I’m one episode in Atypical, and I’m not completely won over, but I have a feeling that this is going to grow on me.
Atypical is the story of Sam (Keir Gilchrist), an autistic young man who has an obsession with the Antarctic and is specifically fascinated by penguins. Episode one, and I assume the rest are the same, goes back and forth between Sam’s appointments with his therapist Julia (Amy Okuda) who by the end of the episode, discovers he kind of likes her. This is after Julia herself suggests that maybe Sam should consider dating. Taking pointers where he can, we are also introduced to Zahid (Nik Dodani) who gives Sam those sleazier options of dating. He’s Sam’s work colleague and good friend, and what I believe, the comical relief.
His parents Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Doug (Michael Rapaport), and sister Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine) are also impactful from the get-go of this show. So, it definitely seems as though, apart from Sam, these are the faces we will be seeing the most of. Mum is overprotective and not ready to let Sam go into the world on his own quite yet. Looks like from this episode, Mum will also be doing a bit of character development as the show progresses. She also doesn’t seem like a character the audience is meant to like. Dad feels a little left out and doesn’t feel any connection with his son. But, Casey is already becoming my favourite character. Her cool and calm attitude is appealing. She’s likable because she can be related to. Also helps that she sticks up for the small guy.
But nothing can take away the incredible acting by Gilchrist as the autistic 18-year-old. He’s done a fabulous job, and I look forward to seeing his coming of age story as this show goes on. I think it’s this acting together with wanting to ensure the wellbeing of Sam and his sister that will keep me going with this one.