• "Condensating bitches."

Atypical SaltThe show about an autist and his Love Quest

Discussion in 'Salt Mine' started by The Valeyard, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. Atypical is a Netflix Original series about a teenager with Autism Spectrum Disorder and his Love Quest. (Discussion thread here)



    When the show was first announced its Facebook page received some preemptive negative reviews.

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    Now that the series has been released on Netflix, the page has received several more negative reviews from autists who were offended, in addition to negative reviews from Salon, The Playlist and The A.V. Club.

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  2. Every time something with some character with autism is released, all the autists start crying about misrepresentation and ableism because it doesn't match their exact autism. It's like the very definition of autism on display.

    Show looks lame though, but that's just me.
     
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  3. It's stupid because a functioning version of Chris is the only thing this has going for it.
     
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    NumberingYourState

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  4. Exactly. Every case of autism is different, for reasons we still don't understand.

    Mainstream people don't really have the time to learn every individual idiosyncrasy of autism, sorry.
     
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    Hortator

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  5. lol if they hired an autistic actor, it'd be even shittier
     
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  6. They should've gone down to Rucklersville and got the real deal to star in it.
     
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  7. I bet he gets the hot girl in the end. *eyeroll*
     
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    Sinners Sandwich

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  8. Only after curing his autism by listening to binaural beats.
     
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    The Nameless One

    The Nameless One c-cup milking breasts with tits and all
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  9. "As an Autistic..."

    Stop.

    Literally nobody fucking cares, it's not relevant to your argument, and your desperate shoehorning of that fact into your argument isn't helping matters at all, so be quiet.
     
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    RADICALGOBLIN

    RADICALGOBLIN ALL Y'ALL FUNNY LOOKIN NIGGAS BACK THE FUCK UP

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  10. Netflix is trying to be inclusive, but they never learn that that will never satisfy anyone.

    I hate that this show gave me a thought of a tv show about Chris chan.
     
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  11. I would watch that. Especially the Snider saga.
     
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    Sinners Sandwich

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  12. What's the big deal? I watched the trailer and it's a dorky socially awkward guy with a stupid haircut. As portrayls of mental illness go that's pretty soft, I mean it's not like they did this or anything.

     
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  13. Well, at least it's not that cartoonish...
    Thinking about it, getting spergy over Atypical is stupid because these series about people with conditions come and go as awareness of them in the public comes and goes. The closest thing I have to a beef with the show is the choice of an actor for the main character. His face just looks ...off. Maybe it's an easy way to signal to the audience he's autistic and I'm fine with that, but he just looks off.
     
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  14. Netflix's "Atypical" Was a Major Disappointment for Autism Representation

    In this op-ed, actor Mickey Rowe explains why Netflix's new show Atypical misrepresents its autistic audience — and why that begins with its failure to include the autistic community in its creative process.

    On Aug. 11, Netflix will debut its new comedy Atypical, which revolves around an autistic high school senior named Sam (played by Keir Gilchrist, who is not on the spectrum) who's navigating the confusing world of dating. As an autistic 20-something myself, I was excited when I learned about the show and Netflix’s decision to feature autism onscreen. I had hoped Atypical would be able to offer a glimmer of representation. But instead, I was disappointed.

    A little about me, for starters: I am very happily married, have two kids, and feel relatively lucky in my field of regional theater — I’m currently the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and one of the first autistic actors to play any autistic character ever. While I have been fortunate to have many professionals and doctors who specialize in autism help me learn to be successful, I have had many general practice physicians and therapists who have been surprised to meet an autistic person and even more surprised that I didn’t act just like Rain Man. Having a conversation about autism with someone who isn’t a medical or disability professional is nearly impossible. Why? Because our media loves stories about autistic white men, but hates using actual autistic adults when creating these stories.

    Which brings me to Atypical. Though the show aims to bring the topic of autism to the forefront, Netflix did not confirm whether there were concerted efforts to include autistic writers, creatives, or actors in any large roles. Onscreen representation isn’t the same as behind-the-scenes representation, especially if that camera-facing depiction is flawed. It should be noted that showrunner Robia Rashid told Teen Vogue that the show worked with a professor who worked at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment while developing the series, and Netflix confirmed to Teen Vogue that Anthony Jacques, who plays Sam’s friend in one episode, has autism. Rashid also said that several crew members have autistic family members. “We’re telling a very specific story, Sam’s story, and not trying to speak for every person on the spectrum,” she said. But while exposure is great, if the creative team does not have leadership from within the community itself, it will inevitably misrepresent it. After all, consider that the motto of the autistic community is “Nothing about us without us.” That motto should have extended to Atypical, too.

    In watching the show, I noticed that it seems to play into stereotypes that I’ve experienced firsthand that could have easily been avoided and that may present damaging information about autistic people. There is so much misinformation about autism in part because we nearly always learn about autism from non-autistic people, instead of learning about autism from autistic adults. For example, I often wear headphones or ear buds. A lot of autistic people do, as they often have sensory processing disorder, too. Atypical’s first episode features an entire scene devoted to Sam's headphones in a restaurant, but the audience is conditioned to laugh at him for it. How horrible if young autistic people watch this and feel ashamed for doing something that helps them to think and function in the world.

    There are other aspects of the show that I found damaging; I felt it made Sam the butt of the joke or that it only seemed to help in perpetuating stereotypes.

    Sam is a high school senior at a regular school, and he doesn’t use an assistant or paraeducator, so he’s largely independent. Yet his parents seem to hint that they haven’t been able to go on a date since he was born, implying that they’ve sacrificed their own lives to help him through his. What’s more, they talk about Sam as if they don’t have anything in common with him and at times appear to present their son’s autism as a tragedy. In contrast, Sam’s school counselor can be seen giving a lecture about a patient of hers who spent the entire session time coming up with 95 ways to cook an egg. The audience later learns that that patient is Sam — making this not only a gross breach of patient-doctor confidentiality, but it also made me feel like the show was wanting us to laugh at Sam and not with him.

    Throughout the show, Sam’s autism manifests in how he simply makes the people around him incredibly uncomfortable. In one scene, he tells his counselor, “I can see your bra. It’s purple,” seemingly unaware that this isn’t a socially acceptable thing to say. In another, he just repeats the word “twat” over and over for no apparent reason. As he does each of these things, it feels like the audience is supposed to laugh at how weird and different Sam is. This is the crux of Atypical’s comedy, but there’s nothing that funny about turning someone’s disability into a punchline.

    Near the end of the first episode, we see Sam on a date with a girl. This is the show’s chance to say that Sam can be successful at something; that he can be suave. And what do they have Sam do? Pushes her so hard it almost seems like a punch, knocking her down to the ground after she takes off her shirt. There are so many hilarious ways they could have had Sam's date fail. Sam not understanding any of his date's nonverbal cues, for instance. Cringeworthy physical comedy isn't one of them.

    In one of the few earnest moments of the show, Sam’s date asks him, “Is there something wrong with your brain?” As as an autistic person, I can answer her second question: No. There is nothingwrong with our brains. Being different doesn’t make you bad or wrong. And you and I have far more similarities than differences.

    I can easily see school kids laughing at someone who they know is on the spectrum after watching this show, and simply assuming that they too must say the same things Sam does and have the same embarrassing difficulties in everything from relationships to school. To me, Atypical teaches us to laugh at people’s differences — and not in a good way. It is entirely possible that the show’s creators aimed to prove that Sam’s issues were the same as anyone else’s — who hasn’t felt awkward as a teenager or in relationships? But the way the storylines execute their punchlines and morals doesn’t seem to provide a lot of room to create those connections.

    That’s not to say that Atypical or any other show or movie is being intentionally bad or hurtful. Rashid told Teen Vogue that she spoke with parents of autistic children she knew from both work and life to better portray the disorder. (They were not official consultants on the show.) Yet that isn’t the same as talking to an autistic person about how they view the world and giving them the platform to present their point of view — an opportunity that is so rarely granted to them.

    According to the 2010 census, nearly 20% of the U.S. population had a disability, a statistic that includes autistic people. The CDC also reports that in the United States, 1 in 68 people have been identified with autism spectrum disorder. Yet disability has a 2% representation rate in the popular media we consume today, according to the 2016 Ruderman Family Foundation study, which isn’t very representative of the actual make-up of our country. It’s like we are erasing disabled people from our media and arts. And of that 2% representation rate, about 95% of those disabled characters are played by nondisabled actors. That’s where Netflix’s Atypical fits.

    Young actors and artists with disabilities in this country need to see positive role models who will tell us that if you are different, if you access the world differently, the world needs you! Excluding us from stories that are entirely about us unfortunately doesn’t help to accomplish this. The point of storytelling is to connect us with people we otherwise wouldn’t come in contact with, to bring us life experiences we don’t already have. That is why diversity in the arts and media matters. Inclusion in the media matters because it leads to inclusion in life. If even a show about autism can’t include autistic people thoroughly and directly, we have some good work still to be done.

    And here's some salt I found on Tumblr.

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  15. They always give them Sheldon haircuts, don't they?
     
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  16. I come from a community of autists and they don't even give a shit. They actually said they liked it.

    Also lmao "looked autistic since 3"
     
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    m0rnutz

    m0rnutz Totally not a spy

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  17. Wait, its a comedy? I thought because it was about some exceptional trying to get a girl it was going to be a drama.
     
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  18. Looks gay.
     
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    BubbleButt

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  19. Aw man, I thought this was going to be a thread about Papa Dash, or Himalayan pink salt...
     
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    hotcheetospuffs

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  20. 'Atypical Salt' makes this thread sound more like salt coming from weird sources or not behaving salty in the usual ways.
     
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    P.A

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