Atypical is a coming of age story that follows Sam (played by Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum as he searches for love and independence. While Sam is on his funny yet emotional journey of self-discovery, the rest of his family must grapple with change in their own lives as they all struggle with the central theme: what does it really mean to be normal? Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as his mother, Elsa, who is on her own journey of self-discovery.
Michael Rapaport plays his father, Doug. Brigette Lundy-Paine (Margot vs Lily, The Glass Castle) plays Sam’s sister Casey and Amy Okuda (How to Get Away with Murder) plays his therapist Julia. The series produced by Sony Pictures Television is created and written by Robia Rashid (The Goldbergs, How I Met Your Mother, Will & Grace). Academy Award winning producer Seth Gordon (Baywatch, The Goldbergs, Horrible Bosses, The King of Kong) directs several episodes. Rashid and Gordon serve as executive producers along with Mary Rohlich, and with Jennifer Jason Leigh serving as a producer.
Sam is a great character and I am so happy Netflix and Sony Pictures Television have produced this wonderful series that opens the door on what families with children on the spectrum face everyday. I have such respect for the special needs community as I view them as heroes. We don’t necessarily hear about these families in the news but they face real challenges everyday. But this show is also about hope and how the human spirit is truly resilient.
I spoke to a couple folks over at Netflix about the research that went into creating this show. Experts from the Autism community were consulted to make sure that the story and dialogue was an accurate portrayal of how children and adults with autism might view the world and also the challenges families who have children on the spectrum might encounter.
This week I was invited to attend the screening premiere at Sony Studios and was SO excited to see the one and only Jennifer Jason Leigh in person! Who else has been in love with her since her days of Fast Times at Ridgemont High?! I was so excited to see her but I held (attempted to hold) my cool – sort of! I was too shy to ask for a selfie but I was able to get some pictures from the Atypical Red Carpet Event!
But the highlight of my night, besides watching two episodes of Atypical, was meeting Anthony Jacques, Jr. and his wonderful family, Luisa and Anthony Sr. at the event. It just so happened that all of us arrived around the same time and headed up to the theater on the studio lot. We started talking and I found out that their son, Anthony Jr., is in the final two episodes of Atypical.
And what’s even more impressive is that this is his very first acting job. Oh, and did I mention he is the only actor in the series who is on the spectrum? He is truly amazing and such a wonderful role model. I told his mother that his very being gives hope and courage to families such as theirs. I am a fan of him and his remarkable family! And kudos to Netflix for casting such an amazing role model.
After screening the first two episodes we were invited to the after party on the lot. There were hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and most of the cast hung out for a bit. I spoke to Brigette Lundy-Paine two college roommates who had flown out from New York for the premiere and they spoke about how proud they were of Bridgette and the work she is doing. She was a total sweetheart and I have to say she is one of my favorite characters in the show. The kindness she shows to her brother, Sam, is very endearing. From protecting him from bullies at school, to helping him set up his profile on a dating service, she has his back.
I also spoke with Amy Okuda (The Man in the High Castle and The Guild) and Graham Rogers (Love & Mercy and Careful What You Wish For) who plays Casey’s love interest. We spoke a little about his life in Hollywood and how he just went for it after graduating from high school. He’s been in the business now for a few years and I think we will be seeing more of him. He is very adorable – up on screen and in person!
I do hope you enjoy Atypical as much as I have. I plan to do some binge watching this weekend on Netflix! Sunday is my day off and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the show.
You can see more clips from the series here.
HOSTED BY: Sony Pictures Television and Netflix