TV: Twins & Forbidden Love in “The Fosters”

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[The Fosters description on Netflix, I kid you not…]

 

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The Fosters (ABC Family) revolves around a girl named Callie who has been going from foster home to foster home until a lesbian couple decide to take her in. The couple Stef and Lena have two other foster children that they adopted, twins Mariana and Jesus. Stef also has a biological son Brandon from her previous marriage to ex-husband Mike. It is a family show (kind of like 7th Heaven)  but at the same time it has a lot of daring story-lines.

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Twins: Jesus and Mariana 

The twins are very close and in the first season Mariana was very upset when she found out that her twin Jesus was dating her best friend Lexi. She was furious with her friend because she felt a best friend doesn’t do something like that.  Later she finds out that Jesus and Lexi had unprotected sex and she also gets extremely angry and upset over that. The whole thing was very suggestive. Why would she be so furious over that? It came off like she was madly in love with Jesus and didn’t want anyone else, even her best friend to have him. Then there is this dance scene in episode four, and it plays out kind of like a love triangle.

There was also a touching storyline of the twins finding their birth mother who is a drug addict and Jesus protecting Mariana. I find that the twins have taken a backseat for the second part of the first season, but for another set of semi-siblings to take front and center stage.

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Faux incestuous vibes between Brandon and Callie. 

The Fosters is based on family relations but is also forbidden in all the right ways without there being a big squick factor. There’s nothing to really prevent you from rooting against Callie and Brandon except for their circumstances. They are attracted to each other, yet they are foster brother and sister. Their lust for each other has led to a line being crossed, and the stakes are heightened and the tension is raised with the possibility of Callie being adopted. However, it seems nothing can keep them apart.

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As a couple, their moments are genuinely cute and you get the sense that the aim of the writing is for them to be good for each other as individuals. But Callie is a foster daughter in Brandon’s family and she has more than her own future to think about…she has a little brother and he has had a hard time fitting in with various families. The Fosters have really welcomed him and made him feel safe and valued and that’s not a small thing at all. Callie has had a past experience where she was kicked out of a foster home because of a relationship with the son, so she knows the risk. And yet, she has a real connection with Brandon. It’s not like they can make the decision to stop seeing each other–they live in the same house! So naturally they grow close even as Callie tries everything to fight her attraction. It’s basically a time bomb waiting to go off.

Since it is like a soap, of course it all goes off in the summer finale.

On the eve of their wedding, Stef and Lena tell the foster kids they want to adopt them, and everything is great, until it isn’t. So now Callie and Brandon will just cut off all that crackling sexual tension like it never existed, right?

Of course the prospect of suddenly being brother and sister didn’t ice up Callie and Brandon’s hot pants because what could be hotter?  On TV, I mean! And technically no one is breaking any natural laws, they’ve only technically been about to be siblings for maybe four or five hours. If they want to get down, who can really blame them?

It’s a relationship that might benefit each individual teen, but has an actual impact on others. So when Jude walks in on them kissing, he naturally thinks about the precarious position it puts them in. And Callie’s response to run is natural. She doesn’t know what else to do! All she knows is that she doesn’t want to ruin Jude’s chances of having a real family, and she doesn’t trust herself to stay and have that not happen.

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It is refreshing to see such a well considered conflict for a relationship. This kind of angst appeals not only me, but a lot of online shippers.

I love that this show is about the family you choose for yourself and how that in turn impacts family relations. I think with blood family there’s often an expectation that if you screw up you’ll find a way through it. Or there’s almost a laziness in interacting and dealing with each other because you’re family. You take each other for granted. But in a family like The Fosters, the reality that love is a choice is far more present in their minds. And I think it makes them a better family in many ways for it.

This is for the most part, a feel good show that oozes warmth. But at the same time, there’s a very real acknowledgement that the world is not a safe place and that life is often unfair. People will let you down and disappoint you, and make selfish choices with no consideration of you.

I think what makes this show feel good is all the love. It’s not based on unrealistic/happy outcomes, but on the love the family has for each other.

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Categories: Faux Incest, Other, TV, Twins | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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