quite badass when it came to any physical stunts. I just wish we saw more of him and that towards the end he was a bit smarter, he was too trusting too easily.
Special Effects. I was a bit surprised to see how good the effects in the show were for where it started on MTV. OUAT’s effect had a charm even though most times it was kind of bad so this show having better effects was shocking. The prosthetic on the demons and the gnomes were really kind of great. Of course, the elf ears, both the short tips and regular ones were nice and looked authentic. Whenever someone used magic, looks kind of cool, I mean sure just beams of light but still kind of cool. All the wraiths and what not. I was really impressed. Good job show.
Setting and Aesthetic. It’s set waaaaay into the future and the world as we know was basically wiped out. Instead of moving forward with the idea of grand technology and all that kind of futuristic stuff, it seemed like the world went backwards with magic and even the coupling of science at times. The world is overgrown with plant life, there are fallen homes, trucks, cable dishes that are now covered with foliage. Bridges are fallen and rundown, it’s really kind of cool that you have our world, but it’s evolved differently than how it’s normally portrayed. We don’t really get the chance to see a ton of places that looks different, but the staples are: Arborlon, the Elvin Kingdom, Leah (a human kingdom which we see in season two).
Friendships Built. At first, I was worried there was gonna be a love triangle and it was there… a bit, but it was kind of one-sided. It’s hard to say really lol but Wil meets Eretria first and it was clear he was a bit into her and she was into him. Then Amberle comes into the picture and clearly Wil was waaaaay more into her and Eretria felt like she was overlooked but girl lol, you and Wil were meant to be friends. Anyway, Eretria and Amberle had a rough go at it in terms of being friends but by the end I believed they trusted each other. They’re no Golden Trio or anything, far from it, but by the end I felt like they trusted each other. I liked their unit. I also liked the new friendship unit that was built when Amberle was gone and Mareth came into the picture.
Consistent Storyline. I’m going to mention this in the cons too, I feel like contradicting about it but full transparency. Tunnel vision. It’s basically the through line the entire show which is cool. I mean, while I wish we got to see more of the characters in other adventures than just the main one, I like the fact that show makes sure we know there is a goal at the end.
Locations. In ways the show traverses a lot of different villages and what not, but they generally all look the same or we don’t see a ton of them to really know they’re different locations. We know the difference between Arborlon, the Elvin Kingdom and then later Leah which are the two main kingdoms we see but the smaller villages, or places we pass through, it’s like “oh yeah we’re back with the healer gnomes… Storlock I think” but I would only know that if I saw a gnome lol. I feel like they should have made them more noticeable or did something to make them be their locations even if the people in those villages just threw something together.
SIDE QUESTS PLEASE! This show had tunnel vision lol. I can’t think of any filler episodes or anything that was a lapse in the main story, there might be two, but the fate of the world was always there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing I just wish we got to sit with the characters a bit more, see them in different situations that didn’t deal with the fate of the world hanging over their shoulder. I mean, shoot, Dean and Sam always must save the world and they always take the time out to go save a random family from a werewolf or something or killer clowns. I feel like The Shannara Chronicles could have done that too because then we could have seen Eretria, Amberle and Wil do something else where we didn’t hear “We all have our roles! We have to save the Four Lands!”.
Where’s the Humor? It tried to be funny, but it bordered on lame lol. Wil was probably the only one who really was funny but in that awkward kind of way, mostly in the first season. Plus, I think Austin Butler makes some of the best facial expressions and since he’s the fish out of water in the first season, it makes for some comedy in the first season. But outside of that, it feels like it’s forced, and I think it would be funnier if they didn’t try so hard.
Inconsistent Acting. Oh boy, there are times when I cringed at the acting. I think everyone was solid but there were some points where it was kind of bad. I feel like the biggest perpetrator of this was Ivana Baquero in the beginning of the show. I think she got better, but I cringed a lot at her acting. Poppy Drayton was a little better but there were times when I rolled my eyes at her as well. I think Austin Butler was the best out of the three consistently, but he’s not perfects lol even though he physically is *bounces eyebrows*. Also, Prince Ander had these moments where he would make this dumb face and I would be like “boy make a different emotional expression!” And Vanessa Morgan is okay mostly, she makes the same faces a lot too and I’m like GIRL (I feel the same way about her as Toni Topaz in Riverdale). Overall, I don’t think anyone’s consistent throughout the show when it comes to acting and it can be pretty cringe.
Cheesy and Awkward Dialogue. SO CHEESY!!! I rolled my eyes so many times at the dialogue in the show. I think a big part of it though is the fact that the way the younger characters spoke was very modern. I know the show technically is set in the future, but it was hard to take the aesthetic seriously when you have the young character saying things like “sloppy seconds” and then you have the adults who talk a little more in tune with the world. It was a bit jarring. I got used to it after a while but in the beginning, I was like “wait… what? not what I’m expecting.” I get why they did it, they wanted to appeal to the younger demographic, but I doubt that’s the group of people who watched the show. I don’t think this show had to do the language like that. I don’t think it had to be Shakespearean, but they could have taken it a bit more seriously to fit more into the world they were trying to create.
Nobody Can Fight. The show relies heavily on confrontations and people fighting, whether it be with swords or their fists, but NO ONE can fight. I mean it’s pretty bad. In the first season, it made a little more sense why Wil wasn’t that great because he grew up as a farm boy or whatever, but there was no reason why Amberle couldn’t fight when she grew up with an uncle who trained her for the gauntlet. I feel like she should have been able to hold her own a bit more than she did. Too many times did people like throw her around and hold swords at her neck. I mean… it was laughable. I think Eretria was the only one who could really kick butt. Even Allanon who was a druid and trained got his butt kicked A LOT. *sighs* Everyone needed a bit more training lol on the bright side the fighting choreography was actually pretty good.
Weak/Inconsistent Character Development/Stupid. I wanted this to be last because this is the biggest thing the show suffers from. All the characters don’t get a lot of development outside of Wil, who I don’t think got as much as he should have gotten, and the show is named after him! But Eretria and Amberle had their characteristics but they were inconsistent (I’m using that word a lot, I know but the show is inconsistent) because Eretria is the “tough” chick and that she feels like she can’t make her own choices or something, and we’re basically told that ALL THE TIME. Amberle starts the show out by wanting to run the gauntlet and she makes it a new thing for Elven women to run the gauntlet and is the first woman to become a Chosen but wow. She kept talking about destinies and it was her thing throughout the show. She had some development when it came to figuring out how to make her best choices but she had one track and I wish we could have seen a bit more from her even while she was on the path she was on. Lastly, Wil, I love him lol, he’s the hero of the story and we do learn about his history and he’s the reluctant hero throughout both seasons, we know that he cares about those he loves but outside of accepting who he might be, we don’t see much change. Plus, some of the development he might have gotten was trash because of the whole “boy stop flirting with both these girls and officially pick one”. I don’t know, I just don’t think we got to know our main three heroes as much as we should have.
Overall, I really liked the show. I think I watched it twice or at least a few episodes a couple of times. I like the characters overall; the special effects and aesthetic of the world was cool. I was really into it. I liked the chemistry between the main characters and the friendship that was built between our main three heroes. I think that’s so important for a show with three leads. I liked that the show knew there was a main story and it focused on it throughout the show. It didn’t falter much, and the task was completed at the end. I thought was great. You KNEW you were going to get some answers. Now on the other hand, I think the acting was inconsistent throughout the show. The dialogue could be cheesy, and I could not take it seriously just because the actors were trying to make it sound serious. Nobody seemed to know how to properly fight and it was super irritating that everyone got their butts kicked constantly. I wish we got to see more location, they were very limited and the ones we saw there wasn’t much that stood out about them. The character development was either extremely weak or nonexistent. If we had some side quests or fillers, it might have helped flesh them out more, but I can think of only two and I don’t think those really aided in the development. I just we got to know these characters a bit better other than the broken record phrases they kept saying. “I’m not my father!” “It’s my destiny!” “I want to be free!” Yeah, I know… show me something else. But fun show. It’s on Netflix, give it a whirl if you like genre shows like this.
Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Shannara Chronicles? This review is late but better late than never!
Let me know your thoughts below! Who was your favorite character in the show?
I actually used to watch this show when it first came out. I thought it was a very interesting premise and I really liked it in the beginning. I fell off during season 4 after the whole thing happened with Bay and Tank and I never caught back up. So, I decided to binge it on Netflix and I remember all of the feelings I felt while watching it, as I felt them again. However, going forward with the rest of the season and season 5, I really enjoyed the show as a whole. I was quite shocked. I mean, usually there are seasons that are not as good as others, and I can’t really say which season I preferred because they were all handled really well. I think Season 5 was probably one of my favorites though, we’ll see.
Watching the show again also put me back into learning American Sign Language, I’ve fallen off again because I flew through the classes online but the next level is too advanced lol, I needed a step between beginner and intermediate.
Anyways, on with the review!
Summary: Two teenage girls’ lives are turned upside down when they find out they were switched at birth.
Cast and Characters. Being a TV series, we meet a lot of characters but there were the certain people who remained important regulars, which was the Kennish and Vazquez families with some friends mixed in. I’m going to try to hit all of them, I may not go into super detail or anything like that but I just wanted to put my thoughts on them as characters and of course the actors playing them.
Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe.He starts out as a regular but becomes a reoccurring character in the last season. He is Daphne’s best friend who is also deaf. In the beginning, he’s clearly in love with Daphne, who he’s been friends with since childhood. He and Bay work together later to find her father and they grow really close and eventually start dating and thus begins the iconic relationship of Bay and Emmett or “Bemmett” lol. Emmett is also a photographer and wants to be a director being that he loves old movies, especially old scary deaf movies lol. He has a tendency to be jealous and he’s kind of hotheaded and very use to giving his opinion in any situation. There are times when he tries different things for Bay, sometimes he even gets into trouble for trying to do things for her which is cute… sometimes. I like Emmett, I always liked Emmett but in later seasons, he flip-flopped a lot for me due to his attitude and how he treated Bay when he went off to college. Ugh lol. I like Sean Berdy, he’s so cute and whenever he got emotional, I really felt bad for him (unless he was being unreasonable) because his emotions played on his face, which is important since the Deaf Community uses their facial expressions are part of their language.
Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish. Sooo Toby is Daphne and Bay’s older brother. There were a lot of times where I think the show didn’t really know what to do with him since he would just be floating around in the background but I consistently liked Toby. In the first few seasons, he was really trying to be a musician, he had a band and everything. His big problem was gambling and even though their family was well off, he still managed to dig himself into debt because he was reckless with money, which made him a jerk at times. Once that was rectified until waaay later, he got his life together. He had like three major relationships and I don’t think I really liked any of them, Lily the most I guess, but I felt like he got trapped in the end lol. Regardless, he stepped up to the plate. He was smart when he put his mind to it. I’ve always liked Lucas Grabeel, I find him likable no matter what character he plays and I feel like Toby could easily be annoying and I could be over him, but I think it’s because of Lucas that that didn’t happen. Whenever he had to perform musically, I think that was some of his best stuff being a musical guy, it just seemed natural compared to some of the “soap opera” story lines they gave him.
Katie Leclerc as Daphne Paloma Vasquez (born Bay Madeline Kennish). She is the biological daughter of John and Kathryn. When we first meet her, we learn she’s deaf and became so when she got sick at the age of three from meningitis, I think. In the beginning, I liked Daphne because all of this was happening and she managed to remain quite calm about the whole thing while Bay seemed to spin out of control. However, once she finds out that Bay and Emmett are spending time together and even dating, she gets upset and basically tells Bay that she’s not going to let her date him without a fight since she now all of sudden likes him lol. From that moment on, I didn’t really like Daphne. She has a major temper (just like her dad), she’s athletic, intelligent and has a lot of opinions on a lot of things. Sometimes she does things with good intentions but she either handles it in a stupid way or gets involved with people who pretty much encourages her to do stupid stuff that has long term consequences. She feels this passionately, which is fine, but I needed her to get her life through most of the show because she was way to entitled about certain things. I’ll get more into her attitude and stuff later. Whenever she’s being nice or whatever, she’s fine and I think Katie Leclerc unfortunately had a character that acted like a child which she played very well. Soooo good job Katie lol. I have to say though that her relationship with Bay was very interesting and whenever they were getting along, that was some of my favorite stuff because Daphne would teach her sign language and they would have moments where they talked around hearing people through sign language and it was like they were sisters with a secret code.
Vanessa Marano as Bay Madeline Kennish(born Daphne Paloma Vasquez). She is the biological daughter of Regina and Angelo. She was raised in the wealthy neighborhood of Mission Hills by John and Kathryn Kennish. Bay is a very talented artist who has a particular love for Frida Kahlo. Bay can be very impulsive at times, and, at first, doesn’t take the news of the switch very easily. However, she gradually gets better in accepting that Regina and the Kennishes are both her family. In the beginning, Bay was the one who initiated finding out if she was biologically a Kennish because she doesn’t look or act like any of them and it started with an assignment they did in class. She was very spoiled and bratty in the beginning and I didn’t like her because I thought she was being unreasonable with everyone around her like it wasn’t her fault that they found out in the first place! The whole thing with Daphne and Liam, man that was so ridiculous but she ends up getting her life together and I really liked her throughout the rest of the show. She had her moments when she was ridiculous and bratty but it didn’t happen constantly like it did with Daphne. Bay actually makes some significant sacrifices that were noble but stupid. Her art was very important to her, she started out doing street art and still did it every now and then but she really got to do some cool stuff later when she became a tattoo artist in the last season. It was dope. Vanessa Morano managed to find the balance in Bay’s character where she was likable and unlikable at some times. I also loved her delivery, sometimes she said things with this monotone tone and it was hilarious.
Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez.Bay’s biological mother and Daphne’s legal mother. So, with Regina, I get why people don’t like her but I always liked her. In the beginning, she came off a little hard when it meant working with the Kennishes, especially since she raised Daphne, she was her daughter and she did not like the idea of sharing her or sharing the parenting (she had a point though since John and Kathryn did not include her when it came to parenting Bay soooo). Bay viewed her as the “cool mom” since Regina was so chill but at the same time, Regina was way stricter in ways than John and Kathryn. She was a recovering alcoholic so that becomes a problem later in the show. When everyone finds out that Regina knew about the switch for a long time, she was pretty much treated like a criminal by everyone for a while even though I get it and I think Kathryn got it too. When learn a lot about her and Angelo when they were young. Regina at some point also loses the ability to do sign language and to paint which seemed like she lost the connection to Bay and Daphne which Daphne was more of jerk about it than Daphne was (like girl, I know your mom can’t sign to you anymore and it’s hard to have to read lips all the time but it’s not like she just chose NOT to sign… ugh lol). Anyway, a lot of stuff happens to Regina throughout the show, some of it was brought upon because she makes stupid choices (like mother like daughters) but in the end, I was happy with her ending in the show. Constance Marie was great throughout the show; her acting was great especially when Angelo was on the show and they had to play off each other. I often teared up because of her because she was so strong so whenever she cried, it felt like she was crying for something so strong, which she usually was, I thought.
D. W. Moffett as John Kennish.He is Bay’s legal father and Daphne’s biological father and HE ANNOYED THE CRAP OUT OF ME THE ENTIRE SHOW! There were times when he was legit okay, but most of the time I was so irritated with him that anytime he did something nice, I was like “I don’t believe this is real” lol. His first thought in response to anything he didn’t like was to yell and throw tantrums. Anytime Regina did something he didn’t like, or she made a choice in parenting he didn’t agree with, or he found out something about her past, he was always so ready to take her to court to get fully custody of Daphne as well. Just… really dude? He does get a bit better in the last two seasons… ish but he was just so… angry. Sometimes it was warranted but other times it was like dude calm down! He used to play Pro Baseball so he’s famous for that and Daphne clearly gets his athletic genes since Toby and Bay both are artists lol, he really tries to be really involved with Daphne and her sports. In the later seasons, he had a heart attack because he’s extra which kind of helps him tone things down a bit but he has his opinions and it takes a while to make him change his mind. I do have to say though that anytime he took the time to talk and understand Regina, Angelo and even Bay were great moments. There’s a great scene in the last season or the fourth season where the Kennishes did this awesome thing for Bay after she didn’t get into the school of her dream. He and Kathryn really stepped it up! D.W. Moffett did his job because he made me dislike his character haha.
Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish.She is Bay’s legal mother and Daphne’s biological mother. I’ve always loved Lea Thompson since Back to the Future so when I saw she was the mom when I first started watching, I was so excited. Now Kathryn was interesting because I liked her overall as well but there were times where I thought she was being extra as well. I loved the scene between her and Regina when Regina tells her to stop trying to change Daphne to fit them but learn her language… such a great scene and after that Kathryn began to learn and she’s really good at it. I think she took the time to understand Regina first, they definitely butted heads though throughout the show but she was always a bit more willing. What’s funny about Kathryn was she had a voice but didn’t know how to use it because John’s voice was so overpowering. She became an author later and she was a cook (I really wanted to try her food man… hers and Angelo’s). She connected with Daphne and really tried to make stronger connections with Bay. I loved when she started standing up for herself more. Lea Thompson is always good, she is always good with emotional scenes, I didn’t know she could sing until this show which was great and I loved when she would fight back.
Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento.He Bay’s biological father and Daphne’s legal father and HE IS FINE! lol We hear about him a lot in the first season and I didn’t even realize how early he came into the show lol but as far as the others know, he’s this terrible person who left when Daphne went deaf but when he shows up, we learn that it was because he thought Regina cheated on him since Daphne didn’t look like him and they just argued all the time. However, he and Regina were so good together, so passionate that I really wanted it to last. He joins up with John and Kathryn kind of, to sue the hospital for damages and wins like 1 million dollars which he tries to use to help out his girls. Unfortunately, he bites off more than he can chew and blows through it too fast. He later gets into a fatal car accident and I cried for like four episodes straight. It hit way to close to home which I remember being sad when I first saw it but it was different this time around. Angelo really made an impact on everyone even if John and Kathryn (more so John as time went on) didn’t really like him. He connected with Daphne over cooking (as well as Kathryn), he also tried to learn sign language to connect with her better. He connected with Toby over music and he gave Bay a whole side of her family she didn’t even know about and of course he was in love with Regina. It was beautiful. As soon as he came into the picture, I liked him. Gilles Marini is very likable and he had such great chemistry with Constance Marie as well.
Marlee Matlin as Melody Bledsoe.She is Emmett’s mother and Regina’s friend who is also deaf. I don’t think she was ever a regular but she was around so much that she might as well have been. She is Regina’s best friend so she was around for that and of course when Bay and Emmett started dating, she was around because of that too. She was also the guidance counselor at Carlton (the deaf school) which allowed her to be involved in all of the kids’ lives. She got on my nerves a few times too though because she would react to things that I thought was ridiculous, like when Regina couldn’t sign anymore, she almost walked away from her in disgust. I was shocked and like “girl bye, if she’s supposed to be your best friend you wouldn’t treat her like that!” It also took her a long time to warm up to Bay but they ended up becoming pretty close in the end. She took in Travis, who had a bad/sad home situation which was kind of her and she also served as a mentor for a lot of the kids in the school. This is the first and only thing I’ve ever seen with Marlee Matlin but she was great and I loved it when she spoke because she normally didn’t and when she did, it was legit!
Supporting Characters.There were a lot of supporting characters but I’m not going to get into all of them but it’s important I highlight just a few. Ivonne Coll was Adriana Vasquez, Regina’s mother and she loved her telenovelas but always said that the real life had way more drama due to Angelo, but she just didn’t like him. Austin Butler as Wilke who was Toby’s best friend and dated Daphne for a bit, and I really liked him, I was sad when he left and never came back. Maiara Walsh as Simone Sinclairwho was Bay’s nemesis and dated both Toby and Wilke and pretty much a controlling and sometimes terrible person, she gets better when we see her later. Blair Redford as Ty Mendozawho knew Daphne and Regina from their old neighborhood and dated Bay in the first season and later after Emmett cheated on her with Simon (drama y’all). MOST IMPORTANTLY Ryan Lane as Travis Barneswho was Daphne’s deaf friend who had an attitude but was taken in by Melody, he became best friends with Emmett, he was in love with Daphne and I think they dated briefly but ends up with Bay. I loved Travis.
The family dynamic. The family dynamic in the show was very much up and down quite consistently. Someone was always arguing because of something someone else did. It was a lot of drama but when they weren’t dying in that drama, I really liked the Kennish-Vasquez family. One of my favorite moments was when Kathryn felt really ignored by everyone mostly John, that they staged a little musical moment to make her feel better, it was super sweet. Like everyone including Angelo and Adriana were involved. Stuff like that needed to happen way more often because when it did, I loved it.
Bay and Daphne’s sisterhood.One of the strongest things about the show was the dynamic between Bay and Daphne and boy was it rocky. They never had a perfect relationship until the last season and even then, it wasn’t perfect. At first, they did not like each other because Bay was super extra and then Daphne became super extra forever. They butted heads a lot and there were plenty of times when one was jealous of the other due to the ties to their parents. Whenever Bay, Regina and Angelo had something going on, Daphne would get really jealous and vice versa and Bay would do the same if Daphne connected with John, Toby and Kathryn which actually happened a lot more than Bay with Regina and Angelo. Very one sided at times. But when they understood each other and worked together and did things for each other, that’s when you could tell they really did love each other like sisters. An instance of this is when Bay took the fall for what Daphne did to allow her the chance to be Pre-Med. She did not have to do that. Anyway, I just really liked it when they were being nice to each other and really trying to be in each other’s presence.
Relevant Storylines. The show tackled a lot of different storylines. Of course, there was the stuff that was handled within the family, but the storyline with grief, particularly with Daphne was intense because she ended up committing some serious crimes. But the two big ones I thought were what happened with Tank and the stuff on the college campus similar to Black Lives Matter movements.
Tank-So Tank and Bay dated but she cheated and went back to Emmett. It was sad. Anyways, she went to a party on the college campus and got super drunk and wakes up the next morning in bed with Tank not sure what happened. She was partially naked. It turns out they slept together but she not only remembers it but doesn’t think she agreed to the union though Tank is sure she did. It turned into this big thing about consent and Tank basically got expelled. It was a hard situation because Bay didn’t remember and there has to come a point where the other person realizes someone is too drunk to give consent. Just wait. I felt bad for Tank because he was a good guy but at the same time… pay attention.
BLM- So it started with Mingo went to a dorm party dressed up as Lil’ Wayne and Iris, one of Daphne’s friends, said it was offensive which I get it. Not to mention, it’s happened so many times. Daphne took it upon herself to be a spokesperson about it which really showed her ignorance. She often did stuff like this. It lasted for a long time in the season, something I was really surprised about. I thought the show handled it in an interesting way.
Tense Storylines. While I mentioned that the show handled some relevant storylines, I don’t think it really stuck the landing the show thought they were going do. In terms of the Tank situation, it was kind of weird because he was a good guy and someone that people liked and trusted. The later he ended up dating Marybeth who gave Bay grief about Tank so much when Bay was friends/dating him, so I thought that was a weird payoff. I also didn’t like how they handled the consequences of Daphne’s bad choices because of grief, she should have been punished for what she did. Grief can affect a lot of things but having her break the law and then Bay takes the fall, yeah sure she met that girl and did something nice for her and had something nice happen, but Daphne should have gotten in trouble for that. I don’t care. Plus, the whole thing with Emmett and being depressed, I don’t think they handled that well at all. Bay and Daphne returned home because his depression and then it was wrapped up pretty quickly. Very poorly handled.
Overreactions Everywhere! This show was like a soap opera a lot of times and it was really annoying when it was. Some things that happened, okay I get it you, you have every right to be upset, but why are you acting like that still?? For example, when Angelo was in the hospital for his accident, Daphne got all mad and told Regina it was her fault and she pretty much shut her out for a long time. Even when it seemed like they were past it, she still had an attitude. I get that you’re upset and that Regina and Angelo had an argument before but there is no reason for you to act like that and treat your mom like that. You’re grieving, okay, but so is your mom who probably feels worse than you. Mostly everything John did was an overreaction and like father like daughter, so did Daphne. I just couldn’t take some of the ignorance these characters had and they tried to make it seem like they were oh so smart… like nah, you’re stupid and you think you’re right but there’s no way you logically think that. *sighs* Such a conundrum.
Daphne’s Attitude Problems. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Bay because she was being a brat, but then that switched to Daphne at some point in season 1. I think a lot of that happened when she noticed that Emmett was spending a lot of time with Bay, or that they were looking for Angelo and she just felt so entitled to what everyone was doing around her. It got worse as the show went on. She was rude for a long time Regina when they found out that Regina knew about the switch before, don’t get me wrong, she had every right to be upset, but she was so mean. Girl, that’s your mom! I also get that she was upset that Angelo was around after he left, but it has nothing to do with you that Bay wants to meet and spend time with her dad. Relax. Or how she told Bay that she was okay with her going to Carlton but then turned around and tried to get her kicked out with the other hearing kids in the pilot program. I totally get it, you want your school back to the way it was, but Bay really wanted to be there. She is also super spoiled, like girl, you may have grown up not having a lot but that does not warrant your attitude anymore because everyone literally does EVERYTHING for you. EVERYTHING. I know John and Kathryn felt like they missed out on a lot, but they pretty much did everything for Daphne, most of the time against Regina’s wishes, or without even asking Regina. Super rude and Daphne would get mad at her mom when she said something about it. Like girl, that’s your mom, she raised you, get a clue! She gets better in the last season but I spent most of the show really disliking her.
Stagnant Characters. There were a lot of times in the show where some characters were just stagnant in their roles. This happened a lot with Toby, where he was just there. They somehow managed to give him something to do by being a father or bringing up the gambling thing again but he just floated around in the background with boring storylines for a while. Also, Emmett had his issues going on in the last season but they didn’t really give that storyline they tried to give him a good chance and it wrapped up way to fast. I don’t know why he wasn’t a regular if they were going to do a plot like that but he was stagnant for a long time in the show. It was like after he and Bay broke up (both times) they weren’t sure what to do with him.
All the Dating. SO MANY RELATIONSHIPS. Kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl because everyone literally had so many options it was ridiculous. I mean shoot, where are my options? I mean Regina had a lot of options, Kathryn had this young guy who was into her, Melody had a crush on John at some point, Toby had like three girlfriends, one of them was his fiancée and I think he married Lily in the end.
Bay (in this order):Liam, Ty, Emmett, Alex, Noah, Ty (again) Tank, Emmett (again), Garrett, Travis.
Daphne (ooooh boy so many):Liam, Wilke (probably my fave), Jeff (an adult and her boss), Travis (yep Bay’s Travis), Jace, Jorge, Campbell, Noah (they didn’t date but he liked her), Mingo (who I also liked).
At some point I was like they both need to just be single for a while and get your lives together. I mean sheesh, a lot of their problems were because of their taste in boys. I mean I overall liked all of Bay’s boyfriends even Noah who decided he liked Daphne instead and Tank who ended up becoming a kind of villain. I’m still unsure how I feel about that plot. As for Daphne’s dudes, I liked Liam, Wilke, I don’t really count Travis since he liked her but she only dated him to prove a point, I don’t care what anyone says and Mingo. Everyone else… meh. It was just too much focus.
Overall, watching it a second time I realized I really liked this show. I went through it pretty quickly and I was a little surprised at how it ended mostly because I never saw the last season and I was pleasantly surprised at the wrap up. I had a good time with the show overall. I liked most of the characters and all of the actors did a good job with their characters, they played their parts well. I liked all of the relationships that were built with the two families and even some outside people. I liked it a lot when the Kennish/Vasquez family worked together or did things that brought them closer and it didn’t seem like they were at each other’s throats. I loved the relationship that grew between Bay and Daphne when they just were friends/sisters and not hating each other. I thought the show handled certain storylines really well. Now, on the other hand, the show was very melodramatic with all of the over reactions that everyone ALWAYS had, plus Daphne’s unlikable personality throughout the entire show really made me dislike watching the show at points because she was just terrible. A lot of characters were very stagnant at times where they show didn’t seem to know what to do with them and I don’t think they stuck every landing with some of the storylines that were “big” and intense. I also was annoyed with all of the relationships because they just were ANNOYING. But I think Switched at Birthwas a good show, dramatic and what not but I very much enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.89 out of 5 stars.
Did you ever watch Switched at Birth? If so, did you like it? Who was your favorite character? Who did you like the least?
Let me know! Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more reviews!