Special (S2) | Sincerity and Realism in a Heartfelt Comedy

The first season of the show was sweet and powerful. A good mix of comedy and seriousness in an LGBTQIA package. The creator, producer, star, and author of the memoir “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” – which the show is based on – Ryan O’Connell is returning. Jessica Hecht (The Boys), Punam Patel (Space Force), Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), and Marla Mindelle (The Nomads) are also back. They are joined this season by Max Jenkins (Dead to Me), Charlie Barnett (You, Tales of the City, Russian Doll), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Godmothered, The Mindy Project), Karan Soni (Deadpool), Anjali Bhimani (Evil Eye, Runaways), Ajay Mehta (The Good Place), and newcomer Buck Andrews.

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

Season premise: Set two months after the events of season one, as Ryan navigates his dating and work life, while still avoiding his mom, Karen. They both contemplate the next chapter of their life, trying to find happiness and facing new obstacles. Ryan’s best friend Kim, also deals with some difficulties in hers in her quest for balance.

Review: This season is longer, the episodes are half an hour instead of the 15, and with longer episodes we obviously have more story. But it’s not just more of the same, they’ve actually broadened the narrative without losing the show’s identity.

The show still has a big focus on disability and homosexuality because of Ryan, however his mother, Karen, and best friend, Kim, have a bigger parts in the overall story. Bringing more diversity to the series, not just a race and gender based diversity but one that covers different disabilities, cultures and ages while keeping it both fun and serious.

The series still leans into the uncomfortable moments, they don’t shy away from anything, and I love it – even if I wanted to fast forward some them. Whether it is well meaning and or shitty people saying or doing something insensitive the show goes in, not pulling any punches. And yet they manage to not overdramatize these moments, finding the comedy in it while taking them seriously. It’s honest even when it makes you cringe.

The balance between the drama and comedy is good but it really works because of the show has a stellar cast and great guest stars. The directors also did an amazing job making us feel part of the scenes, and teasing the hell out of us with the nude scenes.

Special season 2 is still a solid TV-Show that is worth your time. There’s a sincerity and reality in it the characters storylines that makes it all work.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Author’s name is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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