• Network:
  • 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
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 153 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
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: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Sep 27, 2018
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Tremendous acting particularly from Sam and his sister, Casey.I very much want to see this series continued.
  2. Nov 11, 2018
    10
    Brilliant! This an entertaining, relatable and heartwarming series of a teenager with high functioning autism and his family. Thank you to theBrilliant! This an entertaining, relatable and heartwarming series of a teenager with high functioning autism and his family. Thank you to the writers, cast and crew who nailed it! Looking forward to a third series. 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!!!
    Expand
  4. Sep 18, 2018
    9
    I really liked season 1 and same goes for season 2 - its just authentic to follow Sam and his obstacles as well as achievements in life. II really liked season 1 and same goes for season 2 - its just authentic to follow Sam and his obstacles as well as achievements in life. I laughed, cried and did both simoultaneously - I really do hope for a third season! Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2017
    8
    A nice balance between drama and comedy (leaning to the comedy end without being overly lightweight) and a blessedly shorter format than manyA nice balance between drama and comedy (leaning to the comedy end without being overly lightweight) and a blessedly shorter format than many such shows. The two lead children and father are particularly well done. The friends are so far (4 episodes in) fairly roughly drawn but provide good foils for the leads. Expand
  6. Sep 24, 2018
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Atypical is an interesting show, there are parts I hate but also parts I love. At points I’m wondering what’ll happen next while at others I could’ve told you the exact thing that was going to happen. It has a great concept that very few pieces of media of explored in the past, it helps inform people about the inner workings of someone who has autism and it never feels like it’s trying to force this idea onto you, it happens in such a simple manner that allows people that know nothing about autism and those who know a decent amount to both enjoy the show.

    The characters are all extremely strong and well developed I enjoy the time I spend with each one of them, the writers are very good at making you feel a specific way towards certain characters whether that’s empathy or just pure hatred and I feel that very few shows can showcase their characters in such a strong way like Atypical does throughout.

    But the thing that bring this show down is parts of it’s story, like the entire story surrounding Sam and his therapist Julia I just didn’t enjoy it knowing how it would just end badly I just felt uncomfortable whenever it was brought back into the situation and would’ve preferred a stronger focus on the Paige relationship storyline, but I found the majority of the other stories to be enjoyable nothing else really stands out as unenjoyable as much as that one did for me.
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  7. Aug 18, 2017
    0
    Atypical is a show that claims to be about an autistic lead character and how neurodiversity is a good thing, but in reality it is yet anotherAtypical is a show that claims to be about an autistic lead character and how neurodiversity is a good thing, but in reality it is yet another glurge-ridden stereotypical "woe is me its so hard to raise autistic kids" spiel made by non-autistic people who don't care at all about what actually autistic people think.

    The show straight up justifies abusive relationships and bigotry. Sam, the protagonist, is being abused by his mother, his therapist breaks confidentiality about his case and he have very unhealthy ideas about dating that nobody thinks to try and help him understand are wrong. Its one of those shows where "quirky" means "dysfunctional family on the brink of implosion", and cringe is the go-to tool of expression. It also peppers in a unhealthy amount of racist and sexist remarks and plays them off as cute too, which is not funny.

    The show also constantly makes fun of Sam's autistic traits, and he is portrayed as a burden on his family that is somehow responsible for his mother's abusive behavior. This is not a positive portrayal, this is creating a caricature for cheap laughs and even cheaper tugs at the sympathy heart string for other abusive or neglectful parents so they will feel less bad about being horrible to their kids.

    If you care at all about autistic people or want a show about how its okay to not fit into the usual definition of normal, stay far away from this. Also, please, listen to actually autistic people when they say something is not a accurate or positive portrayal. This is no more positive or accurate than Rain Man was 30 years ago.
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See all 31 User Reviews

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