Atypical Is Anything But Typical

Vanessa Zuleta

Nehema Kariuki, Staff Writer

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After co-writing shows like “Will and Grace” and “How I Met Your Mother,” Robia Rashid makes a comeback with the Netflix Original show “Atypical.” It’s full of comedy and romance which will make you laugh and cry all while showing you how it is to be a teenager who’s a little different than everyone else.

The show opens with a distressed teenage boy, Sam (Keir Gilchrist), talking to his therapist about the struggles that come with being on the autism spectrum. During this conversation, his therapist, Julia (Amy Okuda) gives Sam advice that allows him to gain the courage to go out and start looking for love. On this journey Sam encounters love and heartbreak and learns what it means to fall in love.

At one point, Sam deals with bullying from classmates. This is one of the more upsetting parts. Sam knows he’s being made fun of, but he doesn’t fully understand why which made me feel sympathetic for him.

Sam’s conflicts aren’t the only ones introduced. Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Sam’s mom, struggles to find her identity outside of being a mother, while Sam’s dad Doug (Michael Rapaport) tries to build the relationship that he never had with his son.

Even though the show touches on many sad topics, Sam and his best friend Zahid (Nik Dodani) provide the much needed comic relief to an otherwise melancholy plot.

The acting is one of the greatest parts of “Atypical.” Leigh’s portrayal of Elsa is so dedicated and raw, which really captures how it is to be a mother of an autistic child. Gilchrist’s performance is also very powerful. The way he acts is very believable and it takes the viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave them wanting more. Even though there are some amazing actors Rapaport’s performance as Sam’s dad is really weak. I didn’t feel any emotion during his screen time and the character development wasn’t all the way there.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted comedy with some seriousness, this is the series for you. “Atypical” is super relatable and covers topics that aren’t talked about in other shows. There’s plenty of romance and comedy that will be sure to keep viewers wanting a second season.


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