The last season ended with JJ going off to camp, a camp for kids for disabilities, for the first time and what they meant for the family. In the Season 2 premiere, we see what this means.
The episode kicks off in typical DiMeo style with Dylan insulting Ray about his relationship with Taylor in his sleep, only for him to wake up and they both discover the fumigator tent surrounding the house. The four of them rush outside and Skype with JJ, who informs them that he has accomplished so many things purely because disability is no excuse at the camp. This gets the episode really up and running as each family member decides to make changes by not using JJ as an excuse.
Maya changes by keeping a schedule, Jimmy changes by getting work on time and Dylan by getting a summer job, and Ray doesn’t change at all, however the rest of the family’s ability to change means Ray has nothing to criticise and therefore no purpose, which means he starts to go mad. His hair starts greying, his skin goes pale, his eyes surrounded by dark circles, and by the time JJ arrives home, he needs a cane to walk. I found Ray’s breakdown hilarious, but it was also good to see minor character development with the entire family.
When JJ arrives home, Dylan finds a note from Alexa, a deaf girl from camp, declaring her feelings for him and asking him for her first kiss. This leads to the family abandoned their new found good habits to go on a spontaneous trip to find Alexa so JJ can kiss her. In typical DiMeo style, there are constant bumps in the road (no pun intended but so good) along the way, which leads to JJ admitting to Maya he feels he holds them all back, which leads to the most loving and heartful mother-son speech I’ve ever heard, which also sums up the DiMeo family dynamic:
“You taught us to be spontaneous, to drop everything when it matters. You did it the first day you came, and you did it yesterday. I’ll tell you it’s my favourite part of who we are. You make us, us.”
I loved that JJ finally got his first kiss and his happily ever after, which shows progress for him romantically as he was turned down by Clare last season.
I found the running gag of Jimmy’s refusal to fill the tank to be funny but not entirely hilarious, nevertheless when he finally relents so the family can see the Grand Canyon was a good pay off. I also enjoyed the final moments of the episode where it’s revealed that Taylor was also having a similar breakdown to Ray over the current perfect state of their relationship, maybe Ray will also have his own success with love after constantly being rejected.
Overall this was a solid season premiere and I’m looking forward to reviewing the second season of this spectacular ground breaking sitcom.
-Kenneth’s song pointing out the DiMeo’s flaws was hilarious enough itself, but the fact that he had already written it and was ready to sing it at a moment’s notice was even funnier.
-JJ can now sit up on his own for 20 seconds, an improvement over 10.