This ever-charming and lovable, “Love on the Spectrum”, offers a special look at young people trying to find love amidst the challenges of navigating life while on the autism spectrum. It highlights people in all different positions on the spectrum, all genders and sexualities, attempting to date one another and find the connection we all crave.
During season 1, we meet a charming young man named Michael, a 22-year old on the spectrum who is on the, seemingly endless, quest to find his (lucky) wife. He’s a charming, hopeless romantic looking for love, like the best of us. We watch as Michael navigates the dating world, embarking on a series of wild adventures like speed dating and being setup via his dating coach. One of the grounding factors of this show is the dating coach, who appears to be an autism spectrum expert, helping various cast members learn about dating, social protocols, etc. Though this expert is teaching the potential lovebirds about dating norms, I can’t help but wonder, how much help is actually being administered? Does not being their authentic selves prohibit these young people from finding the true love they seek?
This question was addressed in season 2, when an established hetero couple on spectrum was chronicled as they made their transition into being a married couple. The point they kept reaching was that their love was unbreakable because they could be their most authentic self without judgement from their partner. It seemed like their deep understanding of each other’s diagnosis bonded them in a unique way, the likes most people would envy. So, if this successful love story maintained its truth because both parties were able to be themselves, then it seemed counterintuitive that other singles on the spectrum would be encouraged to alter their behavior while dating others on the same spectrum.
Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful depiction of life on the spectrum and enlightens even the most ignorant of audiences by exposing a broad array of experiences. It’s easy to watch and I think some people would be surprised by how relatable the entire show is. For those of you who read this and thought, “I think I might feel uncomfortable watching this show about something so foreign to me”, I can promise you the charisma of each of its stars will effortlessly win your heart. You’ll quickly fall in love with these love-seekers and root for them like your life depends on it. I suppose, like their love lives do depend on it.
Both seasons are delightfully upbeat and optimistic, while be honest about the experiences people dating on the spectrum typically have. This series will make you laugh at yourself when you're able to see how silly neuro-typical people and their ridiculous social standards are through the lens of a person on the autism spectrum. It constantly reminds you to lightens up and laugh at the absurd behaviors we uphold each other to and what we have designated to be "normal". Everything seems to melt away while being immersed in this joyful naiveté. Do yourself the favor and binge it asap!