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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Switched at Birth: Volume One'
(Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Constance Marie, D. W. Moffett, Lea Thompson, et al / DVD / PG / 2011 / ABC Studios)

Overview: Featuring acclaimed actors Lea Thompson, Constance Marie, Marlee Matlin, and D.W. Moffett, and rising stars Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Lucas Grabeel, and Sean Berdy, Switched At Birth is a superbly acted and heartfelt series that the entire family will enjoy!

DVD Verdict: WARNING: This DVD is only for the first half of season one! What I liked best about this show was that it incorporates characters and issues about being deaf into the show itself. Too often these days you do not see deaf characters in shows so the deaf culture in America remains invisible.

I commend this show for bringing this into the show. Outside of this though I found the characters to be completely believable and the plot of the story was engaging and entertaining. You will find that the messages with the show are family friendly and that it does get into issues of relating adoption as well as family values, parenting and unconditional love.

Indeed, ASL teachers all over the country were warned about the potential sudden increase in students signing up for ASL class, particularly the teenage female students. This is of course partly due to Sean Berdy, but the show itself is addicting.

The premise seems simple enough - two teenagers discover that they were switched at birth and their families try to sort through their lives with this new discovery. One of the girls is deaf. That's about the one thing that made this story even more interesting and one that brought the deaf culture into the series.

Again, this show could very well be like a launching point for the movement to get more of the hearing community to understand that deaf people are not "handicapped" or "impaired" in any way, and maybe ASL will become more widely used to the point where a deaf or HoH person can walk into any store and be able to communicate with the sales clerks. OK so maybe that's a long ways away yet, but still, it would be a start! It was a great show and I hope that it continues in the future. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.