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‘SPEECHLESS’: Top 5 hashtag worthy moments from ‘J-I–JINGLE T-H–THON’

SPEECHLESS The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) MICAH FOWLER, CEDRIC YARBROUGH
SPEECHLESS The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) MICAH FOWLER, CEDRIC YARBROUGH

A host of merry mishaps unfold when Maya brags about gifts that do not exist on Speechless.

The community comes to the aid of the DiMeos when their Christmas tree bursts into flames along with all of their “gifts”. Truth be told, there were no real gifts under the tree, only fake ones until they can purchase real ones.

The family gathers outside as the fire department extinguishes the fire. The local news station is also on hand to cover the story. With no evidence left to dispute otherwise, Maya rattles off a list of cool gifts she claims were lost in the fire. Before you know it, Maya’s lie makes a much bigger impact than she had planned when a charity arrives at their home with replacement “gifts”.

Meanwhile, Kenneth faces off with his sisters (guest stars, actress Niecy Nash and professional basketball player Lisa Leslie). There is an available coaching position at Lafayette High for the girls basketball team. Kenneth wants to take the job but hesitates due to a history of relentless teasing from his sisters about his basketball skills.

Check out these top hashtag worthy moments from another hilarious episode of Speechless.

“When Clowns Fall Down” is on TV.

Ray hears their dog Pepper barking and awakens to learn of the Christmas tree fire. When the usual exclamation of “Fire!” does not stir his family, Ray claims that “When Clowns Fall Down” is on television. That gets Maya’s attention. You just have to tap into people’s priorities, right?!

#WhenClownsFallDownisonTV

Dolph Dimeo

Maya’s lie about the gifts is not the only misinformation in the news story about their Christmas tree fire. Ray having alerted the family considers himself the hero in their brush with death. The news story, however, claims that Pepper is the real hero because his barking awakened Ray.

Ray is further humiliated when he is referred to as “Dolph” instead of Ray in the news. Dylan gets a lot of mileage out of that mishap at Ray’s expense, of course.

The Santa’s Purpose charity sees the news and brings actual gifts to the DiMeo home to replace the fictitious ones Maya spoke of. Candy Kensington (a perfect name for the cheery fundraiser) comes to the door with all the loot. Without skipping a beat, Maya points out that “Santa’s Cause” would be a more clever name for the charity.

#DolphDimeo

Broken Stereo

J.J. cannot stand to see Kenneth let his sisters get in the way of his dream to coach. J.J. “surprises” Kenneth with a visit with sisters Kiki and Kendall. Sorry, Kenneth, it was not the Cheesecake Factory! The sisters greet Kenneth in stereo with a cheery “Hi, Kenneth!” They seem friendly enough at first.

Then the harassment begins. Speaking of stereo, Kiki begins the teasing by calling Kenneth a “broken stereo”. Why? Because he “can’t play”. After much teasing, the siblings agree to a showdown on the court between basketball star Kendall and brother Kenneth. If Kenneth can score in the game, the sisters will back off from the teasing.

#BrokenStereo

After all, time is money, except we have it.

The kids learn that the gifts were a lie and it’s not fair to keep the gifts from the charity. Maya and Jimmy concoct a plan to give back the value of the gifts with their “time” instead of actually returning the gifts themselves. Jimmy hilariously points out that “After all, time is money, except we have it”.

The whole family volunteers at the Santa’s Purpose JingleThon fundraiser. Things go from bad to worse when the charity continues to reward the DiMeos for what we know is actually bad behavior. Jimmy and Maya reach a fundraising goal and are rewarded with sports tickets. Then the charity announces they are donating all the fundraiser proceeds to the DiMeos. Maya finally comes clean and they admit there were no gifts to replace in the first place.

The crowd is livid. The donations begin coming faster in response to the community’s anger over the DiMeos’ fraud. Always ready to do their part, the family volunteers to make themselves look even more despicable to boost donations even further. Ray goes as far as stealing a dog treat from Pepper to anger the crowd. When I say steal, he actually takes a bite! Oh, Ray!

#AfterAllTimeIsMoneyExceptWeHaveIt

Kenneth needs electrolytes

J.J. tries his best to support Kenneth in the basketball game against Kendall. Sadly, Kenneth has “been losing for two hours” and is ready to give up. J.J. seeks out a sports drink for Kenneth to refuel him for the challenge.

J.J. ends up being the “voice” of reason for both Kenneth and his family. J.J. reminds Kenneth of all the times Kenneth stopped J.J. from giving up. J.J. also points out to his family that the most important thing is not the gifts but the fact that they survived the fire and have each other. Kenneth also gets some inspiration from the girls basketball team who shows up for practice and speaks admirably of Kenneth’s persistence.

With J.J. and his new team in his court, Kenneth finally makes a basket forcing Kendall and Kiki to stop being so hard on him. Victory!

#KennethNeedsElectrolytes


A discussion of this week’s episode of Speechless would not be complete without noting the comedic chops of Mason Cook in his portrayal of Ray DiMeo. Once again, Mason goes all in to get the laughs as Ray. It takes a special commitment to lie on the floor pretending to be a dog getting his belly rubbed. And let us not forget him wearing an elf costume, smashing his face in a cake leaving the icing on his cheeks for several scenes thereafter. Way to go, Mason!

Finally, I may have misspoken when I assumed last week that Kenneth would end up being a sort of life coach to J.J. when he goes to college. At this point, Kenneth seems to be taking on a traditional coaching role in sports at Lafayette High. Who knows how things will end up next year, but I apologize if I misinterpreted the coaching discussion from ‘F-O–FOLLOW T-H–THROUGH’.

Speechless will be back on January 4, 2019 on ABC.

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