Netflix's newest comedy is, as the title suggests, a bit unorthodox. "Atypical" will explore how a teenager manages his autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as he desires to be a more independent individual.
Teens, as it is, experience struggles with fitting in but how much more challenging is this for someone with ASD? Enter "Atypical," which is a coming-of-age story that centers on Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist).
At 18 years old, Sam decides he should start dating. His choice, however, worries his mom Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and dad Doug (Michael Rapaport), who now have to learn to balance and adjust parenting a young adult with special needs.
Sam, while sweet and intelligent, is quite blunt and a bit gullible when it comes to dating advice. Gilchrist, who doesn't have autism in real life, said his character will still be relatable to anyone who will watch the show.
"Most people will relate to the way he puts into the words the difficulties (of) dating," Gilcrhist told USA Today. "The way he describes some situations is basically how everyone feels, but most people don't actually put it into words."
Robia Rashid created "Atypical" and consulted a professor working at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment for the ideas. The hope is to allow the show to define what it really means to be "normal" and to present a family doing their best to connect with a son with special needs.
"Atypical" joins a handful of other series featuring people with special needs. The most recent series to debut on the small screen is "Speechless" on ABC and it's a comedy with a teenager with cerebral palsy.
Netflix greenlit "Atypical" in October for a total of eight episodes. The show also stars Brigette Lundy-Paine (Casey Gardner) and Amy Okuda (Julia, therapist). The streaming site will drop all of the show's half-hour episodes on Aug. 11. Check out a short teaser to the series below.