Hello fellow Netflix streamers from around the globe. Today’s review is about a family who go into hilarious yet dramatic situations in a realistic take on sitcoms. Unlike many sitcoms, this show streamlines an eight-part storyline focusing on family members Sam & Casey as they both look for a special someone in their young lives. The premise I’m referring to is none other than “Atypical.”
Atypical officially streamed in 2017. (same year Logan came out) It received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. A second season streamed in 2018 with decent reviews.
Atypical’s third season is currently in production with The Cast & Crew coming back. The reason why I wanted to watch this series, is because Netflix has released an extended cut of Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh (one of Quentin’s favorite actresses) as Daisy Domergue. I’m also supporting “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” by spreading word of mouth to anybody who’s eager to see it in late July.
Today’s review does not contain any crucial SPOILERS listed. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
The Whole Series
Positive: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Michael Rapaport, Brigette Lundy-Paine & Amy Okuda all did a decent job for their respective performances.
Other Cast Members such as Nik Dodani, Graham Rogers & Jenna Boyd all did a good job for their respective performances.
Chemistry between Sam’s family, friends & his therapist Julia felt organic.
The Tone managed to balance seriousness & comedy. Thank god the sappy music from “Full House” wasn’t used in dramatic moments.
In addition to starring in a lead role, Jennifer Jason Leigh also co-produce the show.
Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) served as an executive producer of the show.
First time showrunner Robia Rashid did an ok job developing the show. She had some experience working as a producer on “How I Met Your Mother” & “The Goldbergs.”
Sam’s quest is to find himself a girlfriend. He navigates his way to learn how to woo a girl.
“Technopolis” is the name of an electronic store where Sam works at, is based on “Best Buy.” I could really use a 4K flatscreen if Sam were my friend without paying a dime.
Sam & Casey both earn themselves Character Development. The latter character was more interesting than Sam. Why wasn’t she the main focus? She’s less idiotic than Sam!
Antarctica & Penguins are frequently mentioned throughout the whole season. Sam constantly narrates as if he’s Morgan Freeman narrating “March Of The Penguins.”
A recurring character is named, Nick. I’m giving a show or movie an Extra Point if a character shares my first name. Makes me feel good about myself.
Negative: Some episodes suffer from a bad case of Shaky Cam.
I know Sam is trying to get himself a girl, but he acts like a complete moron without thinking this through. Look, I understand he’s on the spectrum, but as an actual individual on the spectrum, I would never say something ridiculous to a woman. The best way to describe Sam is in fact a male version of Rose Tico from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Larry David is capable of being nice when he’s on the spectrum. Look up that one scene from the episode “Namaste” when he confronts a mechanic.
An early romance unexpectedly occurred with two characters. In real life, it’ll take a week or two to get to know a boy/girl before an actual relationship begins.
Product Placement featuring brands such as Roku, Snickers, Adidas, Dasani, Apple, Ford, Tide, Skippy, JanSport, MacBook, Olive Garden, Sony & Toyota.
Episode 1 – Antarctica
Cool: First episode’s title is obviously named after a continent whom Sam is very fond of penguins.
First episode introduces the characters with each distinctive personality showing who he/she is identified as typical or atypical (no pun intended) in a quirky level.
Casey meets a person named, Evan.
Elsa meets an individual who factors in the first season.
Sam & Doug have a father & son moment.
Sam does his impression of The Joker smiling.
Burning: Nothing bad happened.
Episode 2 – A Human Female
Yay: Episode 2’s title is named after Sam’s quest to find himself a girlfriend.
Sam embarks on his mission using his notes to adapt.
Casey learns about more about Evan.
Nay: Camera suffers from Shaky Cam.
Sam does something idiotic.
A premature romance unexpectedly occurred. I hate an early romance.
Episode 3 – Julia Says
Open: Episode 3’s title is named after a quote by Sam.
Sam seeks an “upgrade.”
A family secret is revealed. I don’t wanna tell ya fellas.
Closed: Shaky Cam is still present.
Episode 4 – A Nice Neutral Smell
Good: Elsa gets into bizarre situations as a result of her actions.
Sam makes a golden opportunity to continue his quest.
Casey receives an offer.
The Gardner Family eat dinner together.
Episode 5 – That’s My Sweetheart
Sweet: Episode 5’s title is named after a quote from Sam.
A closet scene made me laugh my rump off.
Casey goes on a “trip.”
Elsa deals with some “personal issues.”
Sam made a huge milestone.
Sour: The camera can’t hold still.
Episode 6 – The D-Train To Bone Town
Big: Episode 6’s title is taken from a quote from Sam’s friend, Zahid.
Paige plans an upcoming school dance.
Episode 6 ends with a big reveal. I can’t tell you.
Small: Do I need to take a shot every time I mentioned Shaky Cam? I hate it when a camera does not stay still!
Episode 7 – I Lost My Poor Meatball
Victorious: Episode 7’s title is named after a crowd singing “I Lost My Poor Meatball.”
A dance scene is shown, which is played for laughs.
Somebody receives good news.
Episode 7 contains a surprise twist. In the words of the Peter Boyle, (Frank from Everybody Loves Raymond) “HOLY CRAP!”
Defeat: Camera continues to suffer a bad case of Shaky Cam. YIKES!
Episode 8 – The Silencing Properties Of Snow
Stable: The Season Finale ties up loose ends, until Season 2 continues the trail.
Episode 8 has some “Drama Bomb” moments. Drama Bomb is one of Lumpy Space Princess’ (LSP for short) catchphrases from “Adventure Time.”
Sam & Casey attend a school dance with their own partner.
Two characters make amends.
Paige has an over-the-top scene. I’m giving her an Extra Point for making me laugh my butt off.
Sam journey is finished, but not quite an end.
The Ending sets up Season 2.
Unstable: Camera is once again shaky. Who’s in charge of filming, Woody Woodpecker after he drank a 24 pack of Monster Energy?!
The Final Verdict: B-
In my opinion, Atypical’s first season is not an excellent or worst beginning of a new series, I find it average. It’s not quite on the same level as “Andi Mack.” Although Sam acts like a complete moron, I liked Elsa, Casey & Doug’s chemistry as a family. Humor and drama managed to balance both as part of a balanced meal & plot was kinda good. Emphasis on the word, “kinda.” If you’re curious to watch Atypical, go ahead and give it a try.