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Speechless - S01 E04

Comedy
 

Exploring the city on their own, JJ and Kenneth realize strangers look at them as inspirational. The two push their luck, receiving free food and baseball game admissions. Kenneth lets this get to his head, goes overboard, and things fall apart. Meanwhile, as the family can't do anything without having to worry about wheelchair accessibility, Dylan and Ray convince Maya to take them paintballing. But can she let herself have fun without JJ?

 
Episode Title: I-n-s--Inspirations
Airs: 2016-10-12 at 20:30
  • David Wiegand

    The show is a perfect balance of comedy and heart, and the performances are superior on every level. Micah Fowler, though: wow.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    This self-aware, quick-witted and altogether engrossing comedy is actively anti-tokenism, mocking the very conceit that it even could be by putting the focus on Ray instead of J.J. and cleverly jabbing at those who fight for inclusion without caring to connect with the included.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    In fact, all of the performances are winning, with Driver deserving most of the praise. ... Speechless is shaping up to be one of the fall’s best comedies.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    This is the best network comedy of the season (yes, that's a caveat), with its deceptively easy balance of heart and snark.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    The briskly paced humor is delightfully irreverent, taking aim at PC posturing and entitlements of all kinds.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    This show belongs to Driver. ... She’s a force--and a comic force, as she proved on “Will & Grace” and “About a Boy.”

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Jon Negroni

    This is one of those rare pilots that lends about the same comedic weight to every main character (and a good deal of the supporting cast, as well).

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Caroline Framke

    There are hundreds of family sitcoms out there, but with empathetic (and very funny) characters at its heart, Speechless is already a standout.

    Vox.com Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Speechless [is] easily the best of the new network sitcoms. ... It's a sweet, skillful and sometimes poignant performance [from Micah Fowler, who plays J.J.]. ... Driver shines, charms and appropriately horrifies.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    After a ridiculous opening bit--in which Maya recklessly drives the entire family to a restaurant whose 50 percent off coupon will expire in three minutes--both Driver and the show settle into a solid and for the most part amusing groove.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    It's not perfect right out of the gate--Kenneth needs to be defined by more than his amusement at Maya's unrelenting (and loud) mama bear style, though Yarbrough and Driver have a good comic rapport--but the family's likable, the writing finds humor in the world of special needs parenting without ever making fun of J.J. for his condition, and that world should provide plenty of fodder for Silveri and company to mine in success.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    Speechless deftly blazes trails between irreverence and crudity, topicality and political correctness.

    Reason.com Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Created by Scott Silveri, whose brother has cerebral palsy, the pilot crackles with one-liner wit and hilarious monologues, many, though not all, delivered by Maya, who all but vibrates with her tangled mess of take-no-prisoner standards and eternal optimism.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    Speechless shifts immediately into gear with zippy authority and a knowing sense of humor.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    You won't feel like you're doing public service when you watch this show. It's very funny. Very entertaining. And it has a big heart.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • Kevin Fallon

    The experience of being special needs and loving someone who is special needs isn’t exploited here. It’s illuminated here--and humanized, satirized, and, most importantly, laughed along with.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    That JJ has cerebral palsy, which keeps him from speaking, as well as limits his obscene gestures, is what makes ABC’s Speechless distinctive. That he’s a flawed kid with a flawed family in a reasonably funny sitcom is what makes Speechless good, rather than simply worthy. ... But by the end of its first episode, Speechless establishes one important indicator of a new sitcom’s potential. It has a voice.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    It's a promising pilot that gets the balance right on humor and heart, and that's enough reason to give it a chance going forward.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Rob Lowman

    The sheer exuberance of Speechless and the unsentimental way it approaches its premise ultimately makes the ABC family comedy likable, funny and even touching.

    Los Angeles Daily News Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Speechless is a wry, nimble comedy.

    Variety Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    The premise may sound more sad than funny, but fortunately, it's not. That's due in large part to Fowler, who like his character has cerebral palsy and is anything but pitiful. Both are smart and funny and determined to be their own person, no matter the obstacles.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Driver’s manic spirit has never been displayed to such great effect. Yarbrough and Bowie bring warmth and depth to their roles beyond the script. At a moment when CBS has regurgitated “King of Queens” into “Kevin Can Wait” and its Matt LeBlanc series “Man With a Plan” looks embalmed on arri­val, Speechless is a fresh addi­tion to prime-time family comedy.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Driver brings the right energy and sets the overall mood as a mother who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to JJ’s rights; John Ross Bowie, as her husband, Jimmy, offers a nice counterbalance as a casual, laid-back dad.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    It's not until JJ, who can't speak but who has plenty to say, seizes control, that Speechless finds its own funny voice.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Amber Dowling

    [Minne Driver] jumps into it headfirst which helps the original sale, but as she settles into the role she will have to adjust the tone in order to toe the line between endearing and annoying. ... The real story here though is breakout star Fowler. For a kid who has minimal dialogue he has loads of star power thanks to fantastic facial expressions and giggle-worthy reaction shots.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Diane Werts

    Driver['s character] is so self-righteous in her advocacy, so insensitive to her impact, that a little of her goes a long way. And there’s more than a little of her here.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    Speechless has a lot of promise, and Driver--who brings her same manic, pushy, yet charming persona over from NBC’s cancelled comedy About a Boy--is its driving force. But Yarbrough is quietly the show’s greatest asset, and his interactions with J.J. allow for both characters to have that coveted voice, one that makes them as deeply considered and uproariously funny as anyone else.

    Collider Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Speechless, created by Scott Silveri, wants to avoids mawkishness and pity so much, it goes way overboard in the other direction, making the audience feel like the cop who declines to chase after Driver when she’s speeding: he finds her so hostile and obnoxious, he says it’s just not worth confronting her.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Speechless has its funny moments, but they are interspersed with So. Much. Yelling.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review