This month saw the release of Atypical season 2, Netflix’s heartwarming comedy drama, which follows the life of Sam, an Eighteen-year-old boy with autism.
Not only does the show provide an insight into the world of autism, but it focuses heavily on Sam’s family life, touching on what challenges may occur when living with or knowing someone with the condition. I absolutely love seeing the world from Sam’s perspective - whilst everyone else around him struggles with their problems, avoiding or overcomplicating them, Sam deals with his own issues in the most direct, honest and practical way. A particularly interesting idea in relation to this is something he wrote about in his college application letter: “There’s one person who always treats me normal and always tells me the truth. My friend Zahid. Zahid has lots of theories, theories about lying, and girls, and the best way to make mac and cheese. One of his theories is that people with autism are actually the normal ones, because we see the world as it really is.”
What's really great about this show is that although the main protagonist holds the entire plot together, each of the other characters gets enough screen time that we feel like we know them and can empathise with them too. While we see Sam’s reaction to certain situations we’re usually allowed an alternative perspective too so we see what effect he’s had on others. This makes the plot relatable and diverse. If I had to pick I’d say Casey is my favourite character. Her love-hate relationship with her brother is really moving to watch and she’s also cool, complicated and inspiring in that she plays by her own rules when it comes to being a girl.
Perhaps I should now mention that my 16-year-old younger sister is autistic, and whilst watching Atypical I noticed a lot of similarities between my Mum and sister’s relationship and Sam’s relationship with his Mum in the show, It’s obviously fascinating, but also sad at times. I do think it’s really important for others to understand the everyday struggles that some people face even if they aren’t themselves exposed to them. We could all do with trying to understand each other a little better. Atypical illustrates autism perfectly, representing it in a clear, respectful and entertaining way.
Last week my boyfriend and I binge watched season over two evenings after work. Much to our dismay it ended with a cliffhanger, surprise surprise, so we’re now desperate to know what happens and eagerly awaiting a third season! I have nothing but positive things to say about this show and I think everyone should watch it. Expect to laugh (and sometimes cry) out loud!
I rated Atypical 8/10 on IMDB