An Introduction to The Fosters

What’s The Fosters?

The Foster's Promotional Image
The Foster’s Promotional Image

In 2013, ABC Family premiered The Fosters, a show that follows a blended family adopted by an interracial lesbian couple. The Fosters now airing its third season has gained a sizeable following due to the portrayal of LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) themes and appeal to adult and younger viewers alike. The Fosters started with the story of Stef Foster and Lena Adams living with their blended family in San Diego with Stef’s biological son, Brandon, and twins Jeśus and Mariana adopted as small children. As the series begins, the couple takes in two foster children: Callie and Jude. The series now has evolved into a critically acclaimed show taking home Teen Choice Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, Television Critics Association Awards and Television Academy Honors.

Who’s behind The Fosters?

The Foster's Co-Creators (Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg)
The Foster’s Co-Creators (Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg)

The creators of The Fosters, Brad Bredeweg and Peter Paige, created The Fosters with the help of Jennifer Lopez and her production company Nuyorican Productions. Bredeweg and Paige also created the short-lived Fly Girls for The CW. With that underneath their belt, they moved to ABC Family. ABC Family is a family-oriented television channel that aims for a wide audience but focuses on series and movies for teenage and young women. The majority of its programming includes off-network syndicated reruns and some made-for-TV movies. ABC Family is also the station behind shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Switched at Birth, Chasing Life, Melissa & Joey, Young & Hungry and Baby Daddy.

When The Fosters aired?

Shows like The Walking Dead, Glee, Legend of Korra and Steven Universe are presenting LGBTQIA themes to the mainstream media. During the past six months, we’ve been presented with a canon bisexual couple, the first same-sex kiss in children’s animation, a kiss between zombie slayers and the dual marriages of two same-sex couples and it doesn’t stop there. We are starting to see more and more representation of LGBTQIA characters and storylines in shows like Scandal and Faking It. Despite all that, the LGBTQIA community is slowly starting to see more and more things they can relate and grow with.

As the series opens, you’re introduced to Jude Foster, Callie’s younger half-brother, who is in an abusive foster home. He moves in the with The Fosters and slowly adjusting to a new life makes a new friend, Connor Stevens, who will soon become more than just a friend. As the series continues, we see Jude and Connor build their relationship. Eventually, Jude opens up to Connor about his past and you can say that “Jonnor” began there. We move to the second season and the subject of Jude’s sexuality comes up due to concerns brought up by Connor’s dad. We see many instances where Jude and Connor care for each other more than just friends including an incident in a tent, sneaking out the house, holding hands and other moments. Their relationship takes a definite turn when Jude and Connor share a kiss in the episode “Now Hear This”.

Jude and Connor Kiss
Jude and Connor Kiss

The kiss is said to be the youngest same-sex kiss in television history with the actors being 14 and 15 at the time. From that point, their relationship continued through secret meetings, bearded relationships and breaking into homes. Unfortunately, that is put to an end after an incident that lands Connor in the hospital and coming clean to his father about his feelings toward Jude. The last thing The Fosters leaves fans with is that Jude and Connor are finally in a relationship after two seasons for beating around the bush.

Cole portrayed by Tom Phelan
Cole portrayed by Tom Phelan

This is one of the several instances where The Fosters has told the stories of LGTBQIA individuals. Another example of this would be Cole, one of Callie’s housemates, in Girl’s United. Cole is a transgender male who is consistently misgendered and dealing with the stigma of transgender individuals. Cole is portrayed by Tom Phelan and in an interview with GLAAD. He stated that he wants audiences to “take away that transgender people exist, we’re here, and we are not going away. And I really would love for people to kind of take away a sense that they need to educate themselves on these issues and be more respectful of the community.” You can say that is the overall message of The Fosters.

Where The Fosters will go from here?

Season two of The Fosters left with a cliffhanger of a car accident involving Mariana, Jeśus and Ana. Season three will take place a few weeks after the cliffhanger finale with Callie back with The Fosters. We will continue the storyline of Callie getting over Brandon, while he’s at the Idyllwild Music Program. Jude and Connor will continue to develop their relationship as young teens and Stef and Lena will face normal couple turmoil’s. Another thing that Season three brings in the departure of Jake T. Austin, who was rumored to be fired from The Fosters.

The Fosters has premiered eight episodes and we’re been represented with many answers to our unanswered question. Even with that, The Fosters have sets made plot points to knock the wind out of their fans with their 3A finale coming in mid-august.

Why The Fosters?

The Fosters is set to return on June 8th at 8pm on ABC Family. Even though, Jake T. Austin will be absent and many “Jonnor” fans have been on the edge there seats. The creators of The Fosters have promised fans something they will really enjoy. For shows like this, they rely heavily on their fan base. The Fosters have been committed to telling a story others can relate to and that’s something that has been lost with many shows today.

Works Cited

Donnelly, Matt. “‘The Fosters’ Finale Advances Gay Teen Romance, Cast Teases Season 3: ‘Next Evolution of Jonnor’ (Video) – TheWrap.” TheWrap. N.p., 23 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

Kane, Matt. “‘The Fosters’ Actor Tom Phelan Talks to GLAAD about Playing One of TV’s New Trans Characters.” GLAAD. N.p., 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

Kenneally, TIm. “ABC Family Renews ‘The Fosters’ for Season 3 – TheWrap.” The Wrap. N.p., 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Surette, Tim. “Find Out When Pretty Little Liars and Other ABC Family Series Return.” N.p., 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Wilson Williams is a senior at the Savannah College of Art and Design, studying Film and Television with a minor in creative writing.

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  1. babyblue

    I really liked the first two seasons of The Fosters. This series seems a very nice add to ABC series.

  2. So tired of Hollywood attempting to give us our morals…its all lies and deception.

  3. Kind Sam

    Loved the idea. Started to watch it because it contained a family, built by two women. I never watch this kind of TV shows, but the family idea and the message that is installed and thought in every episode catches the attention.

  4. DClarke

    Nice job. It is good to have introductions to shows that not everybody may be aware of, especially if they have strong morals.

  5. This show definitely has possibilities.

  6. The Fosters is definitely a great show that opens the eyes of many people who don’t realize real world situations and the troubles of how children are grown up living in the foster care system.

  7. The truth is that this type of series, never liked me.

  8. Great show. Great message. This is what kids must watch.

  9. Jacque Venus Tobias

    Thank you for this article. I was unaware of this program. I will have to seek this out. Again thank you.

  10. They should definitely keep the show on for more seasons! I’m looking forward to how everything is going to turn out.

  11. It brilliantly shows how people interact and how they could improve this interactions or behaviors.

  12. It is truly an amazing show!

  13. veronime

    Love the show, this is how people live now,is no different from mom and dad yo 2 moms, gay or lesbian people can raise kids to and be good parents us no different from straight people.

  14. The only thing that makes this show stand out from other family dramas is its “real-world relevance.”

  15. It is a very different, the series of this thematic series. That gets produce many effects on viewers.

  16. I loved watching the first season!

  17. Lorenza

    The show is plausible, but not at all realistic.

  18. YsabelGo

    I never heard of this show. Thanks for letting me know that it exists!

  19. Diego Santoyo

    Great article, I need to watch it more often.

  20. I love The Fosters and have been watching it faithfully since 2013. This article did a really great job in bringing out the exciting and unique representation of the LGBTQIA community in characters that we have not seen develop before such as Cole and Jude.

    But I find that The Fosters goes beyond that. It’s called “The Fosters” and therefore an entire plethora of different problems that consistently face the foster system finally get talked about! I don’t believe I have ever seen a show that addressed the issues of what happens to women of color in the foster system, what happens when they age out, what happens when foster parents or siblings take advantage of a completely clueless foster kid when it comes to identity theft, and forcing them into debt without them ever realizing it. So many unique topics being approached, and while The Fosters is doing a great job in honing in on these problems, I think it is crucial for more TV shows and movies to follow in their footsteps.

  21. My mom adores this show, so I’ll give it a chance

  22. It’s another show that is trying to push the gay agenda and ramming it down on our throats, and what the problem is, it comes on a station that is supposed to bring families together to watch. Hollywood propaganda

  23. The thing I love, love, LOVE about the fosters is the LGBTQIA theme is present, but it doesn’t feel like it’s shoved down our throats. I think it’s great that ‘The Fosters’ is showing people that struggles that happens within the LGBTQIA community.

  24. ADenkyirah

    I enjoy this show very much. In my opinion, it is one of the best shows on ABC Family. It focuses on real life problems, and really dives into the foster system. Not only is it progressive, with two lesbians leads, who are interracial, but it has two gay preteens as boyfriends. What show can you say, has that? It’s certainly impressive. I’ve heard that ratings have been going down, I really hope that isn’t the case, leading to its cancellation. Because, this is one show, I want to see last for a long time.

  25. CarlaJasmine

    Love this show, great summary. It raises awareness about a lot of different things in a cohesive manner.

  26. The Fosters is a great show that signifies how important family is and the opportunity that it gives to children to be in the foster system.

  27. I love this show, for every reason you said and more. Obviously the representation in terms of sexuality is phenomenal. Stef and Lena’s relationship feels so authentic and full of genuine love. Connor and Jude are revolutionary; Bradley Bredeweg has tweeted before that his life would have been so much easier had there been a couple like them around when he was a young boy. This show also gives a voice to more than just the LGBTQIA community. Story lines such as Lena dealing with her half brother’s use of a racial slur and AJ’s experience with police brutality touches on the racism that plagues our society. The fact that it exposes the flaws in the foster care system gives a voice to children living that reality, and show them that they are not alone. Callie’s strength and growth makes her an especially good role model, and the fact that she makes mistakes makes her relatable and the show realistic. Great piece on an incredible show.

  28. I adore this show – but I laughed out loud in The Fosters’ summer finale when the show tried to seamlessly replace Jake T. Austin as though the audience wouldn’t notice. I’m interested that you didn’t mention Brandon and Callie’s relationship at all – it’s such a big part of the show’s dynamic. I personally didn’t ship the two at all, Brandon is very problematic and selfish and Wyatt had a special spot in my heart. But when the two reconcile at Idyllwild, even I swooned a little bit. (Or a lot. I’ve rewatched that scene several times.)

  29. I think the dynamic of this show is really great and it touches on so many important issues that are not as well known today as they should be. The foster system is such a big part of this world and effects so many kids and yet so many people know so little about it. The Fosters opens a window into foster care and although it does not fully show us everything it allows people to become curious about it and start thinking ore about it. I think this is a really great thing that they are doing and it’s something different that television hasn’t really done before.

    Another thing that also really touched me was this whole idea that there are so many different types of families out there. That blood and genes doesn’t always make a person your family and there is so much to it then that. This whole idea that sometimes your family is not necessarily the the people who created you is such a beautiful thing. I fell in love with this show because it shows that you don’t need biology to have a family that wants you and loves you.

  30. Really liked the show, watched the first two seasons on Netflix, and quite happy to see the third has gone up as well. Season two definitely left a cliff-hanger that leaves everyone wanting more. I love how complex each of the characters are and how this show relates to the truth of many individual’s struggle in their daily lives.

  31. I actually just began this show about three weeks ago on Netflix and finished just the other day. I am now waiting for season 4 to become available so I can continue. This really is a great show, I have cried more than ever watching this show compared to any other show. Not only did it present an interracial lesbian couple with a blended family but it showed what children go through who are put in the system. It also shows that you don’t have to share the same blood or DNA to be a family, all it takes is love. I also love it because its not the typical same race and opposite sex couple, because that is not how everyone lives. There are many interracial couples and same sex couples, and everyone needs to be made aware. This show does an amazing job doing.
    I love the article and how you are introducing and bringing attention to such a great show and to people who may not know about it.

  32. I’ve just started watching The Fosters. Woah, haha. So much happening and I’m only just starting season 2!

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