by Kate Andrews
Genre: Family drama
Number of Seasons: 5 (ongoing)
“The Fosters,” a FreeForm original series that premiered in 2013, has never shied away from pushing the envelope. The series follows the Foster family, with matriarchs Lena and Stef as the parents to five teenagers, four of which were adopted. The television drama is an attempt to show a different side of the modern American family.
“The Fosters” is a show for the underdog. In the matter of four and a half seasons, the writers have tackled heavy topics such as stigmas around same-sex parenting, the legal failures in the adoptive process, the vulnerability of questioning one’s sexuality, drug abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, transgender issues, women in STEAM programs, and immigration.
In its most-recent season, the heavily-awarded television series has reverted back to a few previously covered topics: transgenderism and immigration. Callie, a main character on the show, has recently engaged in a relationship with a trans man, Aaron.
While “The Fosters” have had transgender characters on before, this is their first time exploring a romantic storyline between a cisgender woman and a trans man—and the writers have made sure to emphasize the normalcy of it.
In its mid-season finale, “The Fosters” responds directly to the recent headlines over immigration. The summer finale opened up with the continuation of a protest against an anti-immigration speaker. In a moment of passion, Ximena, a new character this season, declared herself as undocumented to the crowd.
Her decision naturally came with repercussions as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents tracked down the very next day.
The show then follows Ximena and Callie as they scramble to get Xi to a church that would grant her sanctuary. Timely, exhilarating, and realistic—the writers captured a moment that could resonate with millions of teenagers and young adults today: the Dreamers that are at risk of losing their place in the only country they have never known.
Want the rest of the story? You’ll just have to watch for yourself. “The Fosters” is available on Netflix, and the second enstallment of the fifth season will air early next year.