Atypical is a coming-of-age dark comedy television series created and written by Robia Rashid for Netflix. It focuses on the life of 18-year-old Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), who is on the autism spectrum. The first season was released on August 11, 2017, consisting of eight episodes. It was renewed for a ten-episode second season on September 13, 2017.
|Created by||Robia Rashid|
|Written by||Robia Rashid|
|Directed by||Seth Gordon|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Executive producer(s)||Robia Rashid
|Producer(s)||Jennifer Jason Leigh|
|Production company(s)||Weird Brain
Sony Pictures Television
|Original release||August 11, 2017 – present|
Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old from Connecticut with autism, announces that he wants to start dating. His father, Doug, has struggled to connect with Sam and is thrilled when Sam approaches him for advice. When Sam wants to surprise his crush with chocolate-covered strawberries, Doug drives him to her house only to discover that Sam's crush is Julia, Sam's 26-year-old therapist. Doug quickly pulls Sam away and tells him to find a girlfriend his own age. Sam decides he needs a "practice girlfriend" and, with the help of his friends and family, begins to learn the social nuances of dating.
As Sam grows more independent, his mother Elsa struggles to find a life outside of being his guardian. During a night out with friends, Elsa meets a bartender and begins an affair with him. Sam's younger sister, Casey, breaks a track-and-field record and receives an athletic scholarship to a prestigious but distant high school. Although she wants to attend, she is nervous about what leaving will mean for Sam. Her concerns are exacerbated when she discovers that Doug abandoned their family for a while after Sam's diagnosis and that Elsa is having an affair.
Meanwhile, Julia finds a strawberry Sam left behind during his visit. She accuses her boyfriend of cheating on her, which leads him to break up with her. After he moves out, Julia discovers that she is pregnant with his child.
The series, originally known as Antarctica, was created and written by Robia Rashid, who previously worked on How I Met Your Mother and The Goldbergs as a producer. For a more accurate portrayal, she consulted with Michelle Dean, a California State University professor who worked at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment. Gilchrist told in an interview for Vulture, "She [Rashid] wrote the script. We talked a ton and I did research and I watched movies and I read books".
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Antarctica"||Seth Gordon||Robia Rashid||August 11, 2017|
|2||"A Human Female"||Michael Patrick Jann||Mike Oppenhuizen||August 11, 2017|
|3||"Julia Says"||Michael Patrick Jann||Brian Tanen||August 11, 2017|
|4||"A Nice Neutral Smell"||Seth Gordon||Annabel Oakes||August 11, 2017|
|5||"That's My Sweatshirt"||Michael Patrick Jann||Dennis Saldua||August 11, 2017|
|6||"The D-Train to Bone Town"||Michael Patrick Jann||Mike Oppenhuizen & Jen Regan||August 11, 2017|
|7||"I Lost My Poor Meatball"||Joe Kessler||Robia Rashid||August 11, 2017|
|8||"The Silencing Properties of Snow"||Michael Patrick Jann||Robia Rashid||August 11, 2017|
Upon release, some critics found the series poorly written. However, Atypical received generally positive reviews by critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the first season received a score of 66, based on 20 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews", and a score of 79% at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.35 out of 10. The acting, including Gilchrist's performance, was generally well-received, although Gilchrist's portrayal received criticism from some quarters for being inaccurate and stereotypical. The lack of autistic people in the cast was also questioned.