The Fosters aired from 2013-2018, but, TBH, it should still be a thing. Sure, the creators gave us an epic spinoff with Good Trouble, but it just doesn't hit the same. There has not been a show since that perfectly tackled hard-to-portray themes in the way this show did. It was raw, honest, and heart wrenching. Here are five things we all miss about The Fosters.
1. The LGBTQ+ population was well represented
This was a huge point to be made on The Fosters. There would be no Adams-Foster family without the two leading women, Stef and Lena, who had a mixed family of biological and adopted children. One of their adopted sons, Jude, was half of the youngest LGBTQ+ kiss on television, when the show followed a story line of his first relationship and coming to terms with being gay at such a young age. The Fosters made no mistake in the discussion of the transgender community, with their portrayal of Aaron and Cole, two trans characters, both played by trans actors (a rarity in TV). The show also explored a main character, Callie, exploring her own sexuality by being involved with members of multiple communities.
2. Viewers were made aware of the foster system
The show's title was a bit of a play on words, with Foster as part of the family's last name, as well as being symbolic of the sibling's journey through the foster care system. We found out that the system happens to be majorly flawed in the first episode, with Callie and Jude being abused by their foster father. It showed us that anyone can be a foster parent, and the system is so complex that there is no simple solution. We also were informed about how the process of adoption can be halted when a biological parent steps in, like when Robert tried to intervene in Callie's adoption into the Adams-Foster family against her will.
3. DACA was given some positive light
The characters Ximena and Poppy gave us a story line that is typically unheard of in TV and film; young people under the protection of DACA. Ximena, the older sister, was placed under the responsibility of her family's assets, so as to protect her parents from deportation. This aspect of the plot brought attention to the reality of DACA recipients, they are not criminals, rapists, thefts, or anything people commonly misunderstand them to be. Ximena was an art student at UCSD, guardian of her younger sister, a roller derby coach, and so much more. She contributed so much to her community, yet she was still unfairly targeted by ICE. Callie and her moms and many other people stepped up to be the allies we all should be in situations like these.
4. Callie and Brandon's questionable relationship
Personally, the dynamic of Callie and Brandon's relationship always bothered me, and I never understood why viewers shipped them and fought for them to be together. They were adopted siblings, for God's sake! The fact that at one point they jeopardized their family and the perfect environment for Callie and Jude by engaging in sexual relations was so bothersome. But, lets be honest, this is what fueled the show for a good amount of time. Yes, some of us may have hated their near incest type relationship, but it put us on the edge of our seats every time. Seriously though, every time the focus was on them, I was like, TF?
5. Emma and Jesus' ever-changing relationship
Emma and Jesus broke up and got back together too many times for me to count, but their relationship was often times very pure and unlike others on television. When we first met Emma, she was on the wrestling team, and took Jesus down without a fight. When they started dating, she kept her fire, but was still good to him. She was also very good friends with Mariana, and the two were big advocates for women's equality. There was a point in the show where Emma accidentally got pregnant with Jesus' baby, and it was handled in such a real way. They captured the essence of how difficult that situation is to deal with at that age. Emma appeared in all five seasons of The Fosters, and honestly, I'm glad! She was a breath of fresh air sometimes, especially when Callie and Brandon were shoved down our throats at times.
A little added bonus: please never let me forget about when the actor playing Jesus switched from Jake T. Austin to Noah Centineo. "You got so tall!" Uh, yeah. That's not the only thing that changed about him... The writers definitely took a comedic approach to this, and I'm all here for it.