Big Sell 30 Day 9: ABC’s Speechless

Hey everyone- @ProducingAmita here! We are in full swing with #BigSell30 and I’m excited to bring you my next Big Sell: the pilot episode of the new ABC comedy, Speechless. It’s Fall TV season and I am attempting to check out a bunch of new shows (This is Us, Queen Sugar, Insecure, Westworld) along with some established series that I already enjoy (How To Get Away With Murder, Younger, Jane The Virgin). Peak TV ya’ll! (I have somehow also maintained having a personal life outside of watching all of this TV, going to movie screenings, recording and blogging about the podcast and working a full time job- I promise!)

SPEECHLESS- "Pilot" - Maya DiMeo moves her family to a new, upscale school district when she finds the perfect situation for her eldest son, JJ, who has cerebral palsy. While JJ and daughter Dylan are thrilled with the move, middle son Ray is frustrated by the family's tendencies to constantly move, since he feels his needs are second to JJ Soon, Maya realizes it is not the right situation for JJ and attempts to uproot the family again. But JJ connects with Kenneth, the school's groundskeeper, and asks him to step in as a his caregiver, and Ray manages to convince Maya to give the school another chance, on the series premiere "Speechless" WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (8:30-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Adam Taylor) JOHN ROSS BOWIE, MINNIE DRIVER, MASON COOK, KYLA KENEDY, MICAH FOWLER, DINA SPYBEY-WATERS I saw promos for this series starring Minnie Driver and I was intrigued by it’s premise. A family with 3 children, Dylan, Ray and J.J. – who has cerebral palsy, is nonverbal and confined to a wheelchair but has normal intelligence and uses a light and a keyboard to express what he’s saying to everyone. Minnie Driver is great as Maya, the unapologetic mother of a child with special needs who only wants the best environment for her son and has uprooted her family from school to school to school to school (seriously- they list like 5 or 6). Even if it means that they have to live in a dilapidated house right next to a train track because it’s in the right school district and sometimes at the expense of her other children who have to continually make new friends.

The pilot episode shows their experience at a new mainstream school that says they embrace “inclusivity.” Maya chooses this school because they provided J.J. with an aide that will speak for him. But when they arrive on their first day, she notices that they don’t have a wheelchair ramp in front, he has to use the service entrance in the back where they take out the trash and of course, Maya will not settle for that. Then, when J.J. enters his first class, the teacher tells the class to give him a standing ovation. He then thinks they might be offending him and tells the class to stop. The show makes you feel awkward but also laugh and doesn’t force you to empathize with this family or this teenager, they just give the audience humorous moments in many different scenarios like love, family and also ignorance.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

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