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GRChereck

S03.E22: U-N-R-- UNREALISTIC

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Maya braces for JJ's high school graduation and departure for college, but tough news from NYU changes everything. Dylan teaches Jimmy a "Dad lesson" as he gets ready for a big job interview. Kenneth pressures JJ to prepare for a grand finale to their time together, and Ray uses his class trip to Catalina to examine his bad luck in love. (Season finale; airs April 12)

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At the end of "Game Night" (3x15), when JJ said "Izzy's going to college in New York," I was under the impression that meant she'd already been accepted -- I guess maybe he just meant that she had applied there as her "top choice" (as opposed to a "safety school," which I'm guessing the one she ended up getting into, Chapman University in Orange County, was), and he only wanted to apply there so he could have a chance at it too. 

But anyway, damn, this one made me cry!

So JJ did get into NYU after all, but he decided he wanted to go with one of the other schools that accepted him closer to home (University of California-Irvine) -- which prompted Izzy to break up with him because she didn't want to hold him back. The first part that really got me was his conversation with Maya right before he had to go give the speech for his graduating class:

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JJ: I won't leave her, Mom.

Maya: Again, I'm not saying you have to go. But if you did, it could still work with Izzy.

JJ: Because I'm so good on the phone? Because I'm so worth waiting for? I found someone who loves me, Mom. If leave, I lose her. I may never find someone again. Be realistic.

Maya: My love, you know what you have to do. I've opened so many doors for you, but you walked through every one. And look what it got you -- [chuckles] this silly hat. Don't tell me to be realistic. Don't tell you, 'cause that's not what got you here. You be afraid, fine. But don't stay out of fear -- that's not what love is, darling. This is love. Go.

And then the speech itself -- which JJ finally did get around to writing but decides to scrap when Kenneth, Dylan, Ray and Jimmy get too emotional trying to read it:

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JJ: Forget what I wrote -- I have one message, a lesson I was learning every day for years without realizing it. I learned it again today from my first teacher [looks up at Maya]...

Maya: Take it home, Kenneth.

Kenneth [reading for JJ]: It's a hard lesson. It can make you do things you don't want to... like say goodbye. [JJ looks at Izzy, who smiles and nods] Be unrealistic. Be unrealistic. Thank you.

As for the rest... I thought the Dylan/Jimmy plot was a fine sequel to their pairing in the s.2 finale: There, he realized it was better to be open and honest with her, including about his disdain for his job; and here she says she's proud of him for landing an interview with an architecture firm (scheduled a month in advance, which seems unusual to me, but I suppose they figured he would need all that time to design and build a sample project).

And of course, Ray's side-plot was funny (I like how one girl bluntly says, "You got too tall too fast" xD ), but his vulnerability with the girls in his Junior class (after they accuse him of being "so busy trying to get us to notice you, we don't get to know you") did something better than merely get him a date -- it opened the door for them to want to help him (since deciding to work on himself at the end of s.2 ultimately didn't come to much).

Choice cue: M83, "Outro" (2011) (during JJ's speech, and the closing tag with him in New York)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity; corrections
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5 hours ago, possibilities said:

That really did have the feel of a series finale.

Yeah, there was a real sense of bringing it all to an end. Could they get renewed? Yes, and ratings are good, but this also proves that Speechless writers do know there is that chance and want to end it on a good note with everything. If they do get renewed, plenty of stories to continue on. 

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I'm glad I keep a box of tissues by my chair.

To borrow a line from "The West Wing", what's next?

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That was a really good episode, but I still dislike how they've dumbed down Dylan.  She's smarter than that. 

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This certainly did have the air of a series finale, though of course I'll be happy if it gets renewed. 

Other than the usual TV show "get into college at the last minute" trope, the other thing that bothered me was not having JJ live in a dorm on campus. Why would he be in an apartment (as in the Irvine part) or wherever he was in New York, instead of having him in a dorm room right on campus, with a campus meal plan instead of an apartment kitchen? Cooking and shopping would take such a big chunk of his time, especially as a first year. 

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This had a very series finale feel to it, even though it certainly left room for more stories to tell if they get another season. JJ is off to his dream school, Jimmy is going to give his true passion another try, Ray actually learned something about interacting with women, Maya is starting to let JJ go, etc. However, like I said, still lots for another season, which I do really hope we get.

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20 minutes ago, Mystery said:

This certainly did have the air of a series finale, though of course I'll be happy if it gets renewed. 

Other than the usual TV show "get into college at the last minute" trope, the other thing that bothered me was not having JJ live in a dorm on campus. Why would he be in an apartment (as in the Irvine part) or wherever he was in New York, instead of having him in a dorm room right on campus, with a campus meal plan instead of an apartment kitchen? Cooking and shopping would take such a big chunk of his time, especially as a first year. 

Unless I've missed alot, the most they've established that JJ can do by himself is button his shirt and operate his wheelchair. 

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2 hours ago, Mystery said:

Other than the usual TV show "get into college at the last minute" trope, the other thing that bothered me was not having JJ live in a dorm on campus. Why would he be in an apartment (as in the Irvine part) or wherever he was in New York, instead of having him in a dorm room right on campus, with a campus meal plan instead of an apartment kitchen? Cooking and shopping would take such a big chunk of his time, especially as a first year. 

Why the writers didn't write it this way I don't know but I know this: some colleges don't allow disabled students to live in the dorm. It is ridiculous but that's something that happens. If I remember well, a disabled student had to change colleges because their first choice required that freshman students live in the dorm and the college reject them because they needed a PCA.

On the other hand, living in the dorm can be more expensive than renting an apartment close by. It is true that most apartments are basically 2, 3 or 4 suites, plus a common area and kitchen so maybe roommates makes it cheaper. But dorms can be very expensive too.

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3 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Why the writers didn't write it this way I don't know but I know this: some colleges don't allow disabled students to live in the dorm

An independent-living senior citizen high rise apartment building in San Diego doesn't allow wheel chair users or those who use crutches to live above the first floor. But they can live in the more costly assisted living building across the street. I can imagine that some schools follow the same reasoning for dormitories, but without the availability of an alternative "assisted living" facility.

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I'd be astonished if a school that takes federal money, like UCI or NYU, would be allowed to discriminate against a student with a disability in its university housing. 

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Yes, that sounds extremely illegal. It may be done, however, if no one has had the resources to sue them, yet. Almost no disability laws are enforced without someone suing.

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That was a good finale. If it is a series finale, that was a great series finale, if it's a season finale, the best season finale so far.
 

13 hours ago, Mystery said:

This certainly did have the air of a series finale, though of course I'll be happy if it gets renewed. 

Other than the usual TV show "get into college at the last minute" trope, the other thing that bothered me was not having JJ live in a dorm on campus. Why would he be in an apartment (as in the Irvine part) or wherever he was in New York, instead of having him in a dorm room right on campus, with a campus meal plan instead of an apartment kitchen? Cooking and shopping would take such a big chunk of his time, especially as a first year. 

NYU regular decision is released April 1st - http://admissionsblog.nyu.edu/2017/01/10/after-you-submit/

At least a month passed in this episode. I don't know when schools get out in California, but I really doubt it is the start of May (For K-12 here in NJ, it's middle to end of June).

I really hope there is some way we get Izzy next season - she's great. It would be a shame to lose her character.

I wish some of the school's staff had had more of a role in the finale - mainly Principal Miller (Maybe she could have read a bit of the speech?) and Mr. Powers (He wasn't even in the episode! At least that I saw). I hope something with either of them wasn't cut in lieu of the B plots - since they were good, but I bet they could have cut a few seconds to show off those characters a bit more - especially if this is the last we see of Speechless.

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6 hours ago, Mystery said:

I'd be astonished if a school that takes federal money, like UCI or NYU, would be allowed to discriminate against a student with a disability in its university housing. 

Nothing relating to breaking the ADA law astonishes me anymore. New York City proposed fixing the subway stations but neglected to add elevators, built  a whole big super modern station that is not accessible at all (not sure if this is in NY, but it is in a big city), revamped the southern tip of Manhattan with some "edgy" architectural building full of stairs and NO elevators or escalators (the "edgy" part, supposed to attract tourists). If the City does't care...

I was sad-laughing when I saw JJ speeding across the sidewalk. Most of the sidewalks in the city are in terrible shape. Pretty much an obstacle course for wheelchair users.

I really liked the beginning of the episode. I would have preferred to see JJ being the one turning the naysayers to pieces but it tied up really well with his speech at the end.

I agree that it did feel like a series finale. I hope they do get renewed because there is so much more they could explore as in independence, intimacy, interdependence and access. Maybe not enough for the money makers in network TV but perhaps Netflix or Hulu?

Edit: Here's a list of recent ADA violations by Universities that receive federal money - related to web content but just as an example. http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/atteam/lawsuits.html

Edited by alexvillage · Reason: Link added
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Not all schools even guarantee freshman housing to anyone, and if JJ accepted late, they may not have had a room available for him. I know when I was applying to undergrad, most of the scholls I was applying to had only limited accessible housing, so it would be reasonable for the rooms to be full by April 1 with returning students and students who applied and were accepted early decision or just plain early (for schools with rolling admissions).  UCI’s website says 12,000 students live on campus-but their student population last year was over 33,000. 

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20 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Nothing relating to breaking the ADA law astonishes me anymore. New York City proposed fixing the subway stations but neglected to add elevators, built  a whole big super modern station that is not accessible at all (not sure if this is in NY, but it is in a big city), revamped the southern tip of Manhattan with some "edgy" architectural building full of stairs and NO elevators or escalators (the "edgy" part, supposed to attract tourists). If the City does't care...

I was sad-laughing when I saw JJ speeding across the sidewalk. Most of the sidewalks in the city are in terrible shape. Pretty much an obstacle course for wheelchair users.

I really liked the beginning of the episode. I would have preferred to see JJ being the one turning the naysayers to pieces but it tied up really well with his speech at the end.

I agree that it did feel like a series finale. I hope they do get renewed because there is so much more they could explore as in independence, intimacy, interdependence and access. Maybe not enough for the money makers in network TV but perhaps Netflix or Hulu?

Edit: Here's a list of recent ADA violations by Universities that receive federal money - related to web content but just as an example. http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/atteam/lawsuits.html

Is the place in Manhattan Hudson Yards? I remember hearing something ridiculous about it that it only has like one elevator or something like that

I was also shocked at how smooth those sidewalks were - I can walk, but I have some balance problems from time to time, NYC sidewalks are never level, I always wobble on them.

I think it will get renewed as ABC has 100% ownership of it now (Before part of it was owned by FOX, now Disney owns FOX, so win-win).

Yeah, universities commit violations all the time. When I was in college, I had a discriminatory professor, filed a 504 complaint, college slow rolled it and took something like 9 months to figure out if the professor was discriminatory - they said she wasn't because another department in the university screwed up bad, so because of me, that department got dissolved. It was a specialized disability services department for people with learning disabilities that was horribly organized.

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3 hours ago, bros402 said:

Is the place in Manhattan Hudson Yards? I remember hearing something ridiculous about it that it only has like one elevator or something like that

Yes, that's the place. The article I read does't even mention accessibility, but there is a photo of all the stairs that are supposed to be the "edgy" architectural part, and it is inaccessible not only to wheelchair users, but also people who have poor balance (my best friend does), older people who cannot climb too many stairs and people who need breaks - in the photo is is not clear that there is a place to sit and enjoy whatever the architect wanted them to see either. Why that monstrosity is there is anyone guess. Mine, money laundering. Someone made a lot of money for the oversized lego.

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20 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Yes, that's the place. The article I read does't even mention accessibility, but there is a photo of all the stairs that are supposed to be the "edgy" architectural part, and it is inaccessible not only to wheelchair users, but also people who have poor balance (my best friend does), older people who cannot climb too many stairs and people who need breaks - in the photo is is not clear that there is a place to sit and enjoy whatever the architect wanted them to see either. Why that monstrosity is there is anyone guess. Mine, money laundering. Someone made a lot of money for the oversized lego.

Yeah, and the full Hudson Yards isn't going to be open for like another 5 years - they just opened a small part of it in the last few months.

I think it is just a developer trying to reinterpret the shopping mall, but for rich people

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Many years ago, a friend of mine worked nights at an architecture firm, cleaning the offices. One day she found an article in the photocopy machine, describing how stairs were invented to slow access to castles-- it was harder to "storm the castle" on horseback, and even on foot it slowed people down.

Some things never change.

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13 hours ago, possibilities said:

Many years ago, a friend of mine worked nights at an architecture firm, cleaning the offices. One day she found an article in the photocopy machine, describing how stairs were invented to slow access to castles-- it was harder to "storm the castle" on horseback, and even on foot it slowed people down.

Some things never change.

Stairs were around long before then. But either way, thanks, stairs for getting in everyone's way for at least 6000 years

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I loved the opening it was so Maya. I didn't like JJ deciding not to go to NYU after wanting it so much Monk had the same plot where he gave up being a police detective after wanting to be reinstated throughout the series. I hope Izzy and JJ can stay together after graduation they are great together. I hated Ray's subplot he seems so self centered. 

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9 hours ago, kathyk2 said:

I loved the opening it was so Maya. I didn't like JJ deciding not to go to NYU after wanting it so much Monk had the same plot where he gave up being a police detective after wanting to be reinstated throughout the series. I hope Izzy and JJ can stay together after graduation they are great together. I hated Ray's subplot he seems so self centered. 

With Monk, it made sense - there was 8 seasons of plot and character work behind it. It also made sense in this episode - and at the end, he did decide to go to NYU

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13 hours ago, bros402 said:

It also made sense in this episode - and at the end, he did decide to go to NYU

Not to mention that when JJ said he didn't want to go, his reasoning was similar to 3x14 "J-I-- Jimmy V-A-L-- Valentine" (when he admitted he knew how awkward the date would be with Kenneth there, but would rather have that than be left alone with Izzy and risk messing things up himself) and 3x19 "P-R-O-M-P-- Promposal" (when he initially said he would do whatever Izzy wanted to do rather than go to the prom).

If anything, I was a little more puzzled by NYU being his dream school -- so much so that his parents would encourage him to go even after his girlfriend didn't get accepted there, and Izzy would rather break up with him than be the main reason he decides not to go there -- considering it apparently didn't even occur to him to apply until he found out Izzy had. On the other hand, I do recall him saying something like "it's not just because of Izzy, it's a great school" at the start of "W-H-- Wheelchair P-L-- Planet," so I suppose it's something he could've briefly thought about before (especially their film school) but simply considered too out-of-reach until she encouraged him to try for it.

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: additional thought

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15 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Not to mention that when JJ said he didn't want to go, his reasoning was similar to 3x14 "J-I-- Jimmy V-A-L-- Valentine" (when he admitted he knew how awkward the date would be with Kenneth there, but would rather have that than be left alone with Izzy and risk messing things up himself) and 3x19 "P-R-O-M-P-- Promposal" (when he initially said he would do whatever Izzy wanted to do rather than go to the prom).

If anything, I was a little more puzzled by NYU being his dream school -- so much so that his parents would encourage him to go even after his girlfriend didn't get accepted there, and Izzy would rather break up with him than be the main reason he decides not to go there -- considering it apparently didn't even occur to him to apply until he found out Izzy had. On the other hand, I do recall him saying something like "it's not just because of Izzy, it's a great school" at the start of "W-H-- Wheelchair P-L-- Planet," so I suppose it's something he could've briefly thought about before (especially their film school) but simply considered too out-of-reach until she encouraged him to try for it.

I mean I know NYU is a big film school, but yeah. I think you are right - that he considered it out of reach and not even worth applying. I know I only applied to one place because it was the only place I could see myself going with my disabilities (Community College).

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Great series finale. Have to admit that I teared up at the end. 

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