I never thought I’d say this and mean it so sincerely but, thank you, Jenny from the Block. Because I don’t care about the rocks that she’s got, I just care that Jennifer Lopez is producing a new drama for ABC Family that centers around a gay female couple raising a large multi-ethnic family. The show is “The Fosters” and the moms are Teri Polo (from Meet the Parents) and Sherri Saum (from In Treatment). They play police officer Stef Foster and school principal Lena Foster, respectively and their kids will be played by young actors from “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Aaron Stone.” I’ve never watched any of those shows but if Tumblr is to be believed folks seem pretty excited about the Waverly Place kid. The newest addition to the family will be a “troubled teen with an abusive past” Callie, played by newcomer Maia Mitchell. She’s the one in the photo who looks like she hates ever second of being in that subway tiled kitchen with its vintage Fiesta wear.
Lots of things make me happy about this news, not the least of which is Teri Polo is wearing her cop uniform in all the pictures. But mostly the fact that this is the first show to center around two moms (and a mixed race couple at that) raising a family is pretty amazing. Granted, it bites at the heels of the pregnant lesbian cliché which we see around sweeps week when writers don’t know what to do with the lesbian characters once they’re done playing softball. But these aren’t women trying to become mothers. These are women who have are raising their teens and tweens and that’s pretty cool. The show was created and being written by two men (one with a pedigree including Queer as Folk), which, fine – I would have preferred female showrunners too, but you can’t have everything I guess. The show goes in production this spring and will begin airing in the summer.
“The Fosters” adds to ABC Family’s inclusive roster, which already include “Pretty Little Liars.” Strange but thankfully true, the channel that began as an extension of ultraconservative homophobe Pat Robertson’s Christian television ministry (yes, really, it really fucking did, is poised to become one of the most diverse channels on TV and help expands our public definition of family.
Also, Teri and Sherri make a really cute couple. I’d join the PTA for them.