Writer: Hannah Garcia
As the opening scene depicts the main character Sam questioning if he could ever score a date with someone, I knew the show was for me. The refreshing honesty of the autistic character added a sense of abrupt and unexpected humor. Netflix’s Original Series, “Atypical,” proved to be a light-hearted and quirky series that addressed the real and untouched topics of our culture.
Even in the beginning, “Atypical” sets the stage for the reality of living with the mental condition of autism and the difficulty of making connections or forming relationships by Sam’s interactions with his therapist and family. Although Sam’s condition leads him to being characterized as “odd” or “awkward,” he still remains to connect to day-to-day issues like dating or getting someone to notice you. The show adequately balances the trueness of someone who lives in the spectrum and someone who doesn’t -- it relates to everyone.
Creator of “Atypical,” Robia Rashid casts Elsa as an overprotective mother and father Doug as a more relaxed individual. The drastic dynamic gives insight in how a diagnosis can drastically affect certain relationships and the possible problems that can arise. Rashid also spotlights the idea that other children in a family of autism can feel lonely on unloved because so much focus is on the child who needs caretaking. With Elsa always batting against Sam’s sister, Casey, a tension builds throughout the series, especially as events begin to unfold.
Overall, “Atypical” addresses the limits of love, family turmoil, transitions in life, and of course, the reality of living with autism while making the audience engaged and informed. Be sure to check out “Atypical” on Netflix and enjoy.