If you haven’t caught Netflix‘ Special yet, it is a must! The 15-minute short bursts of comedic delight pack a punch of heavy-hitting intersectionality through a narrative rarely told.
In a recent interview on radio’s CHANNEL Q show, Let’s Go There, the show’s creator and star Ryan O’Connell dives in deep with hosts Shira and Ryan about all things queerly special.
Special, executive-produced by Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons, is the latest LGBTQ programming short-series based on O’Connell’s life: a 28-year-old gay man with cerebral palsy (CP). O’Connell’s character is in the closet, but it’s the disability closet, and he uses a fake car accident as a mask to the cause of his physical disability.
While this show has been buzzing since its release in mid-April on the streaming service, O’Connell admits that when this show was in early development, it wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm.
“We went out and pitched it, and everyone passed. It was 2015; Hollywood was just realizing it was racist,” O’Connell said. “It was a big risk to put a gay, disabled person on TV. People weren’t horny for representation like the way they are horny for it now.”
Throughout the eight episodes, Special introduces a mix of characters that provide diverse and unique stories that represent a broader range of voices than is typical to see in a streaming comedy series. The show follows the stigma and shame of having a disability and follows a 28-year-old gay man with cerebral palsy who works at popular site as a writer. After getting hit by a car, he uses the incident to mask his actual disability.
Hear from the quick-witted O’Connell himself all about the path to “Special,” bringing accurately-portrayed gay sex to the screen, the importance of intersectionality and disability representation in media, and the plans for Season 2.
Check out more LGBTQ celebrity interviews and informational and entertaining queer convos at the new CHANNEL Q, online now and coming to Denver June 1!