Do you fit in? Do you have the answer to everything? Are you always happy, always on the up and up?

Then “Atypical” is not a show for you.

What blows my mind about Netflix shows is there’s no hype. That’s reserved for movies. Have you read the Friday arts sections in the “New York Times” or the “Los Angeles Times”? Films you will never see made by people thrilled they completed a movie. That’s how far we’ve sunk, it’s easier to make a movie than get a show on Netflix.

But usually the Netflix shows are more interesting.

And at least they get a fighting chance, sort of.

I read about this movie on Netflix, now I can’t find it. There was a review somewhere, but despite having the best streaming interface, unless you want what’s popular, good luck finding it.

I’ve changed my policy, now if I read about anything good I’m making a note on my phone, my iPhone, did you read the story about Roger McNamee in the “New Yorker”?

Big Tech’s Big Defector

You should. He says Android has too many privacy problems. So now privacy is just like the rest of America, there are the haves and the have-nots, the rich and the poor, those who can afford an iPhone and those who cannot.

I didn’t even know there was a new season of “Atypical.” I just stumbled upon it after firing up Netflix.

No, I don’t want them to send me an e-mail. E-mail is broken, no wonder kids don’t use it, too many people sending you unsolicited stuff trying to convince you that what they have to say is important. (This newsletter is opt-in, if you want out, just click the link at the bottom.)

Used to be you didn’t know when your favorite acts were playing in town. Now you don’t know when your favorite TV shows are on!

The media has to stop this focus on movies. It’s kinda like music streaming. The war is over, theatrical lost. Oh, it’s good for event pictures, otherwise the experience doesn’t square with modern day life, where you want it on demand and you don’t want to be interrupted/affected by others if you don’t choose to. People DVR their favorite TV shows, they stream what they want, but we’re supposed to drive to the theatre at an appointed time to overpay for what is usually a disappointing experience? I don’t think so.

Why is it all legacy media refuses to die. Kinda like terrestrial radio, which is on a disinformation campaign, telling us how healthy it is when I’ve yet to find someone under twenty who listens.

These old media outlets die very slowly, then all at once, like Kodak. Or record stores. I’m living quite fine without Tower Records. And why go to a bookstore, when everything available is just a click away?

Funny to see the baby boomers try to hold on to the past, refusing to admit it’s nostalgia, always saying it’s better. It’s not.

And now the tone of this is completely different from what I intended.

I guess it’s modern life. There’s no one to complain to anymore, there’s no help online, you’re in the wilderness, so you express your frustration online.

And then everybody becomes frustrated with you. Play and you’re excoriated.

Which is why “Atypical” is such a pleasure. It reflects regular life. Without the division of politics, without the hungering for bucks. Michael Rapaport is an EMT and he pays for a whole house in Connecticut. Is that truly possible anymore? I think not.

So Elsa, Jennifer Jason Leigh, grew up with a distant, critical mother so she coddles her kids, trying to give them the upbringing she never got…AND THEY HATE HER FOR IT!

That’s the boomers. They’re there for their kids, praising them, helping them to the point they can’t stand alone, they’ve got to call to deal with a hangnail. Yup, my father worked all day, weekends too, he brought home the bacon, and I was allowed to roam free on my bike. Heresy, I tell you!

Sam Gardner is autistic, but he doesn’t resemble any autistic person I know. But now it’s the third season, and we accept this.

His younger sister Casey, who always seems older, is cool, but confused. Even sexually.

And Sam’s girlfriend struggles in college.

And Casey’s boyfriend has no future and…

Casey wants to go to UCLA, for the opportunity, to leave Elsa and Connecticut behind.

Sounds like a drama, right?

But it’s not. It’s more like a comedy.

But it’s only realistic in its essence. Not in the events of the show. Those are artificial.

But I can’t turn it off.

And I couldn’t figure out why. Was I just a sap? I’ll admit I liked the early “Full House,” and I don’t even have children!

I asked Felice, she said it was “cute.”

But when Casey is torn between two lovers…

When Elsa and Doug’s marriage is teetering, when it could go either way…

Come on, you’ve been there. You’re in an intimate moment, you’ve decided to try again, it was good once, wasn’t it? And then the other person doesn’t want to. Whew!

I just can’t recommend “Atypical,” you’ll laugh at me. Then again, you already are.

Life is confusing enough. You don’t know where you’re going and everything ends and you’re connected all the time…
I leave my phone in the other room when I watch television. It’s a religious rite, I’m not trying to pass the time, I want to be engrossed, taken away to real life, be reminded of the situations I’ve been in and the ones I’m going to experience in the future. That’s what art does.

Marvel movies are like pop music. Here today, gone tomorrow. No matter how much they’re gussied up, they lack an essence, of humanity, of real life. The makers are playing it safe, in an era where you can play it anyway you want to. That’s why Netflix burgeoned, it gave artists a chance to exercise control…enough with listening to network notes, that’s like listening to the record label, which you shouldn’t! A label can tell you what it thinks works, it can educate you, but you’ve got to do it your own way, try to get your humanity across, hits are not easy to predict.

I don’t fit in. Almost never have. There have been moments, mostly far from home, but they’ve always expired.

I go to the shrink and try to figure it out.

But when Chris Robinson said he was an outsider, that rang true.

Then I’m watching “Atypical” and everyone’s got issues, they feel alone, like no one is paying attention, or trying to lean on someone is worthless, a waste of time.

Can you tell people your truth?

Hell, there’s not even truth in the fact that everybody in the movies is beautiful. Making us desire something we all cannot have. Building up these two-dimensional characters to the point where we believe they’re something they’re not. But life’s got to be better than it is right now, right?

I want to go down the rabbit hole, dig down deep as Marc Cohn once sang.

But that was thirty years ago, they don’t make that music anymore.

Or people with less talent try, and it’s not worth paying attention.

It’s very hard to get it right, there’s a balance, a mood.

You try to capture it, and then you veer off course, even though you’re trying so hard, even though you can see it.

And art is about an individual vision. Sure, you need people to help you achieve that vision, but when art is compromised, it doesn’t resonate.

I think Roger McNamee will make a difference. Because he’s not giving up, he’s staying on message, one person can move mountains.

And being imperfect is no crime. That’s what Sam Gardner proves.

And Zahid is completely unbelievable but warm and fuzzy nonetheless, at least until he completely misreads the mood of a party.

“Atypical” is light. Which makes when they get heavy resonate.

You know, you’re just bopping through life and you hit a roadblock, everything changes, sometimes it’s even you. You can’t keep going down the same path, even though it’s the easiest one. You’ve got to grow up, you’ve got to confront your demons, you’ve got to be honest with yourself.

That’s what “Atypical” is about.

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