I saw multiple people on Twitter mentioning this series saying its totally worth binge watching so it’s totally what I did, and I absolutely loved every single episode. As soon as I finished, I knew I’d write about it as I just want as many people as possible watching this wonderful Netflix original series. Special is an American comedy Netflix series that premiered on April 12th. The series is based on the memoir I’m special: and other lies we tell ourselves by Ryan O’Connell who also plays the main character in the series. So here are 4 reasons you totally need to stop doing what you’re doing right now and start watching it.
- The story
This series follows Ryan a gay man with cerebral palsy, who, after getting hit by a car at the age of 20, decided to not correct his friends and colleagues (he works at Eggwoke) when they assumed the limp he has was a result of the accident. But it’s also about finding love while being disabled and showing what it’s like being young and disabled. Now it’s important to know that this is a true story, Ryan O’Connell has cerebral palsy and did lie about being disabled as he struggled accepting it, therefor he did lie about it and told everyone it’s because of the car accident. However, in 2015 he decided to come clean about it all in his memoir I’m Special: and other lies we tell ourselves.
- The characters
I absolutely loved every single character and many of them reminded me of people around me. I’m disabled myself; I do not have cerebral palsy and wasn’t born being disabled but just like Ryan I did struggle accepting the fact I am disabled so I could relate to Ryan a lot. His mum, for example, sometimes reminded me of my mum. Ryan’s mum is very protective and wants to help as much as she can which at some parts of the series I totally thought ‘This is totally my mum’. Other than Ryan and his mum (Karen) there’s also Kim, who’s his colleague at Eggwoke but also his friend, Olivia, who’s their (not so nice) boss at Eggwoke, Carey, which is Kim’s best friend and then there’s also Phil who’s the new neighbour.
- Disability done right
I’ve seen many films and series about or having a character with a disability, but it’s never done right, or the actor/actress doesn’t have the disability, so they have to act it which is never really great and to be honest a bit disrespectful towards us, disabled people. I’m pretty sure that if the producers of that film/series would actually search for someone with e specific disability to star as an actor/actress they would find someone. We can still do acting while being disabled. So, I’m really glad Ryan O’Connell decided to take the role on himself and not hire some actor and teach him how to act having cerebral palsy. We definitely need more disabled actors/actresses in films and series.
- Disabled or not, you’ll relate to it
Like I mentioned before I could relate to Ryan a lot because of being disabled. For example, he often deals with ableism (discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.) there are quite a few situations in the series that pointed out ableism big or small. But then for people who aren’t disabled I do think it would be good to watch this as well as I do think you’d recognise some situations or reactions of the people around Ryan that you could relate to like their reaction to when he says the limp is because of a car accident, when he comes clean and says he has cerebral palsy or some cases of ableism, like doing something without asking (think of the hashtag #Justaskdontgrab) which results Ryan trying to get away of the situation but end up falling over. I do think it could teach non-disabled people a lot about ableism or living with a disability in general.
So long story short it’s totally worth watching this series and make your family & friends watch it too! the beauty of this all is that every episode is only 15 minutes long so perfect to watch while travelling or don’t have a lot of time. Now what are you waiting for? Go watch it and tell me what you think of it!