EXCLUSIVE: 'Switched at Birth' Stars Reflect on the Series' Most 'Groundbreaking' Moments Before the Final Sea
By Leanne Aguilera
It's the beginning of the end for Switched at Birth!
Since 2011, Freeform (née ABC Family) fans have come to know and love the Kennish and Valdez families, and now it's time to say goodbye to the wildly unique drama because the fifth and final season bows tonight.
ET sat down with series stars Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc at the Television Critics Association winter press tour earlier this month to get the inside scoop on why Switched was such a groundbreaking show and what's coming up for Bay and Daphne in this final chapter.
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past six years, Switched at Birth stars two young women who were -- you guessed it! -- switched at birth, and it has tackled countless groundbreaking topics since its premiere six years ago.
"The fact that This was a show that had subtitled scenes, there were deaf actors playing deaf characters, there was a sexual assault storyline," Marano listed. "There was so many things that this show did that were groundbreaking and kind of controversial."
"We took so many risks," Leclerc added. "Even the all-silent episode or the ‘What if they'd never been switched?’ episode -- it was a very imaginative place to work."
So what's coming up next for Bay and Daphne? "The story jumps in 10 months later and we've been off the air for 18 months," Leclerc explained. "So there's a correlation in terms of that has been a passage of time and we do acknowledge that on the show."
But if you think we're about to reunite with the same sisters – think again! "The girls are different now," Leclerc stressed. "They've grown, they've changed, they've become worldly."
Marano added that Switched's long-running legacy is all thanks to two very important things: the network's faith and an unwavering fandom.
"What made [Switched at Birth] work was that we had a great network behind us that was super supportive and was like, 'Go do it! We want this!'" she shared. "And we had a fan base that just fully embraced us. From hearing people to deaf people, we just had an amazing support system and that's why we're here five years later, which is crazy."
Switched at Birth's final season airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.