Special (TV series)

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Poster for Netflix's Special.png
Created byRyan O'Connell
Based onI'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves
by Ryan O'Connell
Written byRyan O'Connell
Directed byAnna Dokoza
ComposerJoshua Moshier
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Anna Dokoza
  • Eric Norsoph
  • Ryan O'Connell
  • Todd Spiewak
  • Jim Parsons
CinematographyPhilip Roy
EditorThomas Calderón
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time12–17 minutes
Production companies
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (16:9 UHDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Special is an American comedy streaming television series that premiered on Netflix on April 12, 2019.[1] The series is based on the memoir I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves (2015) by Ryan O'Connell,[2] who also stars, writes, and executive produces the series.[3] In December 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.[4]


Special is "a distinctive and uplifting new series about a gay man, Ryan with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants."[5][6][7]

Cast and characters[edit]


Guest stars[edit]

  • Kat Rogers as Caitie
  • Jason Michael Snow as Keaton
  • Brian Jordan Alvarez as Shay
  • Gina Hughes as Samantha


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [10]
1"Chapter One: Cerebral LOLzy"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
2"Chapter Two: The Deep End"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
3"Chapter Three: Free Scones"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
4"Chapter Four: Housechilling Party"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
5"Chapter Five: Vagina Momologues"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
6"Chapter Six: Straight Potential"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
7"Chapter Seven: Blind Deaf Date"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
8"Chapter Eight: Gay Gardens"Anna DokozaRyan O'ConnellApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)



On February 5, 2019, Netflix announced that it had given the production a series order for an eight-episode first season, set to premiere on April 12, 2019.[11] The series is created by Ryan O'Connell, who is credited as an executive producer, alongside Jim Parsons, Anna Dokoza, Eric Norsoph and Todd Spiewak.[11] Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of That's Wonderful Productions and Stage 13.[11] On December 16, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season by Netflix.[4]


Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Ryan O'Connell, Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel, Marla Mindelle, Augustus Prew, and Patrick Fabian would star in the series.[11]


On March 25, 2019, Netflix released the first official trailer for the series.[12][9] The first season, consisting of 8 episodes, was released on Netflix on April 12, 2019.[13]


The first season received positive reviews upon its release. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 95% with an average rating of 7.29/10 based on 22 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Honest and genuinely affecting, Special lives up to its name with a funny—if a bit too concise—first season brightened by Ryan O'Connell's infectious charms.[14] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15] Variety gave the show a positive review calling the main character "quick and snarky, deeply insecure and sometimes more selfish than he's willing to admit. He makes mistakes and pays for them, undergoing a hell of a lot of change in the short time Special gets to show it."[16] TV Guide gave the show a mixed review saying that, "Hopefully Special gets a second season with a bigger budget, a writing staff, and more time to plan. The way Season 1 improves as it goes along shows Special still has a lot of potential."[17]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Eric Norsoph, Ryan O'Connell and Anna Dokoza Nominated [18]
Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Ryan O'Connell Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Jessica Hecht Nominated
Punam Patel Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Short Form New Media – Original Ryan O'Connell Won [19]


  1. ^ Pedersen, Erik (December 26, 2018). "Midseason Premiere Dates For New & Returning Series: 2019 Edition". Deadline. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  2. ^ "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves to Get Through Our Twenties". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (February 5, 2019). "Netflix Orders Ryan O'Connell Comedy Series 'Special' Produced By Jim Parsons". Deadline. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Petski, Denise (December 16, 2019). "'Special' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Netflix's upcoming series, 'Special' explores the life of a disabled gay man". The Rustin Times. April 9, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Nakamura, Reid (February 5, 2019). "Netflix Orders Cerebral Palsy Comedy Series 'Special' From Ryan O'Connell, Jim Parsons". The Wrap. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Matthew (February 6, 2019). "A Comedy About a Gay Man with Cerebral Palsy Is Coming to Netflix". www.out.com. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Porter, Rick (February 5, 2019). "Netflix Orders Jim Parsons-Produced Comedy Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Nordine, Michael (March 25, 2019). "'Special' Trailer: Netflix Series Shows the Highs and Lows of Being Gay and Disabled". IndieWire. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "Special – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d "Ryan O'Connell and Jim Parsons' Special is Coming to Netflix". Netflix Media Center. February 5, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Shepherd, Jack (March 26, 2019). "Special trailer: New Netflix series' lead character is gay and has cerebral palsy". Independent. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Special". April 9, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  14. ^ "Special: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  15. ^ "Special: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "TV Review: 'Special' on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "Special Review: Netflix Let This Promising Comedy Down". TV Guide. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  18. ^ "71st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". emmys.com. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  19. ^ Evans, Greg (December 5, 2019). "WGA TV Nominations: 'The Crown', 'Mindhunter', 'Watchmen' Among Contenders – Complete List". Deadline Hollywood. Adelaide. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.

External links[edit]