Special (Season 1) (2019)

Sort of like “Tales of the City” for the disabled, this charming and downright hilarious show is unlike anything else I’ve seen before. Lead Ryan O’Connell, who also produces and writes the show, is an endearing lead presence as a gay man with cerebral palsy living in Los Angeles and making strives towards independence from his mother. He’s able to convey various layers of conflicting emotions without changing the expression on his face, and he’s the perfect vehicle to shepherd the audience along. He’s well paired with Jessica Hecht as his concerned mother, who struggles to support his quest for independence out of worry and habit, and Punam Patel as his supportive friend Kim, who serves as a stabilizing presence amidst all the changes in his life. With each of the show’s eight episodes clocking in at about 15 minutes, it’s not a big commitment, and each episode is so crisp and judiciously edited that all episodes are over before you know it. It’s a great little show that will please adventurous viewers and makes you appreciate Netflix’s impressively diverse roster of original content.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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