Open main menu

Atypical is a coming-of-age television series created by Robia Rashid for Netflix. It focuses on the life of 18-year-old Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), who is on the autism spectrum. The first season was released on August 11, 2017, consisting of eight episodes. The ten-episode second season was released on September 7, 2018. In October 2018, the series was renewed for a third season of ten episodes.

Atypical póster.jpg
Created byRobia Rashid
Composer(s)Dan Romer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Robia Rashid
Seth Gordon
Mary Rohlich
Producer(s)Jennifer Jason Leigh
Running time26–38 minutes
Production company(s)Weird Brain
Exhibit A
Sony Pictures Television
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11) –
present (present)
External links

The first season received mostly positive reviews, though the show was criticized for its lack of autistic actors and perceived inaccuracies in its depiction of autism.[1][2][3] The second season featured more actors and writers with autism, and also received mostly positive reviews.



Season 1Edit

Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old from Connecticut with autism, announces that he wants to start dating. His father, Doug, has struggled to connect with Sam and is thrilled when Sam approaches him for advice. When Sam wants to surprise his crush with chocolate-covered strawberries, Doug drives him to her house only to discover that Sam's crush is Julia, Sam's 26-year-old therapist. Doug quickly pulls Sam away and tells him to find a girlfriend his own age. Sam decides he needs a "practice girlfriend" and, with the help of his friends and family, begins to learn the social nuances of dating.

As Sam grows more independent, his mother Elsa struggles to find a life outside of being his guardian. During a night out with friends, Elsa meets a bartender and begins an affair with him. Sam's younger sister, Casey, breaks a track-and-field record and receives an athletic scholarship to a prestigious but distant high school. Although she wants to attend, she is nervous about what leaving will mean for Sam. Her concerns are exacerbated when she discovers that Doug abandoned their family for a while after Sam's diagnosis and that Elsa is having an affair. Meanwhile, Julia finds a chocolate-covered strawberry Sam left behind during his visit. She accuses her boyfriend of cheating on her, which leads him to break up with her. After he moves out, Julia discovers that she is pregnant with his child.

Season 2Edit

Upon learning of Elsa's affair, Doug quickly kicks her out of the house, leaving him to complete all household tasks by himself, causing stress. Doug later allows Elsa back into the house under his guidelines, although he remains distant. Sam, no longer able to see Julia due to a conflict of interest, fails to find a new therapist he is comfortable with. The school's guidance counsellor, Ms. Whitaker, encourages Sam to apply to university and join her peer group for students on the spectrum, which prepares students for graduation and independence.

Although she feels unwelcome at Clayton Preparatory School, Casey is befriended by the captain of the track team, Izzie, who is initially mean to her. The two develop a close relationship, and Casey develops romantic feelings for Izzie towards the end of the season–leaving her wondering what it means for her and her boyfriend, Evan. Without Casey being in Sam's school, he begins to express the changes in his life by sketching in his notebook more frequently. After his drawings are discovered by Ms. Whitaker, Sam applies to Denton University's Scientific Illustration program and is accepted. Meanwhile, Julia deals with frustrations regarding a lackluster proposal, as well as her pregnancy.

Cast and charactersEdit



  • Graham Rogers as Evan Chapin,[5] Casey's boyfriend
  • Nik Dodani as Zahid,[9] Sam's best friend, a "dweeby and foul-mouthed lothario"[6]
  • Raúl Castillo as Nick,[10] a bartender Elsa has an affair with[11]
  • Jenna Boyd as Paige Hardaway, Sam's classmate
  • Rachel Redleaf as Beth Chapin, Evan's sister, whom Casey stands up for after witnessing her get bullied by stuck up mean girl Bailey Bennett
  • Fivel Stewart as Izzie (season 2–present), Casey's enemy-turned-friend
  • Graham Phillips as Nate (season 2–present), Izzie's boyfriend
  • Casey Wilson as Ms. Whitaker (season 2–present)


Season 1 (2017)Edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Antarctica"Seth GordonRobia RashidAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
22"A Human Female"Michael Patrick JannMike OppenhuizenAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
33"Julia Says"Michael Patrick JannBrian TanenAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
44"A Nice Neutral Smell"Seth GordonAnnabel OakesAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
55"That's My Sweatshirt"Michael Patrick JannDennis SalduaAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
66"The D-Train to Bone Town"Michael Patrick JannMike Oppenhuizen & Jen ReganAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
77"I Lost My Poor Meatball"Joe KesslerRobia RashidAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)
88"The Silencing Properties of Snow"Michael Patrick JannRobia RashidAugust 11, 2017 (2017-08-11)

Season 2 (2018)Edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"Juiced!"Joe KesslerRobia RashidSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
102"Penguin Cam and Chill"Ryan CaseRobia RashidSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
113"Little Dude and the Lion"Silver TreeTheresa Mulligan RosenthalSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
124"Pants on Fire"Geeta PatelMike OppenhuizenSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
135"The Egg Is Pipping"Wendey StanzlerBob SmileySeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
146"In the Dragon's Lair"Silver TreeRobia RashidSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
157"The Smudging"Pam ThomasRobia Rashid & Dennis SalduaSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
168"Living at an Angle"Pete ChatmonJen Regan & Theresa Mulligan RosenthalSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
179"Ritual-licious"Ryan CaseMike Oppenhuizen & D.J. RyanSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
1810"Ernest Shackleton's Rules for Survival"Ken WhittinghamRobia RashidSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)

Background and productionEdit

The coming-of-age[4] series, originally known as Antarctica, was created and written by Robia Rashid,[5] who previously worked on How I Met Your Mother and The Goldbergs as a producer.[12] For a more accurate portrayal, she consulted with Michelle Dean, a California State University professor who worked at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment.[13][14] Gilchrist said in an interview for Vulture, "[Rashid] wrote the script. We talked a ton and I did research and I watched movies and I read books".[7] The supporting character Christopher is played by Anthony Jacques, who is autistic.[15]

On September 13, 2017, Atypical was renewed for a ten-episode second season.[16] David Finch, who is autistic, joined the writing team.[15] Eight autistic actors from The Miracle Project have supporting roles in the second season as members of a peer support group which Sam joins,[17] and other autistic actors play neurotypical characters.[18] Executive producer Mary Rohlich also said the show was "bringing in more female directors and female diversity":[19] seven of the ten episodes were directed by women and half of the writing team were female.[20]

On October 24, 2018, Atypical was renewed for a third season which will consist of 10 episodes.[21] In May 2019, it was announced Eric McCormack and Sara Gilbert would recur in the third season.[22]


Season one was released on August 11, 2017, and consisted of eight episodes.[13][23] The second season was released on September 7, 2018, and consisted of 10 episodes.[24][25]


Season 1Edit

At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the first season received a score of 66, based on 20 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews",[26] and a score of 77% at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.32 out of 10.[27] The acting, including Gilchrist's performance, was generally well-received,[28][29][30] although Gilchrist's portrayal received criticism from some quarters for being inaccurate and stereotypical.[3][1] The lack of autistic people in the cast was also questioned.[1][2]

Season 2Edit

Sara Luterman of The New York Times writes that the second season improves on the first. Sam's decision to go to art school deviates from common depictions of autism, and his autism is no longer "the source of [his family's] misery". Luterman praises the involvement of more autistic people as writers and actors, but criticizes that Sam's misogyny is unaddressed and that he is "still portrayed as more of a checklist than a person".[15] Lorraine Ali of Los Angeles Times lauds the show's continuing "unique perspective, sharp humor and empathy", and describes the show as a "wonderfully atypical family drama" with "many moving and awkward moments".[18]

In a negative review, Jen Chaney of Vulture writes that the show "loses some of its focus" in the second season, such as with the "unnecessary side plot" of Julia, an "underdeveloped side character", or by attempting to make Zahid a "lovably wacky sidekick". Chaney writes that the show "often seem contrived or aim blatantly for the easy joke", and criticizes scenes between Doug and Elsa which "don't seem reflective of actual human behavior". However, Chaney praises Lundy-Paine's acting, which switches between "understanding and exasperation", and Gilchrist's "yard-stick straight" acting.[31]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Satellite Awards Best Musical or Comedy Series Atypical Nominated [32]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Rowe, Mickey (August 8, 2017). "Netflix's "Atypical" Was a Major Disappointment for Autism Representation". Teen Vogue. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Murray, Noel (August 11, 2017). "My teen son has autism. Here's what Netflix's new dramedy Atypical gets wrong". The Week. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Moss, Haley (August 11, 2017). "My Autistic Opinion: Atypical is a Stereotypical Representation of Autism". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Wagmeister, Elizabeth (October 17, 2016). "Netflix Greenlights 'Atypical' Autism Family Comedy Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Andreeva, Nellie (October 17, 2016). "Netflix Greenlights Autism Comedy From 'The Goldbergs' Duo; Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist & Michael Rapaport To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gilbert, Sophie (August 13, 2017). "Atypical Is So Close to Great". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "After Atypical, Keir Gilchrist Is Done Playing Teenagers". Vulture. August 11, 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Spellberg, Claire (August 22, 2017). "Who is Brigette Lundy-Paine? Meet the Star Making Waves in 'Atypical' and 'The Glass Castle'". Decider. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (November 3, 2016). "'Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later' Casts Joey Bragg; Nik Dodani In 'Atypical'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (December 5, 2016). "'Looking' Star Raúl Castillo Joins Netflix's 'Atypical' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Chaney, Jen (August 10, 2017). "Atypical Is a Sensitive Look at Life With Autism". Vulture. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Bacle, Ariana (August 10, 2017). "Atypical star Keir Gilchrist on new Netflix show: 'Everybody's kind of odd'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "First Look: Teen with autism comes of age in Netflix's 'Atypical'". USA Today. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Thaxton, Ryan (July 18, 2017). "Watch: Netflix's Atypical Trailer Is Hilarious, but Will It Be Poignant?". Paste. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c Luterman, Sara (September 11, 2018). "How Season 2 of 'Atypical' Improves the Show's Depictions of Life as an Autistic Person". New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 13, 2017). "'Atypical' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Patton, Rebecca (September 5, 2018). "Sam's Peer Group In 'Atypical' Season 2 Is Comprised Of 8 Budding Actors With Autism — VIDEO". Bustle. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Ali, Lorraine (September 7, 2018). "Sharp, quirky and empathetic, the second season of Netflix's 'Atypical' grows with its characters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Saval, Malina (September 7, 2018). "'Atypical' Team on Bringing 'More Voices From the Autism Community' in Season 2". Variety. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (September 9, 2018). "Why Atypical Is Part of the Queer TV Revolution". The Advocate. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (October 24, 2018). "'Atypical' Renewed For Season 3 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Pedersen, Erik (May 10, 2019). "Atypical: Eric McCormack To Recur As Art Professor On Season 3 Of Netflix Dramedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  23. ^ Goldberg, Leslie (October 17, 2016). "Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist to Star in Netflix Family Comedy 'Atypical'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  24. ^ Petski, Denise (August 20, 2018). "'Atypical' Season 2 Trailer: Sam Looks To The Future Post-High School". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "Atypical (Netflix)". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Atypical - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  27. ^ "Atypical: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Gay, Verne (August 9, 2017). "'Atypical' review: Netflix breaks barriers with comedy about autism". Newsday. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  29. ^ Tallerico, Brian (August 9, 2017). "Great Cast, Empathetic Writing Make "Atypical" Stand Out". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  30. ^ Lowry, Brian (August 10, 2017). "'Atypical' explores autism via mostly ordinary Netflix show". CNN. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  31. ^ Chaney, Jen (September 4, 2018). "Atypical Season 2 Widens Its Perspective, But Loses Some Charm". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  32. ^ Pond, Steve (November 29, 2017). "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations". Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved September 18, 2018.

External linksEdit