Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pilot Review: Atypical

Atypical (Netflix)
Premiered August 11

As soon as I saw that Keir Gilchrist was starring in a new show, I immediately remembered a great movie I saw in 2010 called “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” He carried that film exceptionally as a teenager experiencing a life in a different way than others, and what better item to have on his resume for this project? This show has a cool premise, following the life of an eighteen-year-old on the autism spectrum who doesn’t have a lot of friends and spends most of his time either at his job at a geek squad or talking to his therapist. Sam speaks his mind and discusses how he processes everything differently, and he really loves his research. I like that his sister isn’t too fond of other people but is deeply protective of her brother and anyone else that she sees as being threatened. They’re both exploring dating at the same time, which is going pretty poorly even though Sam is putting his best foot forward and did fine until he accidentally hit the redhead who expressed some interest in him. I was initially unsure of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport as the actors chosen to play Sam and Casey’s parents, remembering them from “The Hateful Eight” and “The War at Home,” respectively, but by episode’s end, I was pretty confident in their abilities, with Leigh’s Elsa showing that she might want something else but knowing not to do it and Rapaport’s Doug standing up for himself when he seemed to be an uninterested dud. I think this show is set up for success, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

How will it work as a series? His first date wasn’t great, and now it seems that he’s become fixated on his therapist, something that’s not going to go well at all. But this show seems like it’s invested in all of its characters, not just Sam, and I imagine that will make it a strong comedic drama.
How long will it last? The reviews are pretty good, and even though Netflix has recently cancelled three of its shows after their first seasons, I think that this is right up the network’s alley in terms of originality and individuality. Expect a renewal sometime soon.

Pilot grade: B+