Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer

The much-anticipated second season of the Netflix original series of “Atypical” was finally released at the beginning of September. In the first season its audience fell in love with the Gardner family and their journey with their son Sam as he tries to make the transition into early adult life with autism. The second season is a continuation of that much-loved journey.

The cliffhanger that the audience was left with in the first season is finally relieved in the second. This season addresses the issues of the affair Elsa, the mother, had with the bartender, what Sam’s senior year and life after will entail, how Sam’s sister Casey will adjust to her new prestigious school and what will happen with therapist Julia, who is an expectant mother. No matter the fact that season two carries on many of the plotlines from the first season, the second is not short of plot twists and cliffhangers.

Season two took a step back in terms of its comedic aspect but narrows in on what life is like for someone with autism and their family. It is the new dramatic and realistic take in the second season that makes it a breath of fresh air for its fans. It starts to focus on the struggles of each individual rather than solely focusing on Sam. This adds to the storyline which otherwise would start to become redundant.

This show has gotten mixed reviews since releasing the second season.
USA Today said, “Its sweetness and predictability make it a little too typical to be great.” On the other hand, the Los Angeles Times stated, “Though it risks offending some, but it does more good than harm by demystifying a sensitive and painful subject with an unapologetic candor.”
It is the unapologetic nature of the show that captivates its viewers.

I would have to agree that overall this series does a lot of good in terms of raising awareness for autism. It highlights the need for first responders to be trained on how to interact with people who have autism. It also expresses the importance on self-care, including healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.

There are certain aspects of the show that seem a little unrealistic. Some of Sam’s behavior throughout both seasons are cause for concerns. Although he does have autism that does not excuse all his behavior. Realistically, you would see more of a reaction from those around him in the real world. This aspect adds to the drama of the show despite its unrealistic portrayal.

Overall, I would recommend this show as a must-see to others. It gives its audience relatable characters and the situations they find themselves in. It can change the perspective on how people view autism as well as normal family life. If you have not seen this show, add it to your Netflix queue for your next binge-watching session. I look forward to finding out if this show will be renewed for another season and what journey it will take us on next.