A few years ago, I remember seeing my sister watching Switched at Birth, but I never really thought I would need, or even want to watch the show, but I could honestly say that I may continue watching it just to see what happens. I was planning on watching three episodes somewhere in the middle of season two, but I ended up watching the first three episodes of the series since I had no idea who any of the characters were. I also felt that in the middle of the series, all of the characters might be comfortable with each other already, which might make the experience less memorable or eye-opening.
A few times during the three episodes I watched, Daphne and Emmett shared conversations at their school, Carlson School for the Deaf. During these scenes, the two of them carried on with their conversations using sign language, and after a moment, I realized there were no voices, which made the scenes harder to follow and struck me as quite interesting. I have taken a class that taught me how to analyze TV shows, movies, and other types of footage, and I noticed that the absence of voices within the scene is essentially the same thing as taking out the background music in a movie or TV show. My whole life, I have watched shows where there were people constantly speaking or where background voices kept my attention. This leads me into the fact that the subtitles I had to follow in order to understand the conversation were the only things keeping my attention. The negative affect of this is that I was not able to watch the two of them sign, in other words, my full attention was on the subtitles.
This was the case for Daphne and Emmett’s conversations at their school, but throughout the rest of the show, it was much simpler to follow the conversations with sound and with the signs. In addition, I think that the use of signs, while also speaking aloud, is quite an interesting thing, especially since Daphne signs and speaks almost all of the time, whereas Emmett never speaks, which must be due to him never advancing his speech skills. Another interesting thing I noticed is that Emmett does not want anything to do with hearing people. He believes that they are all the same and they just don’t understand the Deaf community. He is Daphne’s best friend, but Daphne is beginning to learn that maybe all hearing people aren’t the same.
While Daphne and Liam were on their date, both of them were having a great time until Liam’s friends caught up to them and started making fun of Daphne. Liam had no idea what to do; he wasn’t sure if she was upset or if their comments were hurting her at all. This made Daphne think of hearing people the same way as Emmett, but when she went back to see Liam again in his food truck, I think she finally realized that being with him may be tough at first, but he may be worth the fight. All in all, I believe Switched at Birth has given me some insight in how hearing people react to Deaf people, and vice versa.
At first, I thought that hearing people were the only ones that produced bad stigmas about Deaf people and their culture, but after seeing how Emmett acted around hearing people, I see now that some members of the Deaf community also produce bad stigmas about hearing people. This was an interesting experience that actually taught me a few more things about how Deaf and hearing people coincide. I am quite intrigued on how the show will continue, which means another show has been added to my playlist.