Netflix’s Emmy-nominated comedy Special was previously announced to be releasing a second season and has recently announced that it will release half-hour episodes rather than 15-minute episodes in its first season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The second season of the short-form comedy will return in its new format on May 20.
The semiautobiographical series, executive produced by Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), is based on the memoir by Ryan O’Connell who details the story of a gay man with cerebral palsy who decides to chase the life he wants rather than remaining known as an accident victim. As creator, star, and showrunner, O’Connell explains his ongoing quest to tell underrepresented stories of disabilities, “People will be surprised that Special is ending but this is just the tip! I’m not finished telling stories. This is really just the beginning of a new chapter, so hang tight, baby. I’m coming!” via The Hollywood Reporter. The second season of Special will take place two months after the first, following Ryan who deals with an intense case of writer’s block and is still not speaking to his mother.
Like several of Netflix’s series, including Trinkets and Feel Good, Special will end with just two seasons. Few of Netflix’s originals ever make it past three or four seasons, with them becoming more expensive each year. O’Connell recounts Netflix’s decision to cancel Special after its second season, “It would surprise no one that it wasn’t my decision. Netflix told me pretty early on that it was going to be the final season and I appreciate that because I was able to craft a season that felt very much like a final season. The story will be complete…I assume it’s because we didn’t make them money. I came to Netflix and was very upfront about that I didn’t want to do a second season that was 15 minutes long…I said season two is 30 minutes or bust and to Netflix’s credit, they were game,” as The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Despite having to end the series one season earlier than expected, O’Connell describes that this decision did not impact his writing to The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ve always imagined this as a three-season show. Season two, things got sped up a bit but it doesn’t feel like it. It does feel complete.” Now with 30-minute episodes to work with, O’Connell has gained self-confidence as a newfound actor to take up the space he needs to tell his story properly, “I wrote season one by myself. I realized I can do this and showrun in season two. It was another moment of me learning to lean into my power rather than being worried about taking up too much space,” per The Hollywood Reporter.
With Special ending and with its premiere in May, O’Connell will use his time editing his newly written novel with a few more things in the works, as he told The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview, “I’m excited; there’s some cool things happening. But who the fuck knows about anything!”