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‘SPEECHLESS’: Top 5 hashtag worthy moments from ‘S-T–STAGE MOM’

SPEECHLESS - "S-T-- STAGE MOM" "Speechless," on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Carwright) MINNIE DRIVER, LIZ CACKOWSKI, JONATHAN SLAVIN
SPEECHLESS - "S-T-- STAGE MOM" "Speechless," on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Carwright) MINNIE DRIVER, LIZ CACKOWSKI, JONATHAN SLAVIN

It’s Maya’s birthday and a whole lot more this week on Speechless. Check out the top 5 hashtag worthy moments from the episode.

Maya’s birthday gifts have her reflecting on her “role” in life. She performed theater in college, for goodness sake. Does everyone really just see her as a “mom”? Much is revealed when she joins teacher Mr. Powers and physical therapist Joyce in community theater.

Meanwhile, J.J. starts a job at the supermarket where Kenneth works. J.J. has doubts about his role, however, and suspects that Kenneth made up a position just to be nice. J.J. perseveres to find a real way to offer his services at the grocery story.

Speechless is consistently jam-packed with hilarity and good-feel moments. One might even argue that there are some Goodfellas moments this week, wink. It is not an easy task narrowing the list to only 5 moments, but take a look at these highlights.

1) Ooh, it’s your birthday. You won’t fight me for the harmony.

Kenneth delivers this classic line as the family sings “Happy Birthday” to Maya. The love-hate relationship between Kenneth and Maya is an ongoing gag that works seamlessly. Kenneth is both excited for his opportunity to harmonize but also takes a jab at Maya’s competitiveness. Not to be outdone, Maya graciously thanks the family for their rendition of the song and proceeds to tell Kenneth his part was flat.

Maya is not thrilled with her array of gifts labeled “mom”. She fears that everyone only sees her as a caregiver or even servant. Her suspicions are confirmed when Dylan’s gift, supposedly the “good” one turns out to be dog poop bags for cleaning up after Pepper.

Thus begins Maya’s foray into community theater so she can show her family a different side of her.

#YouWontFightMeForTheHarmony

2) J.J. got a vest.

Kenneth announces to the family that J.J. is starting a job. He even has the vest to prove it, donning a maroon vest from Fresco’s market where Kenneth also works.

Kenneth has good intentions when he “gives” J.J. a job at Fresco’s market, but he actually insults him by making up a job that is not really needed.

Kenneth puts J.J. in charge of directing customers to the full-service checkout lines because the self-checkout machines are always failing with error messages.

J.J. tells Kenneth, “You gave me the job of a piece of cardboard”, referring to a life-size cutout named Quincy. Quincy is dressed with different signs directing customers to cheese samples and also the full-service checkout lines.

#JJGotAVest

3) Show ’em, Ray.

Meanwhile, Jimmy has a sweet deal going with the local fish restaurater, Dane. Dane supplies his special halibut and more to Jimmy in exchange for Ray ratting on fellow students. Dane and other parents want to sabotage all the parties being planned by the students. Ray becomes their mole, listening in on student conversations and passing the party details to Dane.

First, however, Ray needs to prove that he is on the pulse of student life. While chowing down on seafood, Jimmy prompts Ray to “show ’em”, to which Ray begins flossing, a recent dance craze among youth. It’s hilarious and I’m really hoping we get a gif version of the scene.

The best part of this moment is the visual, however, not the words, which I find perfect for the premise of J.J. being non-verbal in Speechless. It’s not always the spoken words but the message  – “show ’em”.

In that vein, I want to point out a few other silent but powerfully hilarious moments this week:

  • Maya’s bald cap with hair on the sides to depict Mr. Powers
  • J.J.’s face when he is destroying cardboard Quincy in the box crusher
  • J.J. pointing out the words on his board to repeat after Maya like everyone else

It’s good stuff!

#ShowEmRay

4) I made myself useful.

We should all probably do more of this! J.J. leaves the job at the supermarket, but not for long. He finds his own way to provide a real service at the grocery store. He studies the “300 page manual” for the store and memorizes all the codes use to respond to the error codes on the self-checkout machines. He tells Kenneth, “I made myself useful.”

I can appreciate Kenneth’s dilemma in wanting to give J.J. a job, albeit an artificial one. He wanted to fix something for J.J., but realized he was not really helping him by assuming J.J. could not perform a “real job” at the store.  It’s one thing to make a accommodations for things someone “cannot” do as long as you make sure you are not overshadowing what they “can” do.

#IMadeMyselfUseful

5) You transported me and not in a van.

Maya finds that directing the theater group is really like mothering them. She wants them to step up and do more for themselves. They do just that, making their costumes and showing up prepared for dress rehearsal. It’s show night  that finds them all missing. Jimmy shared some of Dane’s fish with the cast and they all came down with food poisoning.

Maya finds herself left to perform all the roles herself, which is quite entertaining. The family enjoys seeing her on stage and appreciates her ability to be more than just “mom”. J.J. congratulates his mom with the sentiment, “You transported me and not in a van”, funny and so very sweet.

Now, back to that fish. Jimmy holds the bad fish over Dane’s head to blackmail him. Ray wants out of the rat business, especially after he is invited to one of the parties. Dylan also reminds Dane that the parents do not need to spy on their kids. She says they want their parents to ask them what’s going on.

Jimmy regrets using Ray for the free fish and points out that he was being selfish while admitting, “I really want to say shellfish”. Oh, Jimmy!

#YouTransportedMeAndNotInAVan


It is another great night on Speechless – lessons learned with a lot of laughs along the way.

 

 

 

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mm
Writer, interviewer in metro Atlanta. Always ready to talk TV and movies. Wife, mom, special needs advocate. Co-host of the Bosch-themed Everybody Counts podcast.