‘Atypical’ comes back with a third season



Atypical, a Netflix original series, follows the life of Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old boy with autism, and his overprotective mother, Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

Some choose to trick-or-treat on Halloween, some stay at home and give out candy to eager kids, and some lay down on their couch, excitedly waiting for the clock to strike midnight so Netflix can drop their third season of Atypical.

The Netflix original series is centered around the life of Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year- old boy who’s on the autism spectrum. Someone who has atypical autism would only have some symptoms of autism, not all. 

What I deeply love about Atypical is that many viewers can relate to at least one character from the series. It goes over various topics — autism, sexual orientation, relationship struggles and regular hardships that life puts you through. 

Season 3 delves deeper into Sam’s friends and family and allows the viewers to not look at them from a static point of view, but as you open up their layers, you get to learn more about their characters.

You can bet all the Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Izzie’s cenes made all Atypical fans, including me, internally scream. Fans have awaited their friendship to develop into a romantic relationship and Season 3 finally delivers that by heart-wrenching slow burn. Before we got what we wanted though, we had to endure the pain of seeing Casey struggling with breaking up with her loving boyfriend.

Sam’s girlfriend Paige (Jenna Boyd), a natural born leader and an overachiever, is in a predicament when her life is turned upside down by the reality of college. The same girl who convinced the school’s PTA board to have a silent dance just so her boyfriend with autism could attend eventually breaks down and no longer feels like a go-getter.

What she expects to be a wonderful and moving college experience turns out to be a disastrous one. While on a video call with Sam, she explains to him a story of a “dorm rat” who exists within her dorm floor in hopes of encouraging him to go out and make friends. The “dorm rat” apparently eats a burrito in a corner and has no friends, while everyone laughs at her. It turns out, though, that she was the dorm rat all along — in that moment, everyone’s heart broke. 

Sam and his friendship with Zahid (Nik Dodani) was tested this season, which led to Sam being “un-homied.” Sam had to choose between doing what’s right — turning in Zahid’s lover for stealing or remaining loyal to his one best friend. We even see Sam going as far as almost stopping Zahid from a possible wedding — Woah!

Meanwhile all the teens are trying to figure out their life, Sam’s parents are having trouble in paradise. Doug (Michael Rapaport) and Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are trying to fix their broken marriage after Elsa had an affair with him. Not only is Doug having problems communicating with Elsa, but one of his friends, Maria, has got her eyes on him — slowing down the process of Elsa and him reconnecting. However, with the help of Sam’s old therapist, Elsa realizes she definitely needs to loosen up if she wants to gain Doug’s trust back.

While the show does have representation for kids with autism, it’s been criticized in the past for not accurately depicting autism. Although people also had a problem with the lack of actors with autism in Season 1, Atypical has done a better job of hiring more actors with autism, resulting in more positive reviews.

I’m hoping Atypical will return for a fourth season where we’ll see Doug and Elsa going back to a happily married life, Zahid and Sam’s experience of being roommates, Paige regaining her confidence, and Cizzie (Casey and Izzie) being the cutest girlfriends.