NOW a NETFLIX series entitled Special from Executive Producer JIM PARSONS starring RYAN O‘CONNELL as himself.
From the beloved blogger turned voice of an online generation, an unforgettable and hilarious memoir-meets-manifesto exploring what it means to be a millennial gay man living with cerebral palsy, which VICE calls “a younger, gay version of Mary Karr's Lit.”
People are obsessed with Ryan O’Connell’s blogs. With tens of thousands reading his pieces on Thought Catalog and Vice, watching his videos on YouTube, and hanging on to each and every #dark tweet, Ryan has established himself as a unique young voice who’s not afraid to dole out some real talk. He’s that candid, snarky friend you consult when you fear you’re spending too much time falling down virtual k-holes stalking your ex on Facebook or when you’ve made the all-too-common mistake of befriending a psycho while wasted at last night’s party and need to find a way to get rid of them the next morning. But Ryan didn’t always have the answers to these modern-day dilemmas. Growing up gay and disabled with cerebral palsy, he constantly felt like he was one step behind everybody else. Then the rude curveball known as your twenties happened and things got even more confusing.
Ryan spent years as a Millennial cliché: he had dead-end internships; dabbled in unemployment; worked in his pajamas as a blogger; communicated mostly via text; looked for love online; spent hundreds on “necessary” items, like candles, while claiming to have no money; and even descended into aimless pill-popping. But through extensive trial and error, Ryan eventually figured out how to take his life from bleak to chic and began limping towards adulthood.
Sharp and entertaining, I’m Special will educate twentysomethings (or other adolescents-at-heart) on what NOT to do if they ever want to become happy fully functioning grown-ups with a 401k and a dog.
O'Connell, who gained notoriety as a writer for the popular website Thought Catalog, gleefully pegs himself as the quintessential millennial in this collection of personal essays. Ruminating on topics such as his constant need for validation on the Internet, navigating the sea of dating apps, his helicopter parents, and his occasional fondness for prescription pills, O'Connell commiserates like your half-drunk best friend at happy hour. Despite his penchant for all-caps typing, he has an impressive writerly flow that is addictive and easy to read. Several chapters are dedicated to O'Connell's lifelong struggle with cerebral palsy, punctuated by a car accident that gave him the tantalizing chance to introduce himself to strangers as an accident victim with a limp rather than, as he describes himself half-jokingly, a "gimp"; the weight of this topic sets this personal history apart from its lighter compatriots. At times myopic, O'Connell's debut is nonetheless proof that habits learned on Twitter and Tinder don't necessarily stunt maturity and can even lead to better understanding of oneself.