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!)
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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