TV Review: ABC Family's 'Switched at Birth'

In our podcast last week, Sepinwall and I discussed how difficult it sometimes is for a network to have a clear brand identity, while simultaneous fulfilling a mandate as a broadcaster. A point I made is that cable networks, with their ability to narrowcast rather than broadcast, should (and usually do) have a far easier time clarifying their brand identity.

 That isn't always the case, even on cable. TNT would have a hard time explaining how "The Closer," "Men of a Certain Age," "Falling Skies" and "Franklin & Bash" all belong wedged under the same programming umbrella. 

 There are no such issues at ABC Family, which has a brand as clear and focused as any on cable. Yes, I've made a big deal about the network's occasionally conflicted approach to its young teenage audience, the gap between sexy, edgier trash ("trash," in this case, not necessarily meant as a pejorative) like "Pretty Little Liars" and preachier offerings like "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" or, in certain awkward moments, "Make It or Break It," which may straddle the line as well as anything on ABC Family's schedule (now that "Greek" is sadly departed).  Read More...


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