So I’m autistic, I’m like hella open about this and it’s part of my life because of how much I struggle with a lot of social things. I got recommended a show on Netflix called Atypical.
To be honest, it’s not great from my perspective and I wanna go over that because I’ve seen quite a few people on here talk about it. This is gonna be a long post so strap in.
Please note I dropped this show a while ago and everything I’m writing about it is based on my memory of the show.
Sam, the protagonist, is babied by everyone. He’s treated like a defenseless little kid and nobody bothers to even TRY to treat him like a person and yet everyone in the show expects him to understand the details and nuances of communication. His mum is especially guilty of this.
I understand wanting to protect your kid. Hell, I do that with my pets.
But there’s a LINE between warning your kid they could get hurt from something, be it emotionally or physically, and just flat-out treating your kid like a baby.
His mum gets upset Sam wants some autonomy even though he’s literally EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. He’s literally a wholeass adult and his mum is getting upset. From what I remember, the mum was also the one who was painted as the one who deserved kindness and sympathy despite her making her son almost totally dependent on her.
I get not being able to teach an autistic kid things as a neurotypical, but Sam’s mum didn’t even TRY.
Needless to say, the way Sam’s mum treated him is shitty. She didn’t prepare him for leaving her, and in a way I feel like that was on purpose.
Sam’s dad also has some yikes moments, but he’s less bad about it from what I remember.
The only family member who really wanted to prep Sam for life without his mum was his sister. She might be rough around the edges, but she’s trying her best to teach Sam stuff like how to shop for yourself and what body language means what.
I feel like Sam’s sister is the only good part of this show, and she’s on thin fucking ice.
Now, if I were to change anything about this show, I’d DEFINITELY make it less dramatic. For being a show supposedly centered around autism, it has way too many emotional plot points.
It would work better as a coming of age story where Sam learns how to take care of himself from a teacher or a classmate, bring in that found family trope that I and a lot of other autistic folks relate to. Do SOMETHING other than continuing to let Sam’s mum control his life and then get upset when he tries to do something unexpected. For the love of god, LET HIM GROW. LET HIM E X I S T.
ANYTHING. JUST DON’T MAKE THE ABLEIST MUM OUT TO BE THE FUCKING MISUNDERSTOOD MENTOR/HERO BULLSHIT.