Starring: Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Cedric Yarbrough, Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, Kyla Kenedy
Created by Scott Silveri
Written by Scott Silveri, Directed by Christine Gernon
Speechless is a new comedy that fits brilliantly into the ABC stable of funny yet poignant family comedies that give voice to some underrepresented people in American life and entertainment. And this one may be the most important yet, giving a glimpse into a population that is even more ignored when it comes to pop culture. The DiMeos are a family led by a dominant mother, Maya (Minnie Driver), who could be sisters with Beverly Goldberg and Jessica Huang. The main reason she's as "crazy" as she appears is because she is a fierce advocate for her son, JJ (Micah Fowler), who can't verbally speak due to his cerebral palsy. They move to yet another school in the pilot, upending the lives of Maya's husband, Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) and other kids Ray and Dylan (Mason Cook and Kyle Kenedy). Rounding out the main cast is a school employee who befriends the family after a rough start, Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough).
I loved the way this show opened and I love that there's not a narrator. Though I love many of the ABC sitcoms with a narrator, I feel as though it's getting to be overused. Plus, I feel like that would have taken away from the point of this sitcom which is literally and figuratively giving voice to the voiceless. The opening scene with the van seemed a little silly and stupid until they got to the restaurant and there was a great reveal of JJ in his wheelchair to put front and center that this show isn't afraid to go there and deal with things head on.
WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?