Robin Blassberg A&E Editor
On Nov. 1, Netflix released the third season of “Atypical,” starring Keir Gilchrist, Bridgette-Lundy Paine, and Nik Dodani. Spoilers are ahead.
The series follows Sam, played by Gilchrist, and his journey through becoming an adult while on the autism spectrum and forming a relationship with his girlfriend Jenna Boyd, played by Paige. This proves difficult due to complications in his family. His mom Elsa, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, and dad Doug, played by Michael Rapaport, are struggling as a couple. This struggle eventually spirals into Elsa cheating and the rest of the family are forced to deal with the consequences as the show goes on. Sam’s sister Casey has her own problems with her relationships and friendships. Sam must learn how to weave through life dealing with his own struggles, as well as his family’s.
Season two leaves off with Sam graduating high school and going to college. This new season serves as an accurate portrayal of the hardships and confusion of being a freshman in college, heightened by the fact he lives with autism. On top of this, he must learn how to juggle his best friend Zahid, played by Nik Dodani, getting a wild new girlfriend, which impacts his friendship with Zahid. This season seems to be the show’s boldest one yet, with new lines being crossed, such as Casey fully exploring her relationship with her best friend Izzie, played by Fivel Stewart. This show proves to be one of the most representative on Netflix, with themes of autism, mental health, and homosexuality, as well as a diverse cast.
Sam also blossoms in this season, from becoming a person people take care of, to a caretaker himself. When he learns of Zahid skipping his nursing exam to elope with Gretchen, he sets off on a journey to save him. Not only does he take care of others, but he also takes care of himself and makes decisions for himself. Upon entering college, a group of people find him and decide they want to be friends with him. They ask him where he’s dorming, and he realizes that he wants to fit in with them, and wants to dorm. His stumbling around becoming an adult makes him the relatable character he is. In an interview with Yahoo, Gilchrist stated about his character, “Sam’s just this very relatable person and that’s partly because of his honesty. He’s so honest. Almost brutally honest, at times, I would say. And it’s a lot of where the comedy comes from with his character.”
Season three is as funny as it is dramatic. You will go from laughing to feeling emotional to feeling inspired watching Sam and his family overcome their problems.