delacourtings: (allison)
like a lonely house ([personal profile] delacourtings) wrote in [community profile] tv_talk2017-05-06 06:19 pm

speechless primer


Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver) is a mom on a mission who will do anything for her husband Jimmy, her kids Ray, Dylan, and JJ, her eldest son with cerebral palsy. As Maya fights injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves, and searches for just the right person to give JJ his "voice."



One of the main characters, JJ, has cerebral palsy but unlike a large number of disabled characters, JJ is more than just his disability and actually has a personality. Micah Fowler, who plays JJ, also has cerebral palsy. He's one of few actors with a disability playing a character with a disability on primetime network television


Minnie Driver is Maya DiMeo.

Maya is "a mom on a mission." She'll do anything for her husband and her kids, especially JJ. She can be the most charming person you've ever met but if you cross her or her family you'll land on her dead to me list indefinitely. I've seen her described as a take-charge British mother with a no-holds-barred attitude and quite frankly I can't argue with that description.

John Ross Bowie is Jimmy DiMeo.

Jimmy doesn't seem to care what others think but cares immensely about his family. Where Maya is the fiery one in the family, Jimmy has "engineered himself to be the steady, mellow and light presence the family needs."

Micah Fowler is JJ DiMeo

JJ is is "a non-verbal cerebral palsy 'rock star.' " He's charming like his mother, smart, funny, and isn't above using his overly inclusive school environment to get the things he wants.

Mason Cook is Ray DiMeo.

Ray is the self proclaimed voice of reason and brains in the family. Mostly he's just an awkward teenage boy who just want to fit in and have his family to stop embarrassing him.

Kyla Kennedy is Dylan DiMeo.

Dylan is a no-nonsense athlete, a force of nature and basically an even more unapologetic, miniature version of her mother.

Cedric Yarbrough is Kenneth Clements.

Kenneth becomes JJ's aide in the pilot episode and from that point forward is basically an honorary DiMeo.


Dylan & Ray

Dylan and Ray are probably the most antagonistic towards each other due to their differing personalities which results in a lot of fun humor (usually at Ray's expense) and makes it all the more sweet when they share tender moments.

Dylan & Ray & JJ

The trio have their disagreements as all siblings do but always look out for one other and have each other's best interest at heart. For the most part.

Jimmy & JJ

JJ is definitely a momma's boy but the moments we do get between JJ and Jimmy are just as wonderful as the ones we get with Maya. Jimmy likes to be the easy going comic relief and is apprehensive when it comes to the emotional/hard stuff but he manages to hit every nail on the head when his kids need him.

Maya & Jimmy

Media often depicts married couples who seem to hate being married but the opposite is true for Jimmy and Maya. They're just in love as they were the day they met and constantly say/show that love, much to the dismay of their kids.

Maya & JJ

Maya will do quite literally anything for JJ, whether it be forcing so called inclusive schools to build wheelchair ramps or berating strangers who use offensive language. She loves her son more than anything and he loves her back just the same. Probably. Maya loves him a lot. It's a bit much for the kids sometimes.

Maya & Kenneth

Maya and Kenneth don't exactly get off on the right foot but because JJ wants Kenneth to be his "voice," Kenneth is hired. The two often have disagreements, their personalities just don't mesh together very well, but the one thing they can agree on is their love for JJ.

JJ & Kenneth

Kenneth is new to the world and gets a lot of things wrong but always (sometimes eventually) acknowledges his mistakes. He tiptoes the line between being JJ's friend, aide, and third parent. One thing that's certain is that the two love each other. Though they may not always readily admit it.

Dylan & Maya

These two probably share the least emotional moments together but that's because Dylan sees herself as miniature version of her mom and neither her nor Maya are all that great at sharing vulnerabilities. This makes the rare, vulnerable moments we do get between them all the more special.

These are just some of the relationship dynamics that are part of what make the show so great. All of the family members deeply care for and love one another and you get to see the relationships grow and develop throughout the show.

The show is primarily a comedy but that doesn't mean it's all fluff and no substance. Like Fox's Brooklyn Nine Nine and NBC's Superstore, the show addresses important topics, such as inspiration porn and the use of the r-word.


All of season one is currently available on Hulu but if you're unable to access that you can also find the episodes here!


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