If my generation has one thing figured out, it’s that life isn’t comparable to “The Notebook” or other cheesy romance movies. We’ve begun to acknowledge that everybody and everything is so weird and complicated — how could a movie or TV show possibly be relatable to everyone’s tangled lives? The answer is that it can’t. While fabricated films show young love ending with everyone happy and together are fun to watch, I don’t feel a sense of connection with the characters.
Today’s culture thrives on the idea that their life is just as hectic as everyone else’s. Netflix original “Atypical” does that very thing. This show encompasses teenage drama and real-life problems in a way that brings me back to my high school days. The story line surrounds a teen boy on the autism spectrum, his queer sister and their parents trying to work through the mother’s infidelity. Although not everyone can relate to this exact scenario, how the relationship problems are showcased and dealt with makes the show feel personal. The best part is that even through all their struggles, the family still shares heartwarming moments of togetherness that makes everything feel worth it.
Having no family members on the spectrum, I have a lot to learn when it comes to the disorder. This show gave me insight into their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We could all stand to learn a little more about what it’s like to be in their shoes. Sam, the main character of the show, is shy and quiet but amazingly loyal, smart and artistic. His day-to-day struggles are present whenever there is loud music or conflict.
And though I am not a part of the queer comunnity, I think we can all relate to Casey, Sam’s sister’s problems with dating as a teen. It can all be weird and new and confusing and really hard at times, and following your heart is easier said than done. She is a perfect example of being afraid to show off who you really are, but doing it anyway. Lots of people find love when they’re already in a relationship, which can be an extremely tricky situation to handle.
Their mother, Elsa, was not receiving the attention she needed from her husband, so she cheated on him with a bartender. Again, something a lot of married couples go through. The dad is heartbroken and so is Elsa, but they continue to go through the motions of raising their children while trying to piece their marriage together.
Casey learns from her mother’s mistakes that cheating is never the answer and deals with her problems using communication rather than rash decisions.
All in all, this show depicts real-life situations and heartbreak that is experienced by so many. Personally, watching a show that follows the characters through these hard times with family and relationships is much more cathartic than watching a rom-com where every episode ends happily ever after. We’re all experiencing the craziness of today's world, we might as well embrace it and learn to deal with it in the best way possible.