“Special” strikes a specific tone that manages to seriously tackle the challenges Ryan faces as a gay man living with a disability, while keeping the overall vibe of the series light and fun. In an interview with Vulture, O’Connell spoke from this complex perspective, saying, “I’ve had so much trauma in my life, but you can’t live in this trauma forever … When I really think about it, it’s like: ‘Oh wow, I’ve actually been through a lot. But I don’t feel like that. It just looks like my life. “
O’Connell also explained, “I take care of that in my writing. It’s a safe space to work on my business.” Writing about it performs another important function as well. While speaking about the difficulties of living in a society with a general lack of disability awareness, O’Connell said, “There is such ignorance around disability because there is no dialogue, and , in part, is because there is no disability representation on television. “
For O’Connell, there is another important aspect to this representation. “I also think it’s really important that a show with a disability comes from a person with a disability,” he explained, adding, “I want people with disabilities to be able to tell their own stories and be responsible for them. . “
If you want a changing perspective on the world of O’Connell, you can check out the two seasons of “Special,” which are currently available on Netflix.