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S02.E12: THE H-U-S--HUSTLE

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Maya and Jimmy get pulled into a school fundraiser where Maya makes a new friend and Jimmy discovers the benefits of being tall. Ray, tired of being the responsible sibling, explores his reckless side with JJ and Dylan; and Kenneth tries to win over a crowd with his DJ skills.

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Choice music cues: The Undertones, "Teenage Kicks" (1978) -- I literally gasped and applauded when this came on. :D (I've been listening to these guys a lot lately since I got their Very Best Of... CD for Christmas.)

"Get your wheelchair van a-runnin'..." xD

Wow, where to begin with this one...? After the family got a dog in 2x10, I wondered whether they might bypass the spontaneous "annual DiMeo road trip" this year, so I thought it was pretty cool how this ep found a way to call back to it without turning itself into another "R-O--Road T-R--Trip" (1x11). 

Also, after the press-release synopsis for 2x12 came out, I assumed it might be more of a reverse "P-R--Prom" (1x21) situation, with the three adult characters attending a school function this time while the three kid characters work out their differences at home. I was half-right, there -- the kids mostly drove around in the van (!) -- but I kinda noticed some other parallels:

1) Like JJ's Prom friend Caroline, Jimmy also had insecurities about height (or lack thereof, in his case); but while she was fed up with attracting unwanted stares and stupid jokes, he was getting tired of not being noticed or listened to. And while Caroline had a kindred spirit in JJ, who ultimately helped her fit in better with the crowd and have more fun by drawing attention from her to himself, Jimmy realized he had kindred spirits in a group of fellow dads dealing with their own insecurities only after he was honest with them about not being what they had thought he was (but of course, if not for those platform shoes, the guys never would've noticed him to begin with...).

2) Not unlike how Ray had to decide whether to pursue an attractive girl whose casual use of the "R-word" made him uncomfortable, Maya found herself in a dilemma with a new friend who not only happened to be a non-special-needs mom but also seemed to have a crappy attitude toward the disabled (the fundraiser was to upgrade the handicapped elevator, and Sarah resented how something only a few students use was considered a priority over the fencing team that had meant a lot to her otherwise lonely and struggling son). And while Ray had to figure out for himself what really bothered him about the "R-word" ("What about people who do think a different way or at a different pace? Should we reference them in a nasty way when we do something dumb 'cause we think it's cute?") before he could make up his mind about Riley, Maya had to trap Sarah in the elevator and lecture / question her before she could begin to question her own attitude toward parents outside the disability community (remember "They can kiss my ass," "They just don't get it at all," etc. back in the Oscar Party episode?).

3) Like Dylan serving as "bartender" and commenting on Ray's situation at the Prom, Kenneth DJ-ing at the fundraiser didn't have much of a plot of his own (other than trying to meet women after having blown his chance with Joyce on New Year's Eve), but he was reliably funny in his interactions with Jimmy. :)

As for the siblings' plot, I thought it was funny that the sign they ended up destroying happened to be Sal's Pizzeria -- one of the businesses on their mom's "Dead to Maya" list, as I recall. Too bad Ray had to sell his beloved telescope... 

And how about that reveal from Dr. Miller? As disappointed as I was to recently read that next week's episode (2x13, "D-I--DiMeo A-C--Academy," airing Jan. 17) is supposed to be about Maya opting to homeschool JJ "after a dust-up with Lafayette High," I guess the news of JJ likely having to repeat his Senior year would be reason enough for his mother to want to take such a drastic measure   :( 

Edited by GRChereck
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55 minutes ago, GRChereck said:

the news of JJ likely having to repeat his Senior year

What exactly did they say about this?  (I missed a line.)  He wouldn't have to repeat a year unless he flunked several classes, right?  If he is one credit short, he might be able to take the class in summer school.

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35 minutes ago, Driad said:

What exactly did they say about this?  (I missed a line.)  He wouldn't have to repeat a year unless he flunked several classes, right?  If he is one credit short, he might be able to take the class in summer school.

If I can remember correctly, Miller said something about how JJ wouldn't be graduating this year. :\

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I liked this episode. I enjoy seeing Maya and Jimmy together. I'm surprised it took two seasons to get someone to say that we spend too much money on special education that's a common attitude in real life. I wasn't surprised that JJ might not be able to graduate the show has stated that JJ hasn't always been challenged at his other schools.

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I'm wondering why JJ has to repeat. Is it because of grades, or did they have him on a certificate of completion track, as schools sometimes do with students with disabilities?

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35 minutes ago, bros402 said:

I'm wondering why JJ has to repeat. Is it because of grades, or did they have him on a certificate of completion track, as schools sometimes do with students with disabilities?

Yeah, I'm hoping next week's episode actually gets into that. :\

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4 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Yeah, I'm hoping next week's episode actually gets into that. :\

I could see a missing of certification, because that is very common and considering how many times they have moved and changed schools. It would make the most belieavable sense. If they just say: "Well, he has been behind this year." That is BS, plus really why? I would love to see JJ in college, it would be full of great stories and situations. 

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So besides a working elevator being something the school is legally obligated to have, I hope one of the anti-elevator moms kids blows his knee out and they find out that even non-disabled people need the elevator sometimes.  It's been a while since high school, but I honestly remember more kids with broken legs and torn ACLs, plus teachers who may or may not have had health reasons for needing it, using the elevator than kids with permanent disabilities.  That said, it was nice to see Maya learn that other moms love their kids too, and that if they're fighting to save something their kid loves it's not because they hate kids like JJ.

It's always fun to see the kids' dynamic switched up.  I like Ray acting a bit crazy and Dylan being responsible.  Dylan has really grown on me this season, I like when the writers give hits that she's not as cool and detached as she acts, and that she does have some common sense and an understanding of responsibility.

I'm definitely interested to see where the JJ can't graduate plot is going - I assume from the show perspective it would be nice to stretch out another year of all 3 kids being in the same school together, but it will be interesting to see if it's the constant moving has left him short credits, some other schools messed up his paperwork because of his disability, or if it's simply that JJ's teachers aren't letting him coast and he is actually failing multiple classes.  I'm almost expecting a plot where Maya thinks it's because the previous schools put JJ on a non-diploma/certificate of completetion track because of his disability, but it's actually a follow up to the episode where JJ was just letting Kenneth cheat for him and JJ can't graduate because he hasn't been doing his work after being so used to coasting on the basis of teachers feeling sorry for his disability.

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4 hours ago, readster said:

I could see a missing of certification, because that is very common and considering how many times they have moved and changed schools. It would make the most belieavable sense. If they just say: "Well, he has been behind this year." That is BS, plus really why?

Yeah, see, THAT would be an interesting thing for the show to bring up and explore -- I especially like the idea of Maya possibly facing a major consequence of the "Army brats, but with CP!" life that she's put her family through over the years. (To a lesser extent, in 2x2, we had a little bit of that with Jimmy during his car-talk with Dylan, where she had never realized the emotional toll all the moving had taken on her until she got tasked with showing a new student around the school when she still very much felt like the "new kid" herself, and I think Jimmy began to feel guilty that he hadn't done more to stand up to Maya / try to talk some sense into her.)

4 hours ago, readster said:

I would love to see JJ in college, it would be full of great stories and situations. 

Oh, I know -- from the beginning, I've been hoping that this show would stick around at least long enough to see JJ through his first year of college. :) 

Edited by GRChereck
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23 minutes ago, athelyna said:

So besides a working elevator being something the school is legally obligated to have, I hope one of the anti-elevator moms kids blows his knee out and they find out that even non-disabled people need the elevator sometimes.  It's been a while since high school, but I honestly remember more kids with broken legs and torn ACLs, plus teachers who may or may not have had health reasons for needing it, using the elevator than kids with permanent disabilities.  That said, it was nice to see Maya learn that other moms love their kids too, and that if they're fighting to save something their kid loves it's not because they hate kids like JJ.

It's always fun to see the kids' dynamic switched up.  I like Ray acting a bit crazy and Dylan being responsible.  Dylan has really grown on me this season, I like when the writers give hits that she's not as cool and detached as she acts, and that she does have some common sense and an understanding of responsibility.

I'm definitely interested to see where the JJ can't graduate plot is going - I assume from the show perspective it would be nice to stretch out another year of all 3 kids being in the same school together, but it will be interesting to see if it's the constant moving has left him short credits, some other schools messed up his paperwork because of his disability, or if it's simply that JJ's teachers aren't letting him coast and he is actually failing multiple classes.  I'm almost expecting a plot where Maya thinks it's because the previous schools put JJ on a non-diploma/certificate of completetion track because of his disability, but it's actually a follow up to the episode where JJ was just letting Kenneth cheat for him and JJ can't graduate because he hasn't been doing his work after being so used to coasting on the basis of teachers feeling sorry for his disability.

Dylan's personality has changed since last season she's not as angry and frustrated. She's my favorite character after JJ.

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56 minutes ago, kathyk24 said:

Dylan's personality has changed since last season she's not as angry and frustrated.

And not as driven by competition / winning, I've noticed. More playful and prankish. :) 

Speaking of which, if anyone was wondering why she apparently changed clothes at some point during this ep, John and Micah have posted some stuff from a cut scene that would explain it:

xD

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4 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

Dylan's personality has changed since last season she's not as angry and frustrated. She's my favorite character after JJ.

Exactly! Dylan has grown as a character and not retracted or just not done anything. Why I'm frustrated with all the kids on American House Wife. Because all their attitudes and lack of intelligence and selling out has gotten old after barely 2 seasons. With everyone here in the second season (except for the Halloween Episode). It's very natural from Dylan to JJ. I'm with everyone about the lack for graduation, I do hope it is due to the moving around and switching because it is the most believable and be something that would work. But with that said, they can't keep all the kids in the same school forever. Even the Goldbergs realized that after keeping Erica in school a year longer. 

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10 hours ago, athelyna said:

 I'm definitely interested to see where the JJ can't graduate plot is going - I assume from the show perspective it would be nice to stretch out another year of all 3 kids being in the same school together, but it will be interesting to see if it's the constant moving has left him short credits, some other schools messed up his paperwork because of his disability, or if it's simply that JJ's teachers aren't letting him coast and he is actually failing multiple classes.  I'm almost expecting a plot where Maya thinks it's because the previous schools put JJ on a non-diploma/certificate of completion track because of his disability, but it's actually a follow up to the episode where JJ was just letting Kenneth cheat for him and JJ can't graduate because he hasn't been doing his work after being so used to coasting on the basis of teachers feeling sorry for his disability.

If they go there, I will be very angry. First of all, schools do not put kids on the certificate track on a whim. Psycho-educational test results, adaptive measurements, and a whole assortment of criteria are looked at and the parent has to agree and sign the IEP. That decision is discussed at every annual meeting, especially once a student is in high school. Plus, I cannot see Maya not reviewing any and all paperwork after every IEP meeting, and if she saw that, she would have said something the moment it happened. If they do something that stupid, then they are just being lazy because it just doesn't happen like that. It's insulting to those of us who work hard to make sure students with special needs get what they need in order to be successful in school.

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7 minutes ago, Zanne said:

If they go there, I will be very angry. First of all, schools do not put kids on the certificate track on a whim. Psycho-educational test results, adaptive measurements, and a whole assortment of criteria are looked at and the parent has to agree and sign the IEP. That decision is discussed at every annual meeting, especially once a student is in high school. Plus, I cannot see Maya not reviewing any and all paperwork after every IEP meeting, and if she saw that, she would have said something the moment it happened. If they do something that stupid, then they are just being lazy because it just doesn't happen like that. It's insulting to those of us who work hard to make sure students with special needs get what they need in order to be successful in school.

Exactly! I would hate it if they did that. It would not only be lazy, but show that the writers don't know how things work and as much as this is a sitcom, the problem is you can only go so far. I like to chalk it up to lost of paperwork and a few other things. As for his teachers not letting him "coast by" considering everyone from the principal to half the staff act like idiots and get happy about the most lamest things, they are going to choose now to be professional?

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5 hours ago, Zanne said:

If they go there, I will be very angry. First of all, schools do not put kids on the certificate track on a whim. Psycho-educational test results, adaptive measurements, and a whole assortment of criteria are looked at and the parent has to agree and sign the IEP. That decision is discussed at every annual meeting, especially once a student is in high school. Plus, I cannot see Maya not reviewing any and all paperwork after every IEP meeting, and if she saw that, she would have said something the moment it happened. If they do something that stupid, then they are just being lazy because it just doesn't happen like that. It's insulting to those of us who work hard to make sure students with special needs get what they need in order to be successful in school.

Districts break the law all the time.

But a parent like Maya wouldn't let that slide.

5 hours ago, readster said:

Exactly! I would hate it if they did that. It would not only be lazy, but show that the writers don't know how things work and as much as this is a sitcom, the problem is you can only go so far. I like to chalk it up to lost of paperwork and a few other things. As for his teachers not letting him "coast by" considering everyone from the principal to half the staff act like idiots and get happy about the most lamest things, they are going to choose now to be professional?

Maybe it'll be that the state did an audit of their records, since they have gotten a sudden influx of students with disabilities - and they saw some kind of discrepancy in JJ's sped record.

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That was a super fun episode,even though it ended on "wait what?" note with JJ not being able to graduate. I liked Jimmy becoming tall and being totally pumped, and Maya becoming friends with the other mom. Glad that they worked it out and realized that they needed to be more understanding of each other. 

I also liked the kids plot, and I always like when the three kids interact. Ray is such a dork he even makes being a "bad boy" look adorable and goofy. Him being the bad kid and Dylan and JJ trying to be responsible was a nice change up from their usual dynamic. 

"This is a great crowd!" While Kenneth just stands there being super bitter and salty. 

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6 hours ago, bros402 said:

Districts break the law all the time.

But a parent like Maya wouldn't let that slide.

Maybe it'll be that the state did an audit of their records, since they have gotten a sudden influx of students with disabilities - and they saw some kind of discrepancy in JJ's sped record.

That's also plausible. Some school districts public or private there are always holes in certain records. In fact, two schools (one I used to work for) got into an academic problem because they went through an audit and found two discreteness and was caused by the previous administration. Found out two students had skipped a required class that they should have taken during their freshman/sophomore year and were now seniors. They were told they would not graduate unless they met those requirements. One was able to fit it in no problem, the other had to go to summer school to meet the requirement. This only happened not only because of the audit, but the one who made the class up during their final semester had just accepted a sports scholarship and this came up. It happens all the time and the reason why it happened was because the previous administration (three years removed by that time) was not only letting kids coast by, but were looking the other way to make their test scores look better. 

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8 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I also liked the kids plot, and I always like when the three kids interact. Ray is such a dork he even makes being a "bad boy" look adorable and goofy. Him being the bad kid and Dylan and JJ trying to be responsible was a nice change up from their usual dynamic.

Yeah, I think it's always fun when they shake things up a bit. :D Still, while I was initially a little disappointed in how the status quo was restored in the closing-tag, I suppose it wasn't much different from, say, Ray gleefully reaffirming his role as the family scold in the s.2 premiere (when his parents and sister suddenly dropped their self-improvements to do something "awesome and stupid" for JJ), or even Dylan quickly going back to pranking Ray at home after they bonded over paintball way back in 1x4.

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17 hours ago, readster said:

That's also plausible. Some school districts public or private there are always holes in certain records. In fact, two schools (one I used to work for) got into an academic problem because they went through an audit and found two discreteness and was caused by the previous administration. Found out two students had skipped a required class that they should have taken during their freshman/sophomore year and were now seniors. They were told they would not graduate unless they met those requirements. One was able to fit it in no problem, the other had to go to summer school to meet the requirement. This only happened not only because of the audit, but the one who made the class up during their final semester had just accepted a sports scholarship and this came up. It happens all the time and the reason why it happened was because the previous administration (three years removed by that time) was not only letting kids coast by, but were looking the other way to make their test scores look better. 

The district I attended "accidentally" skipped my triennial evals after 2nd grade. When they called the state in 10th grade for advice to get me accommodations for the PSAT (Got denied) and the state told them to just send in my most recent triennial, my case manager was like "uhhhhh ummmmmm sure." Then they scheduled an evaluation (not a full one, though).

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6 hours ago, bros402 said:

The district I attended "accidentally" skipped my triennial evals after 2nd grade. When they called the state in 10th grade for advice to get me accommodations for the PSAT (Got denied) and the state told them to just send in my most recent triennial, my case manager was like "uhhhhh ummmmmm sure." Then they scheduled an evaluation (not a full one, though).

Yep, it happens. I've known schools from other educators where they had 3 kids who were constantly, constantly causing trouble since 2nd grade together. When they were seperated they not only did work, but didn't have behavior problems. Yet, they got them to middle school and didn't put two and two together or said: "keep these three in separate classes as much as possible." Well the notes got lost in high school and the three were failing classes they were in together and passing classes they weren't part of. Yet no one got the picture from the admin to counseling until they were juniors and two were not on track to graduate. They put them all in separate classes and had them do nigh school and they made graduation, but barely. Yet, there were constant evidence and written notes and yet, things "got lost". Because no one talked to each other or figured: "Someone else will tell the schools." Yep, so JJ non on track because of constant moving or some schools going: "Oh yeah... I think I turned that paper work in. I'm not sure it was a few years ago." Is plausible. 

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I personally think you guys are getting a little clouded with mumbo-jumbo IEP this & certifications that. These Dimeo kids have jumped from school to school for many years. I think it's VERY believable for a kid who has a disability who's moved around in many many schools to be held back a year until he's actually ready to learn and live on his own in college. He may simply not be ready! As far fetched as some things can be about this show, this plot twist is VERY believable. Maya lying down for it, is another story. I'm sure Maya will be fighting with all her might to get him graduated!

Kenneth is still my favorite! He makes me laugh and if I guffaw, it's always Kenneth related. I wish they didn't regulate him to just dj-ing the party. I need a solid actual plot for old Kenneth! What about his former life or his other interests?? Jimmy is boring and he gets plenty of plot lines. Where the hell are Kenneth's or Kenneth and JJ's??!!

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8 hours ago, pajamamama said:

I need a solid actual plot for old Kenneth! What about his former life or his other interests??

Well, according to the synopsis for this week's episode, he supposedly encounters one of his ex-wives and "sets out to prove to [her] that he’s living a successful life." :) (Apparently, "D-I--DiMeo A-C--Academy" will have a character-grouping similar to "R-O--Road T-R--Trip," with the DiMeos all lumped together in one plot while Kenneth mostly does his own thing -- hopefully, he'll have a good plot that offers some real insight into him, especially his marital history, as well as his current lifestyle and how he feels about it.)

Also, after these last two episodes in which JJ was rather underused, I'm hoping this next one will find him in a more central role... :\

8 hours ago, pajamamama said:

As far fetched as some things can be about this show, this plot twist is VERY believable. Maya lying down for it, is another story. I'm sure Maya will be fighting with all her might to get him graduated!

I felt the same way about Maya when I first saw the synopsis; but after both the reveal in 2x12 and a sneak-peek clip from 2x13 that John posted on his InstaGram over the weekend, I thought maybe if JJ decides he doesn't want to go back to Lafayette, I could imagine Maya wanting to respect his wishes (especially if it does turn out that his inability to graduate this year is somehow related to all his previous school-switching, and she ends up feeling super-guilty about it) while still doing whatever she could to make sure he finishes his high-school education (similar to how she helped him run away from home in 1x20, "R-U-N--Runaway," by letting him make the decisions and being there to do anything he would need physical help with) -- though I'm still pretty wary about how or why his dad and siblings might get involved. 

Edited by GRChereck
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We saw JJ and family visiting a college, but no talk of him taking the SAT/ACT or actually applying to colleges and none of the angst that goes with the process like every other comedy that has a 12th grader.  JJ would have needed recommendations from teachers, and his GPA would have been computed.  He would have met with the school college adviser.  The show wan't really acting as though he was graduating this year.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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21 hours ago, pajamamama said:

I personally think you guys are getting a little clouded with mumbo-jumbo IEP this & certifications that. These Dimeo kids have jumped from school to school for many years. I think it's VERY believable for a kid who has a disability who's moved around in many many schools to be held back a year until he's actually ready to learn and live on his own in college. He may simply not be ready! As far fetched as some things can be about this show, this plot twist is VERY believable. Maya lying down for it, is another story. I'm sure Maya will be fighting with all her might to get him graduated!

He can stay until he's 21 under IDEA. He should have a transition plan in his IEP to set the goalposts - and I doubt it had him staying an extra year.

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8 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

We saw JJ and family visiting a college, but no talk of him taking the SAT/ACT or actually applying to colleges and none of the angst that goes with the process like every other comedy that has a 12th grader.  JJ would have needed recommendations from teachers, and his GPA would have been computed.  He would have met with the school college adviser.  The show wan't really acting as though he was graduating this year.

Yeah, the only real reference to his being a Senior that I can recall was at the beginning of that campus-visit episode -- Kenneth mentioned it while informing the family about a "college-application" essay JJ was supposed to have turned in a week prior. As for not showing / discussing the other stuff, it's possible that the show might have been self-consciously trying to avoid some of the more cliche / standard-sitcom "Senior angst" plots, though I would hope this week's ep might touch on some of the stuff JJ has been doing (or not doing, as the case may be)...

8 hours ago, bros402 said:

He can stay until he's 21 under IDEA. He should have a transition plan in his IEP to set the goalposts - and I doubt it had him staying an extra year.

Yup, his parents seemed pretty blindsided by the news. :\

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On 1/11/2018 at 2:38 AM, bros402 said:

I'm wondering why JJ has to repeat. Is it because of grades, or did they have him on a certificate of completion track, as schools sometimes do with students with disabilities?

A certificate of completion is generally for students with serious cognitive issues. JJ's disabilities are just physical.

If he were failing classes or not handing in assignments, Kenneth would know. Of course, it wouldn't be Kenneth's place to inform Jimmy and Maya of that; but I would imagine he would have strongly urged JJ to tell them himself. 

On a random note, was this dance fundraiser right after school? Wouldn't that be a little odd for parents? Does no one in the district have a job, or did Dr Miller just think they'd take time off for it? Huh.

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2 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

On a random note, was this dance fundraiser right after school? Wouldn't that be a little odd for parents? Does no one in the district have a job, or did Dr Miller just think they'd take time off for it? Huh.

I figured it was probably an hour or so after school, since Ray was in Astronomy Club (which I assume is an after-school activity). Also, it looked to me like most of the folks at the fundraiser were probably stay-at-home moms (hence Kenneth's inability to find any single mothers, who most likely would've been too busy to take part), though I suppose the dads there could've been allowed to take off work early if they got permission from their bosses ahead of time.

2 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

If he were failing classes or not handing in assignments, Kenneth would know. Of course, it wouldn't be Kenneth's place to inform Jimmy and Maya of that; but I would imagine he would have strongly urged JJ to tell them himself.

I've wondered about that, too -- how on Earth could JJ have fallen so far behind this year without Kenneth finding out? But then, Kenneth didn't find out that JJ hadn't started his college-applications essay assignment (in 2x8) until it was a week overdue... 

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity

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7 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

A certificate of completion is generally for students with serious cognitive issues. JJ's disabilities are just physical.

If he were failing classes or not handing in assignments, Kenneth would know. Of course, it wouldn't be Kenneth's place to inform Jimmy and Maya of that; but I would imagine he would have strongly urged JJ to tell them himself. 

On a random note, was this dance fundraiser right after school? Wouldn't that be a little odd for parents? Does no one in the district have a job, or did Dr Miller just think they'd take time off for it? Huh.

Yes, but this is a comedy - and districts don't always follow the rules. I've heard of districts putting kids with severe LDs (Like dyslexia that they refused to remediate) on a certificate of completion track.

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12 hours ago, GRChereck said:

I figured it was probably an hour or so after school, since Ray was in Astronomy Club (which I assume is an after-school activity). Also, it looked to me like most of the folks at the fundraiser were probably stay-at-home moms (hence Kenneth's inability to find any single mothers, who most likely would've been too busy to take part), though I suppose the dads there could've been allowed to take off work early if they got permission from their bosses ahead of time.

I've wondered about that, too -- how on Earth could JJ have fallen so far behind this year without Kenneth finding out? But then, Kenneth didn't find out that JJ hadn't started his college-applications essay assignment (in 2x8) until it was a week overdue... 

Which would have been another red flag because if JJ was to do college essays the Maya and Jimmy would have been alerted right away with: "College essays are coming up and JJ isn't on track." Another thing is with Dr. Miller is similar to the Principal on The Goldbergs. I'm not saying there aren't principals or administrators where you just go: "How did you ever get this job." But at least show they know what they are doing instead of: "Ummm... duh, you can't do that." 

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14 hours ago, bros402 said:

Yes, but this is a comedy - and districts don't always follow the rules. I've heard of districts putting kids with severe LDs (Like dyslexia that they refused to remediate) on a certificate of completion track.

Generally speaking, most colleges will not accept a COC, and we know that JJ has plans to further his education.

Also, while of course we all know this is a comedy, it DOES focus a great deal on a person with special needs. Given that the show has attracted attention from the very beginning because of actually casting a disabled actor to play a disabled character (a surprisingly few roles actually do) one would hope there is some kind of consultant behind the scenes, advising the writers on what's what for a student with JJ's needs. 

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21 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

Given that the show has attracted attention from the very beginning because of actually casting a disabled actor to play a disabled character (a surprisingly few roles actually do) one would hope there is some kind of consultant behind the scenes, advising the writers on what's what for a student with JJ's needs. 

Actually, they do work closely with people from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, plus some of the writers / producers (including show creator / runner Scott Silveri) have been drawing on their experiences either growing up with disabled sibling or raising a disabled child, and they have taken suggestions from Micah (JJ) and his family; also, comedian Zach Anner served as a consultant on s.1 and joined the writing staff in s.2. :\

Of course, Silveri has also admitted that, as with any comedy, the primarily goal is to entertain rather than educate, and the show will sometimes break from realism for the sake of what the writers find most funny or think would make for a good, fun story; I guess this season in particular wanted to build on the characters' world a bit (delving more into the kids' school, Jimmy's workplace, and both Maya and Kenneth's lives outside of their bonds with JJ) while continuing to explore their relationship dynamics, but it seems like not as much thought went into the school-related stuff as there could've been (especially considering the earlier storyline in 2x2 and 2x4 about dead-weight staff and faculty members getting to be aides for the new special-needs students -- that one still baffles me, though the show seems to have backed off on it since Norah and her aide were showcased in 2x6). 

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: additional thoughts
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22 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Actually, they do work closely with people from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, plus some of the writers / producers (including show creator / runner Scott Silveri) have been drawing on their experiences either growing up with disabled sibling or raising a disabled child, and they have taken suggestions from Micah (JJ) and his family; also, comedian Zach Anner served as a consultant on s.1 and joined the writing staff in s.2. :\

Of course, Silveri has also admitted that, as with any comedy, the primarily goal is to entertain rather than educate, and the show will sometimes break from realism for the sake of what the writers find most funny or think would make for a good, fun story; I guess this season in particular wanted to build on the characters' world a bit (delving more into the kids' school, Jimmy's workplace, and both Maya and Kenneth's lives outside of their bonds with JJ) while continuing to explore their relationship dynamics, but it seems like not as much thought went into the school-related stuff as there could've been (especially considering the earlier storyline in 2x2 and 2x4 about dead-weight staff and faculty members getting to be aides for the new special-needs students -- that one still baffles me, though the show seems to have backed off on it since Norah and her aide were showcased in 2x6). 

Right and that's what I think is the problem, they don't want to educate but they do want to make the plot work for them instead of the characters. So, hence even after 2 years of build up of why Maya is the way they are and how the kids have had to actually deal with being in one place and classic middle/high school norms and pressures. They at times write the faculty as oblivious so they can't make the plot/storyline work. Even with Kenny's ex-wife and how she said he changed. It goes to the point, especially after the reason he want to her was to get some extra money since he would not helping JJ as much since the school wasn't going to be paying him anymore. Why he would be in a relationship with her even if he was more selfish in the past and have have her keep some of his stuff like that when really, she had no use for it. It also seems more like they divorced because Kenneth had no back up after his atheletic career feel apart and she liked having money.  Because she didn't do anything with those cards since they were worth money and then Kenny had to act like he was still a big shot to her. It just didn't work.

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9 hours ago, readster said:

Even with Kenny's ex-wife and how she said he changed. It goes to the point, especially after the reason he want to her was to get some extra money since he would not helping JJ as much since the school wasn't going to be paying him anymore. Why he would be in a relationship with her even if he was more selfish in the past and have have her keep some of his stuff like that when really, she had no use for it. It also seems more like they divorced because Kenneth had no back up after his atheletic career feel apart and she liked having money.  Because she didn't do anything with those cards since they were worth money and then Kenny had to act like he was still a big shot to her. It just didn't work.

I think he said something to Jimmy how she was "mean" to him but was also the one who didn't want to let him go -- I suspect Kenneth might have forgotten the cards in his haste to get away from Robin, or she deliberately kept them so he'd have to come back to her eventually... (He also mentioned that when he was with her, he was pursuing careers -- or at least dabbling -- in "real estate [and] music." I wonder if he felt a bit lost after his college-basketball career, and what he took as "meanness" could've been her pushing him too hard to be successful in one or both of those other areas...) 

Otherwise, I did have a problem with him trying to impress her now. I've mentioned elsewhere how this plot was similar to his and Dylan's in 1x20, in that we get a bit of insight into what his life before JJ was like and how he's not proud of the kind of person he used to be; I think the earlier episode worked because 1) to me, it's always fun to see the show explore dynamics among the main characters in fresh ways, and 2) it was sweet to see Dylan (a driven athlete) finally find a kindred spirit after feeling a bit out of place in her own family (re: their not sharing her attitude toward competition and "winning"). But with the ex-wife, I was like, 'Who cares about impressing this one-dimensional thrice-divorced gold-digger?' That plot just gave him something to do while the rest of the family was wrapped up in their own thing (similar to 1x11, but at least there I thought it was sort of interesting and funny seeing him try to fit in with different groups at school as JJ's aide while JJ was out road-tripping).

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: typo
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On 1/24/2018 at 5:08 PM, SnarkySheep said:

Generally speaking, most colleges will not accept a COC, and we know that JJ has plans to further his education.

Also, while of course we all know this is a comedy, it DOES focus a great deal on a person with special needs. Given that the show has attracted attention from the very beginning because of actually casting a disabled actor to play a disabled character (a surprisingly few roles actually do) one would hope there is some kind of consultant behind the scenes, advising the writers on what's what for a student with JJ's needs. 

That is my point with the COC - the kids won't learn until applying for college that they got a COC - but they obviously don't have those in the speechless universe otherwise yeah

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