Speech­less

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - What To Watch -

FAM­ILY com­edy Speech­less feels like a step in the right di­rec­tion, ensuring a more di­verse rep­re­sen­ta­tion of peo­ple are shown on TV.

The half-hour se­ries opens with feisty mum Maya DiMeo (Min­nie Driver) who moves her fam­ily of five to a new neigh­bour­hood, in favour of a school that caters to her son JJ’s needs. JJ has cere­bral palsy.

Maya is of­ten fight­ing for JJ to have a nor­mal child­hood – a scene in the pi­lot sees her lam­bast­ing the prin­ci­pal when she dis­cov­ers the very ramp JJ uses to get to school is used to trans­port garbage too – which is both funny and heart­warm­ing to watch.

It’s also nice to see that an ac­tor with cere­bral palsy, Micah Fowler, is play­ing JJ, see­ing that able-bod­ied ac­tors are usu­ally hired to play peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

While the show of­fers view­ers a glimpse into the life of a spe­cial needs per­son, the char­ac­ters all have their own sto­ry­lines, too, which may or may not have to do with JJ.

Geeky brother Ray (Ma­son Cook) wants to be one of the cool kids and ath­letic sis­ter Dy­lan’s (Kyla Kenedy) com­pet­i­tive streak gets the bet­ter of her some­times.

The show doesn’t only tell the story of JJ’s dis­abil­ity but cap­tures the com­plex­i­ties of life in gen­eral.

–KC

airs ev­ery Mon­day at 9pm on Star World (Astro Ch 711).

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