If you are looking for your next Netflix binge watch, Atypical is the show for you. It is truly heartfelt and discusses relatable real-world issues. For those who are close to someone on the autism spectrum, maybe a friend or family member, will truly be touched by this show. Atypical, a Netflix Original Series, released its second season on Sept. 7.
Sam Gardener, played by Keir Gilchrist, is a young, high-achieving high schooler with autism, attempting to find a way to survive the teenage jungle and gain some independence. Each episode features a new challenge for Sam, whether that is going to school, talking to a girl, or dealing with his chaotic family. As shown in the first season, Sam’s family has been there for him every step of the way, although now, they face new and unfamiliar issues.
Attention to detail through the angles and movement of the cameras while filming helps to captivate the perspective of an autistic individual. Recurring details include a ticking clock or a moving object, creating tension for a scene and giving insight to an autistic child’s view of the world. A ticking clock may not seem distracting to a “neurotypical,” but to Sam Gardner, the ticking clock is more like a ticking time bomb.
Gilchrist had a decent grasp on what he was getting into playing the role of Sam. He prepared by reading “The Journal of Best Practices”, a book about a man who discovers he has Aspergers. Aspergers is a condition similar to clinical Autism, both of which can cause social and development barriers for affected individuals. Gilchrist stated in an interview, “That book was super helpful, super well-written, and really pushes you in the headspace of a high-functioning person who’s on the spectrum” (ew.com).
The reality of life for an Autistic person is adequately captured in the series and can serve as a real eye-opener to viewers who have never been exposed to this perspective. For those who have yet to watch the Netflix Original, it is an uplifting, comedic series that will give a glimpse into a different lifestyle.