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With Netflix's Special, a gay man with cerebral palsy claims his seat at the table

Photo: Netflix

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. All times are Eastern. 

Top pick

Special (Netflix, Friday): This new series looks like it might just live up to its title. Based on the memoir by co-producer, writer, and star Ryan O’Connell, Special tells the story of a gay man with cerebral palsy. In an attempt to gain more agency over his life, Ryan pushes himself out of his comfort zone, out of his mother’s house, and into a glamorous new job, only to end up closeting himself in an entirely new way, denying his disability as a way to control people’s perceptions of him. Over time, though, through building strong relationships, exploring his sexuality, and taking on new challenges, Ryan comes to accept and embrace what makes him special. Considering who’s pulling the strings, this promises to be an uplifting and authentic representation of one person’s experience living with cerebral palsy—plus, it’s exciting to see a character with cerebral palsy actually written by and played by a person with that disability. Erik Adams has the review.

Regular coverage

Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:30 p.m.)

Wild card

The Perfect Date (Netflix, Friday): With To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix revitalized the teen rom-com and launched Noah Centineo into teen heartthrob-dom. Now, it’s putting Centineo front and center, satisfying millions of teen fantasies by casting him as a yet another charmer playing fake boyfriend... but this time, to literally any girl who wants him. It’s a no-brainer for anyone who fell for Peter Kavinsky last summer, but if that wasn’t you, this still looks like a pretty cute easy-viewing flick.

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