TV Review - The Fosters: Season 2 (2015)

Teri Polo (left) and Sherri Saum in 'The Fosters'
ABC Family aired the first 10 episodes of Season 2 in the summer of 2014. It had a Christmas special in December. It came back this January to air the remaining 10 episodes of the season. The series picks up where things left off but the narrative and the characters are a mess. I'm caring less and less about everything in it and the show has developed weird tendencies that it needs to break.

The first tendency is the focus on Callie and Brandon. The second tendency is the ignoring of Jude. The third tendency is the misuse of Jesus and Mariana. Beyond that, the show does right by Stef and Lena, the two married lesbians who are the parents of these five children. Stef and Lena do have an interesting relationship and seeing more of them is a positive and great thing, even when they're fighting. There's still love between the two and it's well handled.

As far as Callie and Brandon, both those characters need to go. They are dragging the series down. Callie, played by Maia Mitchell, doesn't even make sense as a character any more. In Episode 12, the episode that opens this second half of Season 2, Callie makes this stand about not spending time with her biological father and staying with Stef and Lena. I get that Stef and Lena are nice, but Callie hasn't been with them that long and her time with them has been problematic. At one point, Callie was going to get her own apartment, so I'm not sure I'm convinced of her making that stand.

Brandon, played by David Lambert, is simply annoying and detestable as a character. It's not the actor's fault. The writing for him is just jaw-dropping in how awful it is. He has sex with his father's girlfriend, which is statutory rape, and now we're continuing like it never happened. This is after he attempts to have a relationship with Callie who is his foster sister, which is technically incest. He's clearly the king of inappropriate relationships and he's not even 18.

I understand that it's good drama, but the show refuses to address the ramifications of that. I suppose in reality the real ramifications might not show up for years if not decades later, but I don't get why the writers dropped what was essentially statutory rape or child molestation in here, if not to do anything with it. You'd think there would be some conversation, if not with his moms, then with his foster brother Jesus, but yet, it's all been forgotten.

The so-called love affair between Callie and Brandon was icky when it started. It's icky and awkward now. Keeping the two together is killing the series. Only separating them and honestly removing Brandon from the show would be the best solution. His character wants to go on tour. I say let him go.

Jude and Connor have the youngest
same-sex kiss ever broadcast on television
Jude, played by Hayden Byerly, has been criminally ignored. When his character was introduced, he was shown painting his nails. It was then suggested that he might have romantic feelings for his best friend Connor, played by Gavin MacIntosh. However, suggestion is as far as the show is willing to go. The series even goes whole episodes where Jude is nowhere to be seen. As a matter of fact, in Episode 8 entitled "Girls Reunited," Lena goes on a camping trip chaperoning Jude and Connor. In Episode 12 entitled "Over/Under," Lena and other parents imply that Jude and Connor did something gay in an unsupervised tent, which Episode 8 never even shown. Jude didn't appear in Episode 8. The camping trip was never actually depicted. In Episode 18, the issue is finally addressed but in as clunky manner as possible.

Jesus, played by Jake T. Austin, and, Mariana, played by Cierra Ramirez, like Callie, had a biological parent enter their lives way sooner, but instead of developing that story and relationship, the series wasted time on who Jesus is dating and Mariana's dancing, which has introduced interesting issues but it's been at the cost of a better storyline.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Mondays at 8PM on ABC Family.


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