This show is so confusing for me. I love it. I really love it. However I have no idea why. I went into it expecting something as irreverently funny as Seth's other work. I was expecting it to be American Dad or Family Guy the live version I suppose or even something more akin to the Galaxy Quest movie. So I was initially disappointed and thought to myself I'm not going to keep watching this. Then before I knew it the first episode was over. I haven't missed one since. I even find myself looking forward to it every week. I still don't know why. The funny moments are mild at best and few and far between. The acting is somewhat melodramatic but not even good guilty pleasure melodramatic that you can sink your teeth into. The only thing I can think of is that I love the genre so much. I was an avid fan of all the Star Trek series. I loved Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Firefly. I even loved Andromeda. So I suppose, maybe I'll just watch anything that gives me that sort of format. Am I the only one who feels this way? That I love it and just don't know why? I realize it may not be everyone's cup of tea. But for me, it's really quite enjoyable.
The first time I watched Atypical I got what I call blurry head. Blurry head happens when I am overwhelmed with emotional stimuli. I go into a state for lack of a better way to express it is trance like. It also happens to me when I'm exposed to certain types of light or extremely loud noise. The only loud noise that has never had this effect on me is music. In fact loud music creates a trance like state itself but in a completely different way. Loud music instantly blocks everything else out. The things that are causing me distress or discomfort completely fade away and all that exists is the music. Granted this only works with music that I like. Music I don't like has the first effect. It's like a system overload. It's too much and I just stop functioning. It's like a computer going in to sleep mode. I became overwhelmed the first time I watched it because watching Sam (the main character) was like watching a past version of myself. I struggled with all those things. I still do sometimes. I'm much better at managing them now but I don't understand them any better. A lot of the things people do seem confusing and alien to me. For example, something that literally millions of people do is something I would never do. I have never watched beyond the first episode of any reality television show where people deceive, lie or use underhanded tactics on others. Or shows that focus on people that other people deem less than them. Where you watch someone else's drunken behaviour and laugh at it or watch someone from a remote small town's naivete about things and laugh at them. I can't watch shows like that. I can't watch anything that includes unkindness with no comeuppance for the people being unkind or breaking the rules. I'm on the Autism spectrum. Rules make life make sense to me. And I don't understand how they don't seem to for other people. Unkind people are supposed to be held accountable for their behaviour. Those are the rules. In my mind good people don't treat each other the way they do on shows like Survivor or Big Brother. So I don't understand how anyone gets enjoyment from watching people be cruel to each other. Good people don't laugh at other people's shortcomings. So if I watch a show that does that, then I'm not a good person. It's that simple and straightforward in my mind. So the fact that other people can watch shows like that and enjoy them and still be good people makes no sense to me. The journey from point A shouldn't get you to point B. No good person should enjoy that. And there in a nutshell you have an idea of how someone on the spectrum's mind works. I see people I know who are good people based on their actions watching, laughing at and enjoying these shows and my brain goes blurry because it doesn't make sense. Good people shouldn't enjoy that so how are they still good? Yet the empirical evidence of their behaviour shows that they are indeed good. My brain can't handle it and I shut down. When I try to discuss this with people they either become angry or hurt. I ask questions because I want to understand what seems like a paradox to me. There is no intention to hurt or anger them. All I want to do is understand them and understand why I'm not like them. For that I need evidence. For evidence I have to observe and ask questions. So we learn to stop asking questions. We learn to sit quietly in groups with a slight smile. Because if the smile isn't present people think we're upset, angry or being standoffish. So we remain confused by the behaviour. We don't understand it. And for atypical brains, not understanding something is one of the worst things in the world. We get used to feeling completely apart from everyone even when we're surrounded by people. I recommend everybody should watch Atypical. It will help you understand people who aren't neurotypical better. Especially if you have someone like me in your life. Because believe me I know. Not understanding someone you care about is one of the worst feelings in the world.
It might have something to do on the bordering on creepy cougar crush I have on Jackson Rathbone. Nontheless I absolutely loved this web series and am truly sad it was only a mere five episodes. It's a dramedy that gets it right and perfectly suited to Jackson Rathbone's dorky yet charming portrayal of the lead character. There's enough action (via the fight scenes), high school angst, sexual innuendo and comedic moments to create a nice balance. The writing probably wouldn't win any awards but not everything needs to be Shakespeare in order to be top notch entertainment. The bottom line is I was instantly hooked and watched all the episodes continuously without even thinking about it because I couldn't wait for more. If that isn't an indication that it was a good, straight up, tongue-in-cheek piece of entertainment I don't know what is. Maybe if it was a full fledged 1/2 hour or full hour show, the premise might start to wear thin and it wouldn't be as entertaining, but as is, it gets five stars from me for being just some good, mindless fun. That and the fact that Jackson Rathbone could probably read the phone book on film and I would think it was brilliant, especially if he was shirtless. There I go bordering on creepy again. ;-)