Show Review: Atypical

 Casey tries to calm down Sam because he is hearing loud noises and is affected by that because of his autism.

Casey tries to calm down Sam because he is hearing loud noises and is affected by that because of his autism.

Emma Perron, Photojournalist

A Netflix original called Atypical is about a kid named Sam Gardner who has autism. The show is a comedy-drama for ages 13 and up. Sam is an 18-year-old boy in his senior year at high school. He is high functioning at the end of the autism spectrum. 


There are a total of 3 seasons with 18 episodes. The show is all about Sam and his family and how they are affected by autism. The show consists of a few main characters. Sam (Keir Gilchrist), Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine), Sam’s sister, Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Sam’s mom, Doug (Michael Rapaport), Sam’s dad, Zahid (Nik Dodani), Sam’s best friend, and Julia (Amy Okuda)Sam’s therapist. 


The first episode starts with the family all having troubles. The mom, Elsa, has always been worried about Sam all of her life and babies him. She becomes a little crazy over the years. She found Sam had autism when he was four years old. Elsa, in the first episode, goes to a bar to take her mind off Sam; she meets this bartender and starts to flirt. 


Sam, in the first season, tries to find himself a girlfriend because it would help take away the social awkwardness he has. His therapist Julia told him he has such a big heart he needs to share it with someone and help him branch out. 


Doug, Sam’s father, tries to forget the fact his kid has autism. Doug treats Sam as an average child, but sometimes that is not the best. Doug soon learns more about Sam and starts to have a deeper connection with him. 


Casey, Sam’s sister, is one of the best characters in the show. She is the track star at her high school; she treats her brother normally and wants to prepare him for people who do not see he has autism. She cares for Sam more than anyone in the family. Even though she is 15, she takes care of Sam. 


In the series Atypical, he voices over parts of the show/story. He takes you through his day and shows you what it is like to have autism. It shows his thoughts, why he reacts to certain things, and why he tries to be a normal kid. 


The show has a lot of character development, and it shows how the character grows. In all three seasons, you see Doug, Sam, Casey, and Elsa grow as a family and see why they act the way they do. Their life revolves around Sam, and they make decisions based on him. Casey changes the most, and she finds herself in the show. She finally stops basing her life on Sam, and she becomes her person, not solely Sam’s sister. 


The show brings up awareness about an issue most people do not know a lot about. The show does not cover everything, but it helps you understand autism more. There are different levels of autism, and the Tv show illustrates that not just the person with autism is affected. Everyone in the family or close to the persons with autism is affected as well. 


There is one scene in the tv show that stood out to me. Sam was walking home from his best friend’s house, Zahid. It was around 3 in the morning; Sam had his hoodie on and was walking late at night. A cop pulled up and was thinking Sam was up to no good and was doing something terrible. Sam did not know what to say, and he was confused about what was going on. The cop had no idea Sam had autism, the cop pinned Sam to the floor, and then Zahid showed up. He explained Sam has autism, and he did not know what was happening. Sam and Zahid were both taken into the police station and waited till they could go. 


Savanna Bradford (9) said, “Atypical is such a good show and I finished the show in three days. I love how the producers showed how autism affects family and friends.” 


The scene just shows not a lot of people know signs of autism. Not a lot of people know about autism signs or how they act or think. People need to be aware and treat everyone with kindness and make sure they are comfortable.