The Tomahawk

Review: Atypical

Joslynn Monroig, Student Life Editor

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This Netflix Original show is a first of its kind; a show based on a person with autism. The show is centered on Sam Gardner, an 18 year old boy who is on the autism spectrum, who

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Amy Okuda, who plays Julia

decides that he is ready for his first girlfriend, and his family has to come grips with him growing up and being more independent.

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Jenna Boyd, who plays Paige, Sam’s “practice girlfriend”

Sam has a therapist, Julia, who he is very fond of. She encourages him to break out of his shell, and venture out more into the adult world; one of the things that she encourages is getting a girlfriend. Sam takes her advice and uses it on her, even though she is much older than him, and she has a boyfriend. When he realizes that his tricks aren’t working on Julia, he decides that he need to find a “practice girlfriend”so that he can gain experience on how girlfriends work so that he can be ready for when the time is right with Julia.

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Brigette Lundy-Paine, who plays Casey

Sam is very close with his sister Casey. She is very protective of him and doesn’t let anyone mess with him. Later on in the season, Casey is faced with the situation of leaving her high school that she attends with her brother, or leaving for a prep school to pursue her dream of being a track star.  Sam assures her that he is old enough to be on his own and that he will be okay without Casey being around all the time.

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Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays Elsa

Sam’s mom, Elsa, has always been there more than anyone. She has always fully embraced his autism and has done anything to accommodate him. When Sam tells his family that he’s looking for a girlfriend and wants to be more of an adult, his mother doesn’t really know how to accept it. She is faced with coming to grips with her children growing up and not needing her as much as they did before. Which results in her looking for her place and she needs a “detraction” from her life and she steps out on her marriage.

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Michael Rapaport, who plays Doug

Sam’s dad, Doug has the hardest time connecting with Sam. He carried some sort of guilt with having a child on the spectrum. Towards the end of the season, Doug is able to accept Sam for who he is and connect with him more.

I think that this show is truly incredible. It gives a person who doesn’t have Autism insight on how hard life is with it and how it creates and alters relationships within their self and people around them. It shows how one person that’s on the spectrum lives life every day and how they can have ticks about something or how something can send them into a blind rage. This show was picked up for another season and hopefully with be picked up for 10 more because it is a show that can help educate people and give others the opportunity to understand how people are different from them live their lives.

 

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Review: Atypical