A coming of age comedy with a whole lot of heart, Atypical is a pleasant little surprise.
Tackling a lead with Autism is no easy task, but Keir Gilchrist is exceptional as Sam Gardner, an 18 year old boy on the autistic spectrum who is eager to finally start dating. His various idiosyncrasies and blunt remarks provide the show with a whole lot of humor, but it’s the anxiety and insecurities underneath that Gilchrist really taps into. As one character very poignantly says, “nobody is normal”, and I’m certain that any viewer watching Atypical can relate to Sam in some respect. He’s an outsider – a universal sentiment that everyone experiences for one reason or another. Fingers crossed that Gilchrist gets recognized at next year’s Emmy Awards because this is one brilliant turn.
The cast surrounding our star is also extremely likeable. I’m not Jennifer Jason Leigh’s biggest fan (she plays Sam’s mom and she was severely miscast in Revenge), but Sam’s sister Casey played by Brigette Lundy-Paine is terrific. She’s overprotective, loving, sarcastic and everything in between. I can already tell that her dynamic with Sam is going to be the show’s highlight. Amy Okuda provides a welcome dose of clarity and charm as Sam’s therapist Julia, while Michael Rapaport tackles a complex role (Sam’s somewhat distant but loving dad) with impressive nuance.
A heartwarming comedy with great performances and genuine heart. I’ve got high hopes for this one.