Netflix Original "Atypical" Gains Momentum and Popularity

The Concordia Courier

Logo for the show.

By Hailey O'Niel | 10/6/2017

The Netflix original series “Atypical,” released on Aug. 11, 2017, is gaining attention. The show follows 18-year-old Sam Gardner, a high-functioning autistic teenager finding his way through highschool and toward independence.

His main quest throughout season one is to find a girlfriend and figure out the complicated game of dating. We also get a glimpse of his family and the imperfections he faces there. While comical, the show has a definite dramatic touch, showcasing issues like distrust, cheating, personal drama and substance abuse.

In the pilot episode, we are introduced to Sam, his mother Elsa, his father Doug, his sister Casey and his therapist Julia. Sam tells Julia he wants to find a girlfriend and enter the dating world. Unbeknownst to Sam’s family (or Julia) she’s the love interest Sam has in mind.

Throughout the episode, Sam’s interest in this therapist actually helps him connect with his normally distant father Doug as he offers dating advice and shares his experience.We get some heartwarming moments watching their relationship improve.

This causes one of the other big struggles of the episode because Sam is wanting to become more independent and does not need his mom as much as he used to. We see him turning to his dad for dating advice where he would usually see his mom. Elsa is so used to spending the majority of her time helping Sam so she is surprised and upset by his sudden distance and interest in independence.

Another important character that we meet is Zahid, an employee at the tech store that Sam works at. He claims to be a natural born lady killer and offers Sam some impractical advice on how to score a date. The advice is obviously wrong, but it’s apparent that Zahid is genuinely trying to help and is just as clueless as Sam when it comes to the ladies. Throughout the show, we see that though Zahid may not always offer the most practical advice, he is always there for Sam and helps him through many of his struggles.

The show is also very informative, providing insight as to what a person with autism’s daily life is like. Although no two cases are the same, and everyone falls on different places of the spectrum, it is a useful depiction of one of the many manifestations autism can take. Many of the reviews on Netflix stated that the watchers knew nothing about autism, which is why shows like this are so important. Through entertainment, it arms audiences with important knowledge about people unlike themselves.

Because the first season was a big success, it has been renewed for a second season which will hit the site in August of 2018. The new season will contain 10 episodes, two more than the first season. Many of the reviewers stated that they await the return of the heartwarming and humorous show and are excited to see more. It definitely isn’t like any other show on Netflix and is worth the watch.

Tags: Alexander Carr

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