Atypical Season 3: Review

Atypical season 3 just came out, and was binged just as quickly by George Bell, who discusses the development of the characters through the season and the show's growth.

George Bell
18th November 2019
Credit: IMDb, Netflix
In 2019, Netflix has given us lots of third seasons for our favourite shows like Stranger Things, Jessica Jones and Big Mouth. The latest to receive this treatment is the hit show, Atypical. This wholesome comedy series follows the story of Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum as he explores life and relationships. The third season continues this story with Sam starting college and the struggles he comes across.

Season 3 of Atypical is more of the feel-good comedy of the previous seasons which is exactly what was wanted but also delivered on multiple heavy-hitting points throughout the story that keeps you engaged throughout. I don’t know if it’s because I only recently started university myself but I felt that this season was a lot more relatable than previous ones, as the struggles not only undergone by Sam, but other members of the cast, to adjust to the new environment seemed to show how difficult university can be like without the right support. While I did enjoy the main plot around Sam, it was also engaging to continue following other stories in the world like Sam’s sister and their parents and the issues they are facing. Looking back at season 1 and where the characters all end up now, I realise how effective and realistic the development of each of them is, not just Sam. It's definitely worth a re-watch for that alone.

Gilchrist has gained a better understanding of the character

While previous seasons were criticised for their interpretation of autism, I felt that now entering its third season the Atypical writers have successfully found the right way to represent those on the spectrum so to not be offensive. Actor Keir Gilchrist, despite not being on the spectrum, was chosen for the role of Sam which is partially why there was discontempt within the audience, but also just an overall poor representation of autism in prior seasons. But with seasons progressing it is clear that Gilchrist has gained a better understanding of the character and as a result gives a much more realistic performance.

Other performances in the show were great, especially when coupled with the interesting yet grounded situations they entered be it questioning sexual orientation, losing friends or divorce. Sam’s family moments come across as hilarious, sweet and very real thanks to great chemistry between Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine), Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Doug (Michael Rapaport) and of course Sam.

Season 3 was a great addition to the Atypical series improving on all aspects of the last seasons with loads of laughs and heartfelt moments and I for one can’t wait for season 3.

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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