Speechless Premiere on ABC


speechlessHey there. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write any hard-hitting TV commentary and I know that you all have missed it dearly. I’m surprised that I haven’t received more email with meltdowns about missing my incredible prose and insightful commentary about what is right and wrong about TV today. In all honesty, it’s pretty much like most of you didn’t even notice at all and didn’t really care.  I know that can’t possibly be the case though because I am way too beloved to be ignored. Right? Right?

Anyway, as I wade back in to things more than just around the web, I thought a great way to get the ball rolling again was to talk about a new TV show premiere so I can again tell you what you should and should not be watching. You all have gone on far too long making your own decisions and the TV landscape shows it because most of what is out there sucks. You people simply can’t be trusted. Really, I blame myself for this.

Speechless. No, not me. I am never speechless. I’m talking about the Speechless premiere on ABC.

If you are unfamiliar with this show, it’s a sitcom about a family. A dime a dozen right? Wrong. Come on. You didn’t see that set up coming? Speechless is a sitcom that puts a disabled actor (Micah Fowler) at the front and center of the show.

Watching commercials and trailers for the show leading up to the premiere, I was admittedly skeptical about how this would go. My concern was that ABC would use their casting choice as a way to get publicity about how nice they are and make the actor little more than a prop that is there for sympathy and press.  Also, the show stars Minnie Driver and that alone is really enough to make you concerned about what you are about to watch.  Here is the trailer in case you haven’t seen it:

Speechless Trailer

The trailer was enough to make me check out the show but I definitely went in to it with some concerns.

After dragging this out for a very long time in what professional writers like me call, burying the lead, I can say that my concerns were totally unfounded. In layman’s terms, I enjoyed Speechless.

The show is funny and well written. Micah Fowler is not a prop nor is he a sympathy piece. He’s a funny and vibrant part of the show that was overall pretty funny.

The family in the show are the DiMeo family. There are three kids, one of them being disabled. The mother Maya, played by Minnie Driver, is singularly focused on making sure that her son J.J. (Fowler) lives a full and normal life just like any other kid.  She is focused to the point of being completely crazy but she is determined to make sure that her son gets every opportunity to experience the things that any 16 year old should be experiencing.

An after school special would stop there. A mother’s fight to stand up for her disabled son. Lifetime would eat that up and put Meredith Baxter in the starring role. That’s not where Speechless leaves it though. It’s a bit more in depth.

What happens when a mother is so singularly focused on one kid that the others get ignored?  Again, any other show might leave this as is because to say it’s not fair is to possibly risk upsetting the disabled community right? It’s not PC right? Again, you should see what’s coming here. No. The siblings are not ok with being relegated to the back burner. They have lives to live too and Speechless changes the dynamic.

Speechless is a perfect family sitcom. It’s funny and well written and completely worth your time. I highly recommend it.

Speechless airs on ABC Wednesdays at 7:30. The first episode is available at ABC.com if you missed it.