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  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 11, 2017
Season #: 1, 2
Atypical Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 120 Ratings

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  • Summary: The decision to begin dating by Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), a high school senior with autism, worries his overprotective mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in this coming-of-age comedy series created by Robia Rashid.
  • Genre(s): Comedy

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Atypical
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Aug 13, 2017
    90
    Extraordinary.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Aug 9, 2017
    80
    At its best, Atypical allows its drama and comedy to come from that genuine, relatable place. It may have a rocky start, but stick with it. Atypical lives up to its title.
  3. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Aug 10, 2017
    80
    The series is as compassionate as it is snarky, pairing a deep understanding about everyday life on the spectrum with a sense of humor rarely found in productions that deal with autism. “Atypical” risks offending some, but it does more good than harm by demystifying a sensitive and painful subject with an unapologetic candor.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Aug 9, 2017
    70
    There’s a very important, delicate line that a comedy like this can’t cross: the one where it could be seen as inviting viewers to laugh at Sam’s many quirks (his obsession with penguins and all other things Antarctic, for instance). Atypical never crosses it--Gilchrist’s performance is too sincere and vulnerable to allow it--but at times a lot of the whimsy is generated from how exasperated his loved ones are at dealing with him.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 10, 2017
    65
    Watchable but uneven, the half-hour series dilutes its genuine pathos with characters and situations that seem to have parachuted in from a different show.
  6. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    Aug 10, 2017
    63
    Atypical presents a point of view and a lead character that are, well, atypical in the TV landscape. But its sweetness and predictability make it a little too typical to be great.
  7. Reviewed by: John Hugar
    Aug 11, 2017
    33
    This show desperately wants to get its depiction of autism right, and wants to pat itself on the back for doing so. All of which makes the uninspired characterization of Sam all the more infuriating.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Sep 3, 2017
    10
    A nice viewpoint into autism that combines comedy and drama, excellent acting and writing that give a nice summer TV surprise. Keir GilchristA nice viewpoint into autism that combines comedy and drama, excellent acting and writing that give a nice summer TV surprise. Keir Gilchrist exhibits superb talent and is a pleasure watching him act. Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2018
    10
    Good start for a new TV series with a simple but beautifully balanced central theme of a family living with a son who is autistic. However itGood start for a new TV series with a simple but beautifully balanced central theme of a family living with a son who is autistic. However it is far from just about that and all the main casts performances are very solid. Expand
  3. Aug 24, 2017
    10
    I've been searching long and hard for a show that evokes this much feelings in me. I have a brother with autism, and I can relate to this showI've been searching long and hard for a show that evokes this much feelings in me. I have a brother with autism, and I can relate to this show so much. It's cute and funny and unexpected. Like, with other shows you can easily foreshadow what's going to happen but with this... no, there's always twists and turns.
    Honestly, 10/10, I'm so excited for season 2!!!
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  4. Sep 18, 2017
    9
    Everyone has their own issues; everyone has their own way with dealing with them. Netflix’s Atypical is about Sam, an eighteen-year-old highEveryone has their own issues; everyone has their own way with dealing with them. Netflix’s Atypical is about Sam, an eighteen-year-old high school student diagnosed with ASD—Autistic Spectrum Disorder—and the family that supports him. This Netflix series follows Sam as he begins his pursuit of finding a girlfriend. Sam's family has supported and protected him their whole lives and as he transitions into becoming more independent, they begin to realize that he doesn't need them anymore. His mother, Elsa, centered her whole life around helping Sam and his sudden want to grow left her without a sense of identity. The father, Doug, struggles to understand Sam and connect with him. Casey, the younger sister, begins to feel the burden of being under her brother’s shadow for the past sixteen years. Each character is shown having to adjust and change their lives based on Sam’s wish to find a girlfriend which in turn begins to show how much Sam has grown up. Atypical is light-hearted comedy that introduces the struggles for people on the spectrum and for those around them.

    I found that best part about the show was Sam himself. His straightforwardness and honesty got him into awkward yet genuine situations each episode. Sam is the epicenter of the family, everything they do revolves around him. This feeling can be seen in Casey’s interactions with her family about getting recruited by Clayton Prep, a nearby private school. Sam seemingly was the only one in the family that spoke the truth when it came to emotions. While he struggled to figure out what love is, he was still the only one in the family who spoke his mind, something the rest of the family struggled to do. Although I love Keir Gilchrist and his portrayal of Sam, I do think that the character was written to be a bit too extreme in certain stereotypical aspects. There are moments when you feel like Sam is purposely put in as comic relief like when he tells his girlfriend that he doesn’t love her while at Olive Garden with her entire family or when he yells **** after mentally repeating the word multiple times. If you look at it that way, it makes Keir’s scenes seem more like he is supposed to add dry humor that is reminiscent of Michael Scott from The Office rather than to demonstrate what Autism is.

    I think people forget that the premise of the story isn’t really about Autism. When you watch the show, you see more than just Sam’s life. You look into the lives of the people around him and when I watched it, I felt more connected to the entire family than just Sam. The show was written to have people laugh at the ridiculously awkward things that Sam would say/do, but this made also made Sam a more endearing character. I rooted for Sam every time he would gain the courage to say or do anything on his mind. An example would be the scene from the first episode after he talks about his first session with his therapist—Julia who is portrayed by Amy Okuda—he says, “Julia thinks that I should put myself out there and find someone to have sex with. Well, she didn’t say the sex part. I added that” while at a family dinner. This line explains the rest of Sam's actions through the season. It is because Sam is the center of the family that as he begins to find more independence, the rest of them don’t really know what do without him.

    Atypical is a casual window into the understanding of what it means to be different. I say different because to me, Sam is just like any one of us; he is trying to live his life the way he wants to live while also finding someone to love and accept him. This show is a perfect way to get people who don’t really know the struggles of both the diagnosed and the family. Each family member of the Gardners are learning more about themselves and realizing that they need to find a life outside of Sam. To top it off, the writing and character interactions drive the show home. To put it simply, it’s a light-hearted comedy that introduces and get viewers acquainted with the normality of Autism. Although it does take some of the stereotypes of Autism and push them to the extreme, the show is not meant to exactly display what being on the spectrum means. It really is more about how the Gardners are each being more truthful to themselves thanks to Sam. This is only reflected more as the show continues through the episodes, each character becomes happier as they confront their issues truthfully. If you’re looking for a short and entertaining to watch, Atypical is my recommendation. I didn’t expect much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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  5. May 12, 2018
    8
    This TV show shines for two main reasons. The first being that it is really quite eye-opening as it follows a character with autism, and hisThis TV show shines for two main reasons. The first being that it is really quite eye-opening as it follows a character with autism, and his difficulties in finding a girlfriend. It educates on how difficult life can be for those people, but also their family and friends who have to look after them. It also shines because it contains some quite cute, and interesting relationships between many characters. Teenagers should enjoy this show, as it is something quite different but still something which they could relate to. Expand
  6. Sep 10, 2017
    8
    The problem of autism narrated with all seriousness and respect in a sensitive, fun mix of drama and comedy. One of best choices of upcomingThe problem of autism narrated with all seriousness and respect in a sensitive, fun mix of drama and comedy. One of best choices of upcoming autumn. Remarkable Jason Leigh. Expand
  7. Nov 2, 2017
    0
    I liked Jennifer jason Leigh a lot when I was 12 and she took her top off in fast times at Ridgemont High. But I was 12, and the scene madeI liked Jennifer jason Leigh a lot when I was 12 and she took her top off in fast times at Ridgemont High. But I was 12, and the scene made sense to have her do it. I watched this show to the point when Leigh visited her son's therapist wearing a loose fitting top with more cleavage than Dolly Parton has (10 or 15 minutes in). It's nice to know she still has a nice rack, but i'm not 12 anymore and normal women don't dress like that. whoever made this: Stop pandering to your audience. Stop trying to keep people interested by showing boobs. Your not selling beer with cheerleaders. your supposed to be making a show about a kid with autism. next. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews

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