Coming-of-age story lines are no stranger to film and television. One might say these narratives are fairly typical. However, on August 11th, 2017 Netflix will make its newest coming-of-age tale anything but typical; Sam Gardner’s story will be “Atypical”.
An article from USA Today gave a sneak peek into the show’s creation and explained that Sam is a high school senior with autism who brings a unique perspective to the confusing world of teenagers including dating and progression to adulthood.
Taking on a role of an individual with autism is a tough task for actor Keir Gilchrist, who does not have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but he was able to find many ways to relate to Sam’s character. According to USA Today, Gilchrist cited Sam’s honesty as “the most relatable part of him” and went on to explain that “the was [Sam] describes some situations is basically how everyone feels, but most people don’t actually put it into words.”
Although the show does focus on Sam’s perspective, the narrative also expands to depict how Sam’s autism affects his family and the people around him. USA Today reported that Robia Rashid, the series creator, has shown dedication to accurately portraying Sam and his family through her consultation with a professor from California State University who worked at UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment. While Rashid seems to truly care about the responsibility she has taken on for the autism community she also hopes that Sam’s experiences can extend past his character will be able to impact audiences that may or may not have come in contact with autism. The overarching theme for the series she voiced to USA Today was that “No one’s normal.”
The teaser that was released earlier today shows a scene between Sam and his mother, Elsa. It is made clear immediately that the audience has arrived in the middle of a fairly serious discussion between Sam and his mother. As the scene unfolds the discussion topic is revealed to be a classic debate between teenager and parent: dating. During this conversation, Elsa expresses her concern that Sam might get hurt if he started dating. Sam dismisses her worry by joking that he would only get hurt if he dated a great white shark, demonstrating his character’s literal understanding and sense of humor. The rest of the scene reveals both Sam and Elsa to be very capable of communicating their points of view and feelings, making for a candid and funny exchange.
Let us know what your thoughts are on the upcoming series in the comments!
Check out the full teaser for Netflix’s “Atypical” below: