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GRChereck

S03.E16: W-H-- WHEELCHAIR P-L-- PLANET

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The DiMeos come together to help JJ shoot a last-minute film for his college application, working against the clock and Maya's own best interests. Jimmy makes an embarrassing gaffe with JJ's beloved, and Kenneth and Ray scramble to suppress embarrassing secrets.

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Stray observations:

-- After the last-minute bombshell in last week's episode, I admit I didn't have high hopes for this one; but I'm glad there ended up being so much more to it than just "will JJ finish his film on time?" 

-- Nice callback to Jimmy's favorite show when Maya's trying to disrupt the shoot in the living-room (as she's walking out, she flips the TV on and World's Best Garbage Fights is playing). xD

-- Jimmy's parents live in New York, and the kids have visited them "dozens of times." Also, he and Uncle Billy have (or had?) a sister? 

-- Izzy: "Sensitivity question -- when is it OK for a person without a disability to portray a character with a disability?" Dylan: "Never. Action!"

-- Lovely moment with Maya and Dr. Miller ("JJ just... makes a film and goes off to New York? And I've fought and I've struggled all these years -- then I have to let him go, and that's my reward? ... It doesn't feel like a reward. Anyway, I'm not crazy [for] not wanting him to go. It's cold there, lonely. It'll be hard for him to get around." "He'll figure it out. He can -- you gave him that. ... We give them the tools, we let them go.")

-- Dylan turning out to be the one who sabotaged JJ's film ("I don't want him to go to New York! Everything in this family -- it revolves around you, JJ. Fine. But that means you can't just change everything and leave!") seemed to come out of nowhere, but it actually makes more sense as she's the one who was always most resigned to taking a back seat to him and his needs (literally the only life she's ever known).

-- Maya's assurance that "we'll always come back to us" ties in nicely with JJ's film; he set out to "make a statement on disability" with a Twilight Zone-style fantasy (depicting a world where wheelchair users rule, and the last man who can walk is seen and pursued as a "freak"), and he ends up turning the usable footage into a documentary about what it's like to be a DiMeo. :)

-- Funny how Ray didn't want his family to see the SneakyBearCam footage of himself making out with his lab partner ("the hottest girl in school") because he thought they might ruin the good thing he had, and he ends up doing that himself when she happens to come by just as he's showing off the footage.

-- Kenneth's own SneakyBearCam footage ended up not being nearly as embarrassing as I would've thought (a Fred Astaire-style dance routine he'd had to stop practicing at home because his downstairs neighbors had complained about the "stomping").

-- Speaking of embarrassing, this episode wouldn't be the first time Jimmy has mistaken someone else with similar hair for Maya -- recall Ethan's wife in the s.1 Valentine's Day ep... (At least this time, his mistake didn't cause him to punch anybody!)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: corrections
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I liked all of the plots in this episode - I missed seeing Dr. Miller - I guess her actress was filming The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at some points during the filming of this season of Speechless. I liked how both of their nanny cam footage wasn't that bad, it was a funny episode all around.

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That is some high-quality nanny-cam!

I guess this school has zero security systems. This isn't the first time they've broken in after hours and there are no alarms or anything, apparently.

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16 hours ago, ams1001 said:

That is some high-quality nanny-cam!

I guess this school has zero security systems. This isn't the first time they've broken in after hours and there are no alarms or anything, apparently.

I would not be surprised if Maya leveraged someone to turn off the security system - remember, they have cameras - Principal Miller was using them to watch Kenneth in the episode when he went in at night.

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On 3/1/2019 at 10:25 PM, GRChereck said:

-- Izzy: "Sensitivity question -- when is it OK for a person without a disability to portray a character with a disability?" Dylan: "Never. Action!"

But then we saw them sitting in wheelchairs, all the people in the end using wheelchairs to terrorize someone who doesn't. 

This topic of representation is so important, it is the reason for the show and I felt that they could have done it better, poked fun at themselves for falling into that trap. I can see some nuance there but I feel it got too nuanced for people to understand.

I actually liked the final film that JJ came up with. It was the film equivalent of his family and messy family life.

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 2:59 AM, bros402 said:

I liked all of the plots in this episode - I missed seeing Dr. Miller - I guess her actress was filming The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at some points during the filming of this season of Speechless. I liked how both of their nanny cam footage wasn't that bad, it was a funny episode all around.

I feel so stupid.  I watch and love both of these shows and I never realized these parts were played by the same actor, that's she's Rose on TMMM.  Marin Hinkle really disappears into both roles - respect!

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Both the films, the one JJ went with, and the horror movie, actually looked pretty cool. I’d watch them. Ray and Kenneth get into so much weird stuff, no one even asks questions. Everything with the bear was hilarious. 

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I was relieved they didn't go the obvious route and have Ray and Kenneth accidentally delete the movie footage when they were trying to get rid of their own candid shots.

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18 hours ago, amaranta said:

I feel so stupid.  I watch and love both of these shows and I never realized these parts were played by the same actor, that's she's Rose on TMMM.  Marin Hinkle really disappears into both roles - respect!

Don't feel stupid - it took me a bit into Maisel to realize she was Principal Miller from Speechless! For a while I was like "Wait... she sounds familiar..."

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11 hours ago, possibilities said:

I was relieved they didn't go the obvious route and have Ray and Kenneth accidentally delete the movie footage when they were trying to get rid of their own candid shots.

Agreed -- that would've been too predictable and standard-sitcom cliche, while Dylan's reveal of her act of sabotage brought an emotional punch as well as an element of surprise (not only to the other characters -- she seemed to get so much into her "Supreme Ruler" role on set, it made me actually forget the misgivings about New York she briefly expressed right in the episode's opening lines).

***

Something else I liked about JJ's film: At the beginning, Maya said something about how JJ's never really defined himself by his disabilities (while arguing against Izzy's suggestion that he make a film about disability), and the film he ended up making still holds true to that -- his family is what makes him unique. :)

Edited by GRChereck

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I liked this episode. Dylan is a natural director. I was a bit annoyed that she was easily forgiven for ruining JJ's film. He isn't responsible for their parent's decisions like putting the three kids in one bedroom. JJ also feels smothered by too much attention and as we saw in this episode he hates when Maya speaks for him. I would love to see a spin off with JJ at college.

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On 3/1/2019 at 10:25 PM, GRChereck said:

- Izzy: "Sensitivity question -- when is it OK for a person without a disability to portray a character with a disability?" Dylan: "Never

As a disabled person who follows various disability-related topics on Twitter, I know this has been a HUGE topic of discussion recently. I appreciate seeing it here.

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18 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

As a disabled person who follows various disability-related topics on Twitter, I know this has been a HUGE topic of discussion recently. I appreciate seeing it here.

same

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jj was never portrayed to be smart enough to get into nyu. or did i miss something?....for example , waiting until the last minute to submit his application and film. for one. i don't know how well he is going to fare without his family coming thru for him and putting him first. i wish kenneth were going with him at least. it should be interesting seeing how he does in college. a whole new world. good luck jj. i'm rooting for you....

kenneth's secret on the teddy cam made me laugh.

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