Where to watch it: Netflix
Seasons available: Three
This series’s primary character is Sam who has high functioning autism. Sam is a high school senior who has set his sights on a reasonable goal – he wants to see boobs. Slightly thrown off by his wording but not deterred, his therapist, Julia, assures him that people on the spectrum can and do date. With the support of his loyal wing-man and best homie, Zahid, they begin to tackle this problem. The journey to find a girlfriend, see boobs, and maybe one day have sex becomes a hilariously adorable obsession led by his own personal Yoda.
He has a myriad of people to support him in his daily life. His sister younger, Casey, is track star who lives to both torture and protect him the same. His dad, Doug, an EMT that struggles to connect with Sam but desperately wants to. And his mom, Elsa….. well, she is something. Her whole life has turned into an identity of “child of an autism mom” and she doesn’t know what to do with herself unless she is smothering people with help.
Is it worth watching: 100% I feel that this is Netflix least talked about, most underrated original. It is by far, my favorite Netflix original right now. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for something new to watch. This series shows the struggles that Sam goes through but it doesn’t apologize or baby him. It doesn’t make you feel sorry for him. He is represented as a normal human being. He has friends, a job, short term and long term goals. It also shows the harder times. The times that he deescalates and breaks down to excessive stimulation. The times that he simply does not understand social cues.
At the same time, the show is not just about Sam but also about the people around him. The supporting characters are well developed and genuinely likable.
Zahid is an amazing friend that we would all be lucky to have if you can overlook his absolute nonsense and inadvertent bad influence. However, he is a true ride-or-die that would and does anything in his power to support Sam.
His therapist, Julia, goes above and beyond her job with true compassion. She provides Sam with support and insight to do empower him to do things that he would have never have done without her guidance.
Casey is true gold. She is the definition of a little sister. She could care less that Sam is on the spectrum. It is her personal job to smack him upside the head when he’s being annoying, move his things to torture him, and tease him to his breaking point. But she is also his defender. She will literally fight anyone who messes with him, keep his lunch money so he doesn’t loss it, and sit with him at lunch if he’s alone.
Doug is a complicated person. When Sam was little and initially diagnosed, he panicked and stepped out for months. When he returned, he came back as an outsider in a sense. While he has a great relationship with Casey, he struggles to communicate with Sam and feels inadequate. Doug is a good guy and great dad. As the series progresses, his relationship with Sam improves.
Elsa, Elsa, Elsa. There is no character like Elsa. She has dedicated her life to being Sam’s mom. This means smothering him. Ignoring Casey and Doug at times. Verbally attacking his therapist because she feels threatened by their relationship. And eventually imploding her own marriage on a quest to rediscover herself when she feels like no one needs her anymore.
There’s also a lot of other great characters that are picked up along the way but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
I absolutely adore this show and cannot speak more highly of it. Go watch it!