TV Review: Special (S1) | A Nice Surprise with Heart and Laughs

After watching a trailer for the show, I was in. I thought that Ryan O’Connell, the creator, writer, star and producer was compelling in that trailer. The show is based on O’Connell’s memoir “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” co-starring with O’Connell is Friends alum Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel (Space Force), Augustus Prew (Prison Break), Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), and Marla Mindelle (The Nomads).

Premise: A young gay man with mild cerebral palsy branches out from his insular existence in hopes of finally going after the life he wants.

Review: I was interested in a show about homosexuality and disability, having watched and enjoyed the first few seasons of the show Speechless. I was curious to have a glimpse at what the gay experience of a disable person was like. However, when Special premiered on Netflix I didn’t rush to see it but once I started I couldn’t stop.

The whole season felt like one movie or several short films. Each of them with a theme, a main plot point that could sum up or title the episode. It doesn’t mean that the 14+ minutes episodes don’t have an impact on the viewer. It’s honest, it makes you laugh, think, and cringe.

One of the things that I liked the most about the show, is that it’s not just about Ryan, some time is spent on his mom, and of course it covers their relationship. She’s probably the character I like the most on the show, Hecht turned in a really good performance. She makes a good mother-son pair with O’Connell. The show also doesn’t sanctify Ryan, he’s just as flawed as the rest of us.

Special is a solid TV-Show that is worth your time. It has heart and laughs, and was a nice surprise.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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