Video Guy highly recommends the new Netflix original show, "Atypical." It's the story of a high-schooler, Sam (Kier Gilcrist) , who was long-ago diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and who begins a quest to find a girlfriend. The cast around him is terrific: Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) as Sam's dedicated and perhaps over-protective mother, who struggles to redefine herself as her son becomes more independent and her husband, Doug (Michael Rapaport), engages more and more with Sam; Sam's therapist Julia (Amy Okuda), on whom Sam has a crush; Sam's sister Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine)--my favorite character--a straight-shooter with a hilarious streak of sarcasm, a boyfriend who was thrown out of school, and a sisterly-protective role regarding Sam; Sam's friend Zahid (Nik Dodani), drawn a little too stereotypically "horny teen male" for my tastes, with all the corresponding crude and disrespectful attitudes toward women--who attempts to guide Sam in his relationship travels. What I liked most about the show is the writing and the editing. Both illuminate the issues and consequences of autism, even at a high-functioning level--the family dynamics, the social minefields, the hopes and aspirations that are framed by the issues of this malady. I will anxiously await another season of this insightful and fun show.
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