Speechless Series Premiere Review

ABC's newest addition to the Wednesday comedy line-up, Speechless, is one of the five new shows I will be reviewing this fall. ABC decided to release the pilot online early, on September 8th, so I get to review it almost two weeks before its series premiere on television! (I will bump this back up to the top on the night of the series premiere for those of you who wish to wait to watch.)


At the start of the episode, the family is presented just like a normal family, but then they show us what makes the family different: a disabled child. The family moves into the worst house in a nice neighborhood, which the two sons both think sucks. The first act then finally focuses on giving us some humor through a tour of the house.

The second act gets funnier, with Maya, the mom, getting outraged that the ramp for J.J. is also used for trash, a hilarious welcome for J.J in one of his classes, and Maya ends up in conflict with the janitor. Ray, the other son, ends up liking the school, while everyone else wants to move back.

Everything ends up in a predictable way, with Maya admitting she needs to think about all of her children, J.J. ends up getting the janitor to be his voice, because he likes that voice better, and the family decides to stay. It seems that most of the show's humor is focused on Maya's antics, heavily relying on Minnie Driver, which is fine for a while because she's funny, but there needs to be more humor elsewhere, and not just the over-enthusiasm of people at the school over J.J.

This episode was alright. There were funny moments, but the show needs to further develop the characters besides Maya and not go too overboard with what they're currently relying on for humor.

Score: 6/10

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