Just in time for Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, Netflix releases the trail to its new series about a gay man with cerebral palsy, “Special.”
Ryan O’Connell takes his book, “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” and turns it into a television series, where he takes center stage. This series is about a 20-year old gay man with cerebral palsy who is trying to turn his life around the way he wants.
O’Connell revealed his life in his book, which he’s now taking to Netflix, in a series with 15-minute episodes.
Ryan, who’s also the main character in the story, has mild cerebral palsy. He struggles to build a career and mainly communicates with people through text message. Ryan sees adulthood ahead of him and wants to turn his life around.
A major part of the story is how people treat him with his disability. In an interview with Vulture, O’Connell opens up about the difficulties of living with cerebral palsy.
In the interview, he explains that it was more difficult living with cerebral palsy than living as a gay man. He explains how able-bodied people would treat him differently because of his disability, and would act as if he had something wrong with him.
Does this show accurately portray someone with cerebral palsy?
Ryan O’Connell has a mild case of cerebral palsy, where he’s had it much worse in the past. While it may be mild now, he still has it and understands the struggle of living with it.
Much of the plot includes the main character struggling to live his life with cerebral palsy. Considering O’Connell lived through these struggles, it’s as accurate as it can be.
It’s unique that O’Connell gets to star in the movie, in which he wrote the book. The storyline becomes more authentic because the writer gets to act out what he went through.
Even if it’s not a severe case of cerebral palsy, it makes all the sense in the world for O’Connell to be the star of this series.
Feedback from the Trailer
While this trailer didn’t go viral or anything, it had some good reviews.
There are people in the same or similar situation as O’Connell that identify with the series and others that are empowered by the storyline. People love when they bring out their stories, and it’s more powerful when they act them out too.
This is a good sign for the disabled community, as a disabled man plays the part of a disabled character. Many times in movies and TV shows, we see able-bodied people take over the part of disabled characters.
O’Connell stated the reason why he’s starring in the film, is because they couldn’t afford to pay another actor. Well, it ended up working out for them.
Some people may not be happy to hear that O’Connell’s cerebral palsy came when he got hit by a car, rather than from a neurological disorder that he was born with. Depending on if that will be part of the storyline, depends on how people will react to it.
On the other hand, there are critics asking why a TV series about a disabled person has to be a comedy. Some people feel that the show should be more serious.
Part of why a comedy works, is because of Ryan O’Connell’s personality. He’s a very funny guy with experience in comedy. His personality can be very sarcastic and humorous, so it only makes sense that it appears in the show.
O’Connell’s goals for the show
Ryan O’Connell really wants those with disabilities to feel free, and live their life the way they want.
He wants to show that you can turn your life around while living with your disability.
O’Connell also wants to be the one to really display gay sex in movies and television. He feels that gay sex is always ignored, wherein the show he has in-depth scenes that don’t ignore gay sex.
Overall, O’Connell wants “Special,” to truly be something special.
The new Netflix series is set to debut on April 12th.