“The Fosters,” produced by Jennifer Lopez, is a new one-hour drama about a multi-ethnic family that includes two moms, Lena and Stef, (Sherri Saum and Teri Polo); two foster twins, Jesus and Mariana (Jake T. Austin and Cierra Ramirez), and Stef’s biological son Brandon (David Lambert).
Added to the mix is Callie (Maia Mitchell), a teenage girl who is just getting out of a Juvenile Detention Center (because of an abusive foster dad), and needs somewhere to stay until other arrangements can be made. Lena, a vice principal, sees that Callie is struggling and agrees to take her in. This however, ruffles a few feathers with her partner and the other kids in the family.
In the opening scene, Callie is in a Juvenile Detention Center and is beaten up by other girls when they find out she is going to be released. I guess this is typical in Juvie. Fun, huh? Lena meets Callie at the request of Bill (her advisor from Child Protective Services), and agrees to take her in until more permanent living arrangements can be made. I could see the warmth in Lena’s heart as she stares at Callie the first time she sees her. It’s very sweet, and made me think about how many kids out there are in need of a good and loving home … sigh…
When Callie meets the family that night, she is a little cold and has an “attitude.” That doesn’t surprise me. Foster kids jumping from house to house have a protective shield and toughness to them. I know I would. The family is curious why Lena brought her in, and at dinner, Lena tells Callie that after they took Jesus and Mariana in, she and Stef decided to adopt them. Jesus tells Callie that “the foster system sucks” — something she already knows. I could see Callie was wishing a family like the Fosters would adopt her.
I like that Lena and Stef have different roles. Lena is sweet, understanding and wants to “save” people (especially kids), while Stef is a little rougher around the edges, and a cop, to boot! Stef isn’t very warm about the idea of taking in a kid who’s been in Juvie, but agrees to let Callie stay for a short period of time. She sees that it is important to Lena. Nice.
Later, when Lena tells Jesus and Mariana that she is setting up an appointment (which Mariana had wanted) to meet their birth mother, Mariana says she’s changed her mind. Lena’s confused, but doesn’t push. Later, Callie catches Mariana stealing Jesus’s ADD (or ADHD) pills. Mariana is stashing money for her “birth” mom, who she’s been in contact with online.
I knew there was something wrong when I saw the email exchange, didn’t you? And the fact that she didn’t tell Lena or Stef. Unfortunately, as we all saw, Mariana was hurt because her birth mom just needed money, and had no intention of reconnecting with her. I am sure that will be addressed in future episodes … at least, I hope so.
Brandon, Stef’s teenage son from a previous marriage, is a very talented pianist, and seems very cool and level headed. He doesn’t give much resistance to Callie staying with them, and also agrees to show her around their high school (which is a Charter School).
Brandon finds out that Callie is trying to connect with her little brother, who is trapped in the care of an abusive foster dad (the same one who caused Callie to go to Juvie). When Callie leaves to try and find her brother, Brandon decides to go with her, but it’s the same night as an audition that could win him a $5,000 scholarship. Of course when he is nowhere to be found, his parents are very worried. Luckily, Stef had put a tracking device on his phone (I might need to get one of these for my kids), and they’re able to locate them in the nick of time.
Before being rescued, Brandon and Callie are caught by the “abusive” foster dad, and he pulls a gun on them. I was afraid someone was going to get shot, but fortunately Stef, Lena, and her ex-husband, Mike (Danny Nucci), get to the house in time to apprehend him. Phew.
Stef sees Callie hugging her brother and understands that she just wants him safe and with her, if possible. Stef’s soft side comes out, and she offers to take him in, too, until they can figure things out. Yeah, a happy ending.
I must add that I really think it’s wrong to split siblings up in foster care. I truly believe it damages them, and can and does affect these kids permanently. Do you agree?
I like that the show is focusing on kids in the foster care system, and that there are loving families out there who can give these kids a good life. I really like the premise, and there surely will be plenty of issues — like in all families — that will arise.
I am looking forward to watch how these characters develop and grow. I just hope ABC gives it a chance to get its legs and go!
What did you think of “The Fosters”? Would you like to see it succeed? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
[…] THE FOSTERS (ABC Family, June 3) The production team behind the flight-attendant reality series “Fly Girls” turns to fiction with this new teenage drama about lesbian moms raising a family of foster and biological children. Teri Polo and Sherri Saum play the mothers; Jennifer Lopez is an executive producer. Read Kimberly Strand’s notes here. […]