Gabriella "Gaby" Torna, is a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Coral Gables Senior High. As a photographer for CavsConnect, Gaby...
Atypical: Not So Typical at All
September 16, 2017
Series Title: Atypical
Number of Seasons: 1
Starring: Keir Gilchrist (Sam Gardner), Bridgett Lundy-Paine (Casey Gardner), Michael Rapaport (Doug Gardner), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Elsa Gardner), Amy Okuda (Julia Sasaki)
Our Rating: A
“Atypical” tells the story of Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), a lovable teenage boy on the autism spectrum who is trying to venture through the world of dating with the help of his friends, family and therapist. You become more and more attached to the characters as the show progresses. From feeling happiness when Casey Gardner (Bridgett Lundy-Paine) has a breakthrough moment in her track career, to becoming enraged after finding out a harrowing secret about their mom Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), “Atypical” sends you on such an emotional journey where you can’t help but shed some tears.
The show manages to keep a smile on your face, especially during moments like the one where Sam begins to bond with his dad Doug Gardner (Michael Rapaport). There are still conflicts in “Atypical” that the characters must overcome. Sam’s therapist, Julia (Amy Okuda), has an impacting role in Sam’s life- she guides him through everything- and encourages Sam to begin dating in the first place. What she doesn’t know is that Sam wants her to be his girlfriend, and that every other girl would be Sam’s “practice girlfriend.”
“The show was funny and really good. I feel like it does a great job portraying kids with autism since the sister was always looking out for him and took care of him. Not only would his sister defend him, but his girlfriend Paige tried her hardest to make him and other kids on the spectrum feel included in school activities. She worked hard to make the silent disco a possibility, meaning that kids on the spectrum don’t have to be excluded,” junior Reynel Rodriguez said
The show manages to portray autism under a different light; older shows and movies often used people on the spectrum as the butt of the joke. However, “Atypical” doesn’t stray away too much from the stereotypical portrayal. The writers of the show made sure to really do their research to avoid using clichés for Sam’s character, but even then they still made him a cookie cutter example of a teenager on the spectrum- the kind that television usually portrays. For example, Sam always talks about penguins and Antarctica whenever possible, and seems a bit rude from time to time. Netflix makes Sam the joke during certain scenes, which can at times be demeaning and discouraging to the autistic community and their families.
“The show is wonderful. I really liked it, it does kind of portray autism stereo-typically from time to time, but in the end its a really amazing show that I would recommend to everyone,” junior Elizabeth Lopez said.
All in all, “Atypical” is a cute show that will slowly have you falling in love with the main characters, while making you despise certain other characters. “Atypical”- more importantly the main character Sam- will most definitely bring a smile to your face as you watch him grow and learn new things about girls and dating. You might even become intrigued by penguins and Antarctica like Sam is. The show is wonderful, heartwarming, hilarious and truly a must binge for ‘Neurotypical’s’ and ‘Atypical’s’ alike.