‘Atypical’ S3 is coming. Here’s everything we know
Sometimes Netflix giveth (Lucifer), and sometimes Netflix taketh away (R.I.P. The OA). And sometimes Netflix giveth again, as the third season premiere of Atypical returns on Friday, Nov. 1 with 10 bingeable episodes.
Created by Robia Rashid, Atypical follows 18-year-old Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist) on the hunt for love (and also penguins). Sam is on the autism spectrum, and much of the first season is focused on his mom Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) coming to terms with her diminished role as a caregiver, just as much as Sam looks for love.
What do we have to look forward to in Atypical season 3?
For starters, Atypical S3 is coming out at midnight on Halloween. “You know what that means,” Zahid (Nik Dodani) explained in E! News’s exclusive date announcement. “Costumes! Please dress like us.”
Atypical S2 ends with Sam applying to university through the support of his therapist Julia (Amy Okuda); he earns a spot on Denton University’s Scientific Illustration course. S3 follows Sam as he starts college and experiences all the highs and lows and confusing messes of college life, grappling with the pressure of growing up and working out what he wants his future to look like.
Back at home, Elsa is expected to continue on her own journey as her children grow up and move out of their childgood home, forcing her to examine what she wants outside of her role as a caregiver.
Goodbye high school, hello debauched college life
Sometimes, television shows don’t know when to let their main characters graduate and head off to college. Sabrina the Teenage Witch on The CW, 90210 also on The CW, Gossip Girl yet again on The CW, Boy Meets World on ABC, Glee on Fox, and at this point the main cast of characters on The CW’s Riverdale are starting to look like the undead, centuries-old vampires from Twilight.
TV writers need to recognize when their main characters are starting to look the same age as the PTA parents they’re supposed to be rebelling against, and Atypical has been refreshing in that it’s followed the natural progression of a kid who started out in high school and didn’t spend seven years there before going to a college that looks like a recycled high school set.
The duality between Sam growing more independent and Elsa releasing she needs to relinquish control over her kids’ lives has been a focal point of Atypical’s past two seasons, and we look forward to seeing how they manage to survive away from the same household.
New cast members shake things up
Sara Gilbert, previously Darlene on Roseanne and currently Darlene on The Conners, is slated for a recurring role as Sam’s new ethics professor. Will & Grace star Eric McCormack is also expected to take on a role, as Sam’s art professor.
Previous recurring guest stars included Graham Philips, Casey Wilson, Raúl Castillo and Graham Rogers. After criticism during the first season for the lack of autistic representation on a show about autism, Atypical’s showrunners took steps to feature more actors and writers on the spectrum.
Eight autistic actors from The Miracle Project were featured in supporting roles during the second season in a peer support group joined by Sam, while other autistic actors held neurotypical roles.
At any rate, Atypical looks like a mix of fresh talent and old favorites, and Nov. 1 can’t come soon enough.