A new TV series from the team behind How I Met Your Mother and The Goldbergs has been given an eight-episode go ahead by Netflix. Atypical will be written and produced by Robia Rashid with Seth Gordon directing the pilot and serving as co-producer.
The TV series will follow an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum named Sam, who on his funny yet painful journey of self-discovery and independence upends his entire family, forcing them all to grapple with change in their own lives as they all struggle with the central theme: what does it really mean to be normal?
Atypical has scooped up a plethora of experienced actors with Keir Gilchrist (It Follows) to play Sam, Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) to play Sam’s mother, Elsa and Michael Rapaport (Prison Break) to play his father Doug. Brigette Lundy-Paine (Margot vs Lily) has also joined the cast as Sam’s sister Casey and Amy Okuda (The Guild) will play his therapist Julia.
Although mental illness and disability has often been oversimplified or glorified in the film/TV industry, the series will come on the back of a successful first season of ABC’s Speechless and will attempt to restore credibility to the industry’s sensitivity. Autism has been portrayed successfully before in films like The Story of Luke and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and with the strong cast and production team Atypical looks to become another on that list.
The dark comedy will join the spate of Netflix produced comedies that are soon to premiere including Drew Barrymore’s Santa Clarita Diet and Keegan-Michael Key’s Friends From College. The series will begin production later this year.
Jennifer Jason Leigh will be making TV her new home for a while, also appearing in the Twin Peaks reboot and with Atypical marking her first regular role on a TV series.