Netflix’s ‘Atypical’: A show you don’t want to miss

Atypical is a binge worthy t.v. show, with a funny and dramatic plot and great character development.

Imagine not being able to stand loud sounds or bright lights, or struggling to get an idea or a point across, or constantly finding yourself in trouble because you can’t pick up on social cues. Well, this is what the main character, Sam, experiences in the popular new Netflix series Atypical.

Atypical is about a family and their son, Sam, who lives with the disadvantages that come with the condition of autism. Not only is it difficult for Sam to find work or drive with his disability, but his parents and sisters have to deal with strains in their relationships, too. This series is not just about Sam, it is also about a family battling the world and the curveballs it has to offer.

Sam tries to live a normal life as a teenager. He goes to high school, has a job, and tries to get a girlfriend. However, his disability holds him back from doing things we see as “normal.” Fortunately, his sister Casey and his friend Zahide, as well as his parents, are there to help him navigate life. 

Throughout this series, the story doesn’t just focus on Sam. It also shows other problems in his family: relationship problems, marital affairs that test the bonds of their family, the ups and downs of friendships. The series is packed with emotion and while the plot is great, that emotion comes from, in my opinion, the compelling characters. 

So let’s talk about the characters. 

While the main character of Atypical is Sam, played by Keir Gilchrist, my personal favorite character is Zahide, Sam’s best friend, who is funny and is an impactful character to the plot. Not only is Zahide funny, he helps Sam grow as a character by giving him advice about life and relationships. Sam’s sister, Casey, always supports him through her love, but her character is stronger because she faces her own problems, not just Sam’s. 

Two other important characters in the show are Sam’s Mom and Dad. These characters have had the biggest impact on him but also have the most issues. The show goes through their life and marital problems. I think an older audience, particularly parents of children who face similar circumstances, will be able to relate and connect with their struggles.

Atypical is rated T.V.-14 and it is clearly not intended for a younger audience. If you are looking for a show that is funny, sad, impactful, and full of drama, this show is for you. While the show’s depictions of substance use, strong language, and smoking exclude a younger audience, the inclusion of these gritty, real-life elements enhances the plot.

But most importantly, when watching this show, you should be prepared for an education, whether that be seeing through the eyes of a person with autism, or seeing how families cope with their drama, I think Atypical is a relevant piece that we all should watch.