Netflix’s new series “Special” is an unconventional comedy about a gay man with cerebral palsy. The show, which debuts Friday, has eight 20-minute episodes and is based on actor Ryan O’Connell’s memoir: “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.”
O’Connell stars in the series and serves as its executive producer, alongside “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons.
In a recent interview with NBC News, O’Connell said it was “a shock” for him that the series “actually made it to the finish line.”
“It feels very surreal, because I didn’t think that any of this could be possible,” he said. “I’ve been working in Hollywood for six years now, and I know that even the best ideas, even the best shows, with the best talent attached, the odds of one actually getting shot and made and released is very medium rare.”
“Special” is based on O’Connell’s experience living with cerebral palsy, a motor disability that affects one’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, and his real-life decision to falsely claim his limp as the result of a car accident.
“I felt like I had achieved this amazing life hack, and for a few years, I felt like it just gave me the confidence to go after the things I want,” O’Connell said of the false claim. “It did give me an extra boost, but that faded after a couple years, because it was just creating a lot of emotional problems for me ’cause I was lying about who I was — to myself and to other people. I was trying to cut out this big part of myself, but that doesn’t work, it never works.”