TV Show: Atypical
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Atypical comes from the creator of How I Met Your Mother (which I initially found hilarious but which gradually became frustrating to the point that I wanted to throw all types of things at the TV while it was on) and The Goldbergs (which never quite grew on me). So, I didn’t go in with very high expectations from it. Needless to say (you can probably surmise from the fact that I’m writing about it), it managed to surprise me. In a good way (in case that still wasn’t clear).
What’s the show about?
Atypical is the story of Sam, an 18-year old on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum. The first reason revolves around some of the major characters in Sam’s life as he sets off on a very specific mission (I won’t give away the mission ’cause I’m assuming you’d like to find out yourself and I hate spoilers). Along the way, we see Sam grapple with a sense of self-discovery while perceiving the world through his own, much more “literal” lens.
Although the show deals with a subject as intense as autism, it manages to do so without leaving the audience emotionally drained. There is drama, of course, but there are also elements of humour (sometimes unexpected) to balance it out. I couldn’t quite figure out what genre it would fit in, though I suppose it’s closest to being a dramedy. Throughout its eight episodes, Atypical entertains and charms and, in the process, poses a very important question: what does it mean to be “normal”?
Considering my limited interaction with people with autism, I can’t say how true to life the show’s depiction is. As a layperson, however, I did feel that it did a good job of sensitising us “neurotypicals” to the world of an autistic individual. And it accomplishes this while being entertaining. I’d say that’s a win-win. If you were looking for something new to watch over the weekend or in the evenings, this is it. You’re welcome c:
P.S: Before anyone points this out, I’ll say it myself: I know all the TV shows I’ve talked about so far have been from Netflix. And no, they’re not paying me (though I totally wish they were). It might have something to do with the fact that they release all the episodes in one go and binge watching zindabad. Feel free to throw in any other explanations you might have. Bye now!