Netflix’s Atypical – A Review

With the weather turning frigid and the days shortening as we plunge into a dark and gloomy November, the thought of cozying up inside and enjoying some quality Netflix time is becoming increasingly more appealing. And what better way to ignore all those looming project deadlines than with Netflix’s Atypical? The third season of this unique show was just released, and with Netflix’s disappointing track record of cancelling its original shows after the first or second season, it’s nothing short of a miracle. 

Atypical centres around the life of Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum who wishes to start dating. It’s a show about being different, and it’s pretty different itself from a lot of other media available. It’s honest and relatable, undeniably funny but also full of heart. It’s proof that a show can be respectful and explore difficult topics, while still being fun. 

Personally, I think that the show got better with every season. Like anything, the show is not without faults, and the first season received some criticism for its portrayal of autism, and it’s lack of actors and writers on the spectrum. The showrunners seemed to take these criticisms to heart, however, improving on those aspects in the following seasons.  

The second season introduced a compelling LGBT storyline for a prominent character, and I was happy to see that the newest season really expanded on that thread.

The third season really built on the strengths of the previous two, and the show returned stronger than ever. The character development in this season alone was monumental. The characters were complex and interesting, and their relationships were messy and poignant and sweet.

With half hour long episodes and all three seasons available for viewing, it’s the perfect show if you’re looking for something to binge. And it’s not so overwhelmingly long or heavy that it will consume your life if you just want to casually watch something in those brief moments of free time (so basically it’s the best of both worlds). Atypical is a show that manages to be lighthearted and fun without lacking in substance, and what more can I say? It’s really quite good. 


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