Netflix released yet another amazing Original series August 11th that will touch the hearts of many families who are dealing with the struggle of raising autistic children in a world that is not always so understanding. Atypical is a dramedy about the Gardner family whose life seems to revolve around their son and brother Sam who is an 18-year-old autistic high school student trying to fit into the world that cannot and most of the time will not accept him. You might remember Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist) from his performance as Marshall on The United States of Tara.
As viewers, we get to see an inner glimpse into his autistic mind as he visits with his therapist. His reactions to everyday occurrences that most people find normal, he finds complicated and upsetting. However, that is just part of what the viewer learns from this series. We also get to see the toll that dealing with an autistic child can take on a parent, a sibling, and a marriage.
Sam’s mother Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has spent Sam’s entire life protecting him from everything and everyone so letting him go to try and become what society considers a normal teenager causes her to spiral out of control. All the while, his dad Doug (Michael Rapaport), has finally come to terms with his son’s autism and tries to support Sam and help him become a normal teenage boy by offering dating advice and building igloos.
The most heart-wrenching part of this show is the sibling love/rivalry between Sam and his sister Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine). Casey is the younger sister who has become Sam’s bodyguard. She is like any other sister with a brother Arm punches, mean names, and slammed doors. However, everyone knows not to mess with her brother. Sadly, though when she takes on that role, she often has to give up on her own dreams for the price of keeping him safe. I think Netflix did a great job bringing Autism to lead a story-line. Often, if autism is brought up it is just part of a background story line but Atypical it IS the story and I think many families who deal with autism will truly enjoy being able to see that they are not alone. Please let me say this, however, isn’t a feel good family friendly show either. The show deals with many adult topics and issues and it is not for children. I just think it is nice that for once families dealing with Autism has a show that they may be able to relate to.
Please let me say that this isn’t a feel good family friendly show either. The show deals with many adult topics and issues and it is not for children. I just think it is nice that for once families dealing with Autism has a show that they may be able to relate to.
Rachel is not a professional writer but she is a passionate writer. What does that mean for you dear reader? On one hand, that means misspelled words, run on sentences, forgotten words and rambling content. On the other, you will get humor, honesty, passion and hopefully interesting content.