Although it has some of the new-colt wobbliness common to newborn series, "The Fosters," which premieres Monday on
Created by the alliterative team of Bradley Bredeweg and
Such multicolored, multi-cultured thoroughness would seem to be making a point — that we all can get along in this rainbow world. Yet the real point is that it's beside the point. The show allows some minor reaction to the two moms thing but confines it to a raised eyebrow and a single impertinent question, quickly parried.
It is not the first television show to refuse to make a big deal over same-sex coupling or parenting, but it makes a smaller deal of it than any I can think of, moving quickly on to folding the laundry, homework, dinner and Guess What Happened to Me Today at Work.
As the series opens, the family is about to get bigger, with the supposedly temporary (OK, sure) addition of Callie (Maia Mitchell), whose fight-or-flight response brutal experience has dialed up more or less permanently to high. Cut and bruised and fresh out of what is still apparently called "juvie," she is put into the care of the Fosters (which is not yet to say foster care), because she has trouble with "male authority figures."
Meanwhile, across town and a world away, Stef's biological child Brandon (David Lambert) is playing rippling arpeggios upon a piano, object: scholarship. And adopted twins Jesus (Jake T. Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) are dealing/not dealing with the possibility of meeting their birth mother.
The series is closer in spirit to "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" — whose final episode will air the same night "The Fosters" bows, as in a relay race — than to the network's 800-pound gorilla-in-a-sports-car,
The pilot launches a few intense story lines but gets mileage too from normal drama: trying to act casual around the new person in the house, the new person in the house trying to act casual. There is a lovely small moment when Callie pours herself a cup of coffee, to the stares of a household in which high school students do not drink coffee.
It's not perfect. Some of what happens seems unlikely, though the acting takes no notice of it, while
But these are quibbles. The future looks bright.
When: 9 and 10 p.m. Monday
Rating: TV-14-DLV (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with advisories for suggestive dialogue, coarse language and violence)