Netflix Gems: Take a super-powered pill with “Special”

I’ve heard you say it – yes, you – and I’m sick of it. I try to argue with you, but alas, when the dust settles I am left only with the strong urge to bitch-slap the dumb out of you. “There’s nothing good to watch on Netflix! I’ve seen everything already.” Shut up, stupid. You have not. To prove it, I am going to pick out a flick that I doubt you’ve seen, then I’m going to give a little synopsis and ramble about how great it is. Cool? Cool, cool, cool. This is going to be hard! I’ve already seen everything on Netflix and there’s nothing good.

The flick…



Written and Directed by Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore

Starring Michael Rapaport, Paul Blackthorne, Josh Peck

What’s going on here?

Special is the odd, uplifting, slightly depressing tale of metermaid, Les Franken (Michael Rapaport), as he takes a journey down a most bizarre road. Unhappy with his less-than-exciting daily routine, Les volunteers to take part in the study of a new, experimental anti-depressant called “Special”.  With promise from Doctor Dobson (Jack Kehler) that “Special” will make him feel as if he leads a far more remarkable life, Les doesn’t hesitate to ingest his first dose before he leaves the office. A short time later, his life runs full speed through a wall – literally. After magically levitating from the comfortable seat of his living room couch, Les is quickly convinced that he is developing super powers. After demonstrating to Doctor Dobson his impressive new ability to fly, the Doctor tells Les that the pills were designed to block the chemicals in the brain responsible for self-doubt and that he is experiencing a psychological reaction. Les’ unbelievable adventure is only beginning, as Doctor Dobson sternly insists that he discontinue the dosage immediately, but telepathically communicates quite the opposite, convincing Les to never stop taking the pills, causing a doozy of a conspiracy.

Why the hell should I watch this?

With how much nonsensical reality TV you swine consume, it is obvious that you love to watch people lose their shit and mess up their lives. Special does this, but also adds something extraordinary in that it offers you the ability to watch the film with two sets of eyes. In one hand, you have a maniacal Les, who takes an experimental drug that makes his brain shit it’s pants; but in the other, you have Les, who is given a pill that actually does give him super powers, and everyone who doubts him is part of the conspiracy. My inner super hero will not allow me to disbelieve Les’ story, but it’s a total blast regardless of how you choose to watch it. Michael Rapaport takes on the role of a newly over-confident, socially destructive introvert with such grace that you can’t help but root for the guy. His supporting cast, apart from a few awkward beats is also tremendous. Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore pose a very mysterious, disturbing and somehow inspiring story here. Throw a solid original soundtrack behind it all and you really can’t go wrong.

I really hope you can stop watching, “AHH, I Can’t Stop Peeing”, or whatever the big new reality show is called these days to check out this stellar, overlooked flick! Don’t forget to use the intewebz to tell us how much you liked it or how much you think I suck at picking movies. Keep an eye out for more Netflix Gems!

Lorren Gordon

Lorren Gordon

Jewelry Doctor by day, Game Genie by night. I love Horror and Sci-fi more than anyone should, I listen to a lot of podcasts and I gave up smokes to drink tea. Prepare yourself for some full frontal nerdity.

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