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23 Aug. 2013

A Perspective: ABC’s THE FOSTERS

from Greg Edmonds for

Teri Polo and Sherri Saum costar in ABC's new family show, THE FOSTERS

Teri Polo and Sherri Saum costar in ABC’s new family show, THE FOSTERS

Of course I watched The Fosters! Monday night’s promise (to my daughter) is now Tuesday’s lingering delight!  The show’s complex mix of characters and issues was tastefully executed.  Storytelling, in films and on television, is too often reduced to clichés, stereotypes and unnecessary and distasteful drama.  I enjoyed what I saw and I felt better after watching The Fosters. Why?

First, Lena Adams, played by Sherri Saum, looks like family; my family– Lena is not an “overly hip” black woman.  She’s a woman who is focused on her duties as a mother of children with special needs (Yes, I said it, foster children who struggle with acceptance) and her duties as a school teacher/administrator.  She’s exacting when setting rules and boundaries, but Lena has an emotional soft spot for children who require an extra layer of care and protection.  Have I mentioned she’s also stunningly attractive?

Lena’s life partner, Stef Foster (actress, Terri Polo) enters with a gruff, “bitchy” attitude (Colloquial language is used to make a quick point; I too can be guilty of stereotyping).  How could someone as sweet as Lena embrace such a sour character as Stef?  Stef goes further to repel the audience (me) by wearing an ill-fitting police uniform and a dour expression. Would a ten-foot pole afford enough separation from this woman?

In the Fosters’ extended family everyone is a bit soiled, but not ‘unredeemably’ dirty.  We get to judge if their flaws can be forgiven.  The Fosters appears to be a good vehicle for art to imitate life.  If the initial episode rings true, we may be entertained while reflecting on issues that too often inflict life-long emotional bruises, scars and sometimes, worse.

By the way, I may have been a little harsh on Stef.  I’m warming up to her character.

In my eyes, Terri, the actress, has always been, HOT!  I’d follow her (screen work) anywhere.


About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.


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