Minnie Driver sings the unexpected joys of jury duty in 'Speechless' exclusive clip

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

While jury duty is seen by most as a civic duty that must begrudgingly be done, there’s always the flip side of things. In this case, Speechless’s always-busy, take-charge mom Maya DiMeo (portrayed by Minnie Driver), sees the silver — or, to be exact, golden — lining involved in getting that dreaded summons in the mail.

In this exclusive preview from Wednesday’s upcoming back-to-back episode, Maya pretends she is bummed about having to go to court but internally slips into a reverie about how she’s going to have to do nothing at all … all week long.

Singing to the tune of “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, she dances joyously through a downtown courthouse, crowing about how this is “a mom’s excuse to do jack squat” and how she’ll enjoy such time-wasting luxuries as getting “caught up on all the dumb magazines I’ve missed.” Maya doesn’t stop there. She makes her children disappear — poof! — when they dare to enter her fantasy. “You’re not here,” she warbles. Oh, and of course, she raves about getting “paid 15 bucks a day” and the marvelous fact that “lunch is an hour and a half!

Overall, it’s “a guilt-free reason to shut down,” which just may be the little secret all harried moms are hiding behind their glum expressions when receiving jury duty notification. After enjoying her two-minute escape, Maya comes back to reality and puts on a sour face. “I guess I gotta do it,” she concludes, with a frown and an exasperated sigh.

Driver herself is probably in need of some jury duty downtime, since the musical concept was conceived and executed at the last minute, she explained to Yahoo Entertainment. “The episode they were writing wasn’t working, and at a very late hour they cut the whole [thing],” she reveals. “It came — as a lot of great ideas do — at the 11th hour, and it just fit. It was very unexpected.”

Given Driver’s history as a musician — she’s a seasoned singer-songwriter who penned the majority of the tunes on her 2004 debut album — was she asked to contribute any lyrical ideas to the mix? “Oh God, no,” she asserts. “It was so tight.”

Driver was also kept quite busy quickly nailing the intricate choreography, for which there was virtually no rehearsal time. “I learned each section [of the performance] 10 minutes before we shot,” she says, admitting that although the scene looks flawless from a layman’s point of view, her professional eye honed in on some issues with the dancing after filming. “I love to dance, and I see problems. I wish I’d had more rehearsal, because I could have executed my turns better!”

Speechless, which follows the challenges of a family with a special-needs son, airs back-to-back episodes this Wednesday, March 14 starting at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: