Season one of ABC’s Speechless came to a close on Wednesday night, dear readers, and what a ride it’s been!
From the superior acting, to the hilarious comedy, to the heartfelt moments, this show has been a breakout concept in the television world. As we covered in a previous article, this show has brought the ideas of people with disability being “normal” to the forefront of the minds of its viewers, and has garnered amazing ratings throughout its first season. Actor Micah Fowler as the character of JJ really brings a huge acting & comedic talent to the show, and even though he doesn’t speak a word of dialogue, his facial expressions usually have viewers laughing until we can’t breathe.
Speechless also tackles the theme of what is commonly known in disability circles as “inspiration porn”. This is when people with disabilities are seen as “inspirational”, just for going about their daily lives and doing things that everyone else does – just in their own way. The beauty of the way this show addresses these instances, is in the glorious snark employed by mom Maya Dimeo (played by Minnie Driver), and youngest child Dylan (Kyla Kenedy). While Maya’s approach is more of the “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” angle, Dylan’s way of snapping back at those who would demean her big brother usually involves some devious scheme and heightened levels of sarcasm.
One of the best dynamics in the entire show, however, is that between JJ and his aide Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough). Kenneth was introduced to us as the groundskeeper at the school the DiMeo children attend, but once he stood up to Maya’s shenanigans, it seemed that JJ had found a kindred spirit. Their working relationship (with Kenneth acting as JJ’s “voice”) and their subsequent friendship has kept viewers coming back episode after episode.
As an avid viewer of this show, and a person with a disability, I am truly looking forward to seeing what ABC and the cast have in store for season 2. I just wish we had more information about when Speechless will be returning.
Do you all enjoy Speechless, dear readers? Let me know your thoughts on the show in the comments!