Updated: Jan 30
What is normal? Atypical dives into what defines normality (and so much more) in each episode, with a level of tact, levity, and grace not often seen. Seen even less is how Atypical doesn’t just maintain this quality over three seasons but seems to improve with each season. In an era of television where declining quality and disappointing endings have become the norm, Atypical is nothing short of a breath of fresh air.
Atypical comes from the mind of Robia Rashid, who had previously worked as a producer on the insanely popular How I Met Your Mother. The show follows Sam Gardner, an eighteen-year-old boy with autism as he begins to grow into his own person. Yes, Atypical is your classic coming of age story but told in such a unique way that each episode feels brand new. As unique Atypical and its characters are, they still manage to be relatable to a multitude of generations.
It’s not often that you’ll come across a coming-of-age story that manages to be relatable to teenagers, their parents, and their college-aged older siblings, but that’s exactly what Atypical is. Atypical, all at once, does a fantastic job at being funny, compelling, insightful, and that’s just season one. From there Atypical blows away your expectations and manages to only get better from there. If you’re looking for quality content on a streaming service, you won't find a lot better than the Peabody nominated Atypical.
I won’t spoil anything about the story here so don’t worry about spoilers.
Sadly, it still needs to be said that there is nothing funny about autism, or the people who deal with the disorder. This is why the writing of Atypical is far and away from the best part of the show. Atypical manages to be funny, and make Sam Gardener, a character with autism, funny without ever making autism the butt of its jokes. It’s a feat that deserves respect because it would have been easy for the writers to do that and other shows have taken that route before.