Movie Review: The Fosters

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Who are the Fosters, really? If you haven’t met them yet, they’re a family that lives in one of the best shows on ABC. They’re one of those TV shows that act as a really good tool for social propaganda. The Fosters are a family that escalates “family values” while at the same time making those that have different values in mind rethink their norms.

Lena and Stef Foster are two lesbian moms that have been married legally for a while and they shepherd their bunch of blended kids through the ups and downs of identity and adolescence. Brandon is the only one of their kids with a biological connection to one of the parents- Stef, through a previous heterosexual relationship. Mariana and Jesus are the couple’s adopted children. Jude and Callie are the family’s newest members and are settling in quite well.

While the show seems to be full of sunshine and fluffy clouds, it isn’t. After all, it’s still a primetime soap opera. The show opens up to tensions between the two partners, and issues the kids face as they grow up. One of the most famous scenes of the show is “the kiss that broke the Internet” where Jude kissed Connor, his best friend as they’re both questioning and exploring their sexual identity. 

The Fosters is one of the most progressive TV shows with the heads of the home being an lesbian interracial couple that’s raising a blended family of foster, biological, and adopted kids. The scene with the kiss definitely opened up a new standard to representation of LGBTQ youth in the entertainment scene. It assures or comforts other youth questioning their sexuality that they shouldn’t ignore their feelings and that their feelings are valid. Co-creator Bradley Bredewig once mentioned to MTV that there’s definitely no need to put a label on sexuality in the modern world. Jude echoes these sentiments in one episode saying he just wants to be who he is and there’s no need to call it anything. This is a beautiful way of defining what he’s going through since eventually, we’ll have to accept love as it is. 

Peter Paige, co-creator mentioned to The Wrap in an interview that they were aiming to tell accurate stories of what it is to grow up as a potentially gay youth. Other than the scene of the kiss with Jude and Connor, some of the truths of being lesbian are brought out by scenes of Lena and Steff cuddling, kissing, and sleeping together. It is, basically, a view of what healthy families should look like rather than being invested in the black and white of “traditional” families. The agenda of the show is to counter a largely Biblical view of family and marriage and brings with it a level of tolerance that not many shows carry. 

The Foster parents and the show itself are tolerant of unhealthy behaviour. The kids and the adults of the show have been shown to clearly explore and satisfy their sexual urges. For instance, Stef has been seen multiple times giving condoms to her kids and she says that it’s her duty as a cop to “serve and protect”.

By acknowledging such stereotypes, the show seeks to normalize teen promiscuity as well as same-sex marriages and parenthood. 

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