BTW, it's tougher than you would think to voice and sign at the same time. The words don't come in the same order, for one thing. Personally, I consider voice interpreting, from ASL into English, significantly more difficult than interpreting English into ASL.
I say all this to help you appreciate the difficulty and the importance of tonight's Switched at Birth going all-ASL! Kudos to the showrunners for making this happen. Here's a compelling interview with the show creator, Lizzy Weiss.
The concept of the episode is 'this is what life is like for a deaf person.' Every scene has at least one deaf person in it, that was our rule. We would never cut away to two hearing people, because they wouldn't be signing to each other, and we wanted to keep our concept. I guess we could have done a scene from the POV of a deaf person of two hearing people talking, but then we would not have captioned the conversation; we would have shown what it's like to be deaf in a world in which most everyone speaks only. We do scenes all the time in which we sim com, so the challenge was to do something different. Once we struck upon the concept of 'this is from the perspective of a deaf person', our 'rules' fell into place.
Interview available at hitfix.com.
The Uprising episode of Switched at Birth airs on ABC Family (FIOS 199) at 8p tonight, Monday, March 4, 2013.
I have followed TV columnist Alan Sepinwall since I started compulsively following Chuck. I enjoy his insights and am glad for his access to showrunners and writers, but I particularly enjoy his interactions with the fanbases.
FWIW, I have not followed Switched at Birth to this point. But I am very excited for today's episode and I hope it engages me enough to continue to watch the show.
Huffington Post article