Atypical(Netflix) Review

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It is not everyday that someone makes a show dealing with the challenges an autistic kid faces, especially when it comes to dating & intimate relationships. Having an autistic teenager as your protagonist may end up alienating the comedy/drama loving audiences. Such a show would require lots of research, which would break stereotypes & keep the viewers entertained while being sensitive to the problems arising out of suffering from such a condition. Does the director Robia Rashid succeed on these fronts? Lets find out!

The story revolves around Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist) as a teenager on the autistic spectrum, who has been undergoing psychiatric counselling from Julia(Amy Okuda) for quite sometime. Sam has an over protective mother, Elsa Gardner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) whose past several years have revolved around her son, father (Michael Rapaport) & a protective sister (Bridgette Lundy-Paine).

Keir Gilchrist is perfectly cast as Sam Gardner – the autistic teenager out to find love
The show starts off on a very good note, you are instantly into Sam’s world. The show made us reminisce about the awkwardness we faced in approaching woman or dating in general during our high school/college days. It gives you a peek into teenage insecurities, dreams & crushed expectations. The show also offers a sensitive take on bullying in school, relationships across age groups & the sacrifices, issues which parents of autistic kids face. Sam Gardner’s character of a guy who takes things literally & fixated on a few topics/objects that he loves, will remind people of Sheldon (Big Bang Theory). His condition does lead to several funny situations & also sensitizes the viewer about the problems faced by people who suffer from autism. The show is genuinely funny & keeps you intrigued throughout.
The problem with the show is that you would expect the story to revolve around the protagonist suffering from autism finding love in life & the other characters blending in with that story line, but what you get is several sub plots. Maybe the makers are thinking long term, which would give them enough depth to last 8-9 seasons!
But we must admit, it is an entertaining show, which will make you binge on it for its 9 episodes & make you eagerly await the next season.

Our Rating: ****/5


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