How the Sitcom ‘Speechless’ Understands Families Like Mine 美情境喜劇「無言有愛」 抓住我的心
 

文/Neil Genzlinger
譯/王麗娟


If you live in a household like mine — one with a nonverbal child — you’re anticipating one television show above all others this fall: “Speechless,” which begins Sept. 21 on ABC. A prime-time series on a major network about “us”? It’s occasion for excitement, and for reflection. What, exactly, do we who live in the “Speechless” universe hope this series will accomplish?

“Speechless” is a classic domestic comedy — yes, a comedy — centered on a 16-year-old named JJ DiMeo who has cerebral palsy, can’t speak and uses an alternative-communication device to express himself. He’s the eldest of three children, and he’s played by Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy, a casting decision that alone makes this series stand out.

如果你生活在像我這樣的家庭,1個有無法言語孩子的家庭,今年秋天在眾多電視節目中,你會特別期待名為「無言有愛」(暫譯)的這部,它於9月21日在美國廣播公司上檔。1部黃金時段的連續劇,在1個主要電視網上演,演的又是「我們」?此際令人興奮也適合省思。活在「無言有愛」宇宙中的我們冀望於這部連續劇的,究竟是什麼?

「無言有愛」是部傳統家庭喜劇,沒錯,它是部喜劇,主角是16歲男孩JJ迪米歐,患有腦性麻痺,無法言語,使用替代性溝通裝置表達意思。他是3個孩子中的老大,由罹患腦性麻痺的米卡佛勒飾演,光是如此選角就讓此劇與眾不同。

Minnie Driver portrays his mother, Maya, who like a lot of parents of children with disabilities sometimes turns into a wild-eyed, not-always-rational warrior for her son. JJ has two siblings (Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy) whose own needs tend to get overlooked, a common thing in such households. John Ross Bowie plays the father, Jimmy, who struggles to keep Maya from sailing off the edge.

When ABC picked up this show last spring, word spread quickly through the chat rooms and Facebook pages where nonverbal people and their parents hang out. The YouTube trailer has had about 1.5 million views. I watched the pilot episode over the summer at Camp Communicate in Maine, which is for children who use alternative-communication devices. Staff members and campers watching with me agreed: Whoever’s behind this show “gets it.”

There’s a reason for that: The show’s creator, Scott Silveri, grew up in a home much like the one in “Speechless,” with a nonverbal brother with cerebral palsy and other health issues.

蜜妮德萊佛飾演母親瑪雅,和很多有殘疾子女的父母一樣,為了兒子,有時她會變成怒目而視、不總是很理性的戰士。JJ有兩個弟妹(由梅森庫克、凱拉甘迺迪分飾),兩人的需求往往遭到忽視,這也是這種家庭常見的事。約翰羅斯鮑伊飾演父親吉米,忙著幫瑪雅踩煞車。

美國廣播公司去年春天選定這個節目,消息很快便在這些無法言語的人、以及他們的父母經常掛在上面的一些聊天室和臉書網頁傳開。YouTube上的預告片約已有150萬人次點閱。我今夏在緬因州專為使用替代性溝通裝置的兒童設置的溝通營,看過一集試播。和我一起觀賞的營會工作人員和與會者都同意:無論節目的幕後是何人,此君「很懂箇中滋味」。

其中自有原因︰該劇的創作人史考特.席維里生長在一個和「無言有愛」很類似的家庭,他有個有腦性痲痺和其他健康問題的兄弟。

“It’s a story that I’ve been wanting to tell as long as I’ve been writing,” said Silveri, who has written and been a producer for “Friends” and other shows. “Not so much focused on doing a story about disability; I was really interested in doing a family show and exploring how one family member with a disability affects everybody else and turns them into the specific kind of weirdos that they become.”

It is largely unexplored territory. For decades, enduring TV characters with a disability were rare. Name one from the medium’s first 50 years. “Ironside,” says practically everyone. Name five more? Not so easy.

席維里也是 「六人行」等節目劇本作者兼製作人。他說:「這是個打從我開始寫作以來,就一直想要寫的故事。不完全聚焦在敘述一個關乎殘疾的故事;我對製作家庭劇,以及探討家裡一個殘障成員如何影響所有其他人,最後還把他們變成某種怪物真的很感興趣。」

這是一個大抵仍有待探索的領域。數十年來,身障者變成長青電視劇角色的例子屈指可數。從電視的頭50年裡找個例子吧。幾乎每人都回答:「輪椅神探。」5個呢?好像不容易。

 

說文解字看新聞 文/王麗娟

美國廣播公司(ABC)的新電視連續劇(TV series)「Speechless」(無言有愛,暫譯)是部情境喜劇(sitcom),sitcom是situation comedy的結合字,指的是由數個主角,演出有趣、幽默的情境,且通常是發生於日常生活(day-to-day life)的境遇。

「Speechless」和以往情境喜劇的不同,在於主角是個身心障礙的小孩,這在電視劇中極其少見。現今英文已少用handicapped(殘障的)和crippled(跛腳的),因為有歧視之嫌,而多使用disabled或disability(身心障礙)。本文也以children with disabilities(身心障礙兒童)和 TV characters with a disability(身心障礙的電視角色)介紹,以示尊重。

 

文章來源:讀紐時學英文

 

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想看這齣連續劇~

覺得名字取得很好,題材也蠻吸引人的

與以往的家庭喜劇不同,以身心障礙者為主角

通過這齣劇也能知道美國身心障礙的家庭會是怎樣的情況

也能通過看連續劇學英文

期待~

 

 

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