Atypical Review

Atypical+Review

Georgia Moran, Editor

Atypical is a Netflix original that was first released on August 11, 2017, and it’s 3rd season just came out on November 1, 2019. It’s a series about an autistic teenager named Sam Gardner, played by Keir Gilchrist, and his struggles with family, friends, and romance.

Keir Gilchrist does a decent job portraying a teen on the spectrum, considering he does not struggle with autism in real life. He gives me a better understanding for what life is like for kids like Sam. It seems like it was written from the point of view of someone who has an autistic friend, or someone who studies autism. Gilchrist said about the character in an interview, “He’s one person that is on the autism spectrum. He’s a very specific character.”

However, it’s received mixed reviews from the autistic community. “It now seems obvious to me that the show was envisioned and created by someone who knows someone with autism, perhaps very well, but it is definitely not the same show we would be getting with an autistic person, or several autistic people, working behind the scenes. This is why I hope Netflix takes the autistic community’s concerns to heart, and makes a concerted effort to hire autistic writers, and more autistic actors,” Adriana White, an autistic viewer said.

Glichrist has been in other movies and TV shows tackling mental illnesses such as “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story,”  in which he plays Craig, a character who gets sent to the adult ward in a psychiatric hospital. He also played Marshall Gregson, whose mother has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) in “United States of Tara.”

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a good drama or something relating to mental illness. However, I’d say that no one under twelve years old should watch it.