The comedy Netflix series, Special has exposed so many people to the disability community. Released in 2019, this television show is about a young gay man who has Cerebral Palsy. With taking big steps in his journey as an adult, Ryan O'Connell (played by Ryan Hayes) creates new friendships through his new job.
We start off the series with him getting a phone call saying he was accepted as a journalist. Ryan was filled with joy, as this was his first job. Once his mum got the news she was too. He comes into the office and on his first day he got an article to write up about a cat in the neighborhood. “What, really???”
These side articles really got Ryan annoyed in the end. Week after week he is given small little articles that people could have a laugh at before they get to the good juicy stuff. After the second day of work, Ryan got asked “what is wrong with you?” The simple question that can come across as really defensive, “yeah, I was hit by a car”.
This cracked me up a lot because it would be something I probably would have done, lied about having CP. I understand that Ryan didn't have the confidence to say that he has a disability, as it is a very awkward question to ask someone.
For those of you who follow me you would know that I love who I am and yes, that includes the cerebral palsy. There is nothing wrong with having a disability, it has always been the society around us that has made us disabled. People don't need to know your diagnosis, or even if you have a disability, this question can come off as rude to some people within the community, as so many of us believe that it's not your right to know what's “wrong with us”.
At work he ended up finding a friend, a journalist, Kim Ledghari (played by Punam Patel) and after some time they become best mates. Ryan doesn't go out a lot, well that was until he met Kim. Since they've met, Kim has been pushing Ryan to go outside of his comfort zone to find true love, which I think is really cute.
Every now and again he would bring a girl home. But a couple times after he started doing this, he didn't feel it anymore and found out that we is gay. I remember that there was one night he wanted to tell the news to Kim and so, he got his mum to drive him over, so Ryan could tell her the news. Kim was cool with this, and most importantly accepting with open arms.
Ryan's adventure continues in season 2 when he decides to jump the leap and move out of home. He has always wanted to be treated like any other person, but his mum continues to put up barriers to protect him from “the real world” - this is one of the many things in the Netflix series I can relate to from seeing friends of mine, with a disability having barriers in their life.
Ryan continues to try and convince his mum, Karen Hayes (played by Jessica Hecht) that moving out is a good idea. With knowing that the world isn't designed in the mind of people with disabilities, I understand why Karen thinks like this. After weeks and weeks of arguing with Karen, Ryan finally moved out and into a shared home which was the only solution his mum could agree to.
From there he continues to search for love and happiness in his life. As a writer who also has CP, I can relate to this TV Show, with navigating the world as a young disabled person I don't know where I would end up in a couple years or even 10 years' time. This show really gave me some light at the end of 2019 as well as a lot of humor to.
If you are interested in watching this show. Both seasons are available now on Netflix.
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