The A Word

Watch The A Word

  • TV-MA
  • 2016
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.8  (2,389)

The A Word is a British TV drama series produced by Keshet International that premiered on BBC One in 2016. The show follows the story of the Hughes family who live in the Lake District of Cumbria. The main focus of the series is on the family's youngest member, young Joe Hughes, who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

The show stars Christopher Eccleston (Dr. Buckman) and Lee Ingleby (Paul Hughes) in lead roles. The rest of the cast includes Morven Christie (Alison Hughes) and Max Vento (Joe Hughes). The show is based on an original Israeli series called Yellow Peppers created and written by Keren Margalit.

The A Word primarily revolves around the family members and their struggles to come to terms with Joe's autism diagnosis. The characters are all portrayed with realistic, nuanced performances, and their interactions are often heartfelt and touching. Dr. Buckman, the family's pediatrician, is instrumental in identifying and diagnosing Joe's condition. His involvement with the family helps them in understanding and accepting their son's diagnosis.

The show covers a broad range of emotional and social issues associated with autism, including communication, social interaction, learning difficulties, and sensory processing. Not only does it explore the parent's reactions, but it also focuses on the struggles that Joe's siblings have, Sarah and Rebecca, in understanding and accepting their younger brother's condition.

Lee Ingleby's portrayal of Paul Hughes, Joe's father, is especially noteworthy. Ingleby manages to balance the character's emotions perfectly, convincingly playing the role of a loving father who struggles to communicate with his son. His performance resonates with many parents of children with autism, who might identify with the hardships of grappling with a child's condition and often isolating daily life.

Morven Christie's portrayal of Joe's mother, Alison Hughes, is also laudable. Christie portrays the character with a sense of urgency and empathy, and her character provides the show with some of its more emotional scenes, particularly when dealing with her husband's denial of their son's condition.

The series also highlights the impact that autism can have on the wider community as it explores the substantial cultural differences in attitudes towards autism between different generations and between the rural and urban areas. It emphasizes the importance of understanding and accepting those who are different from us and treating them as an integral part of society.

The scenic lake district backdrop adds beauty to the series, and its picturesque settings are juxtaposed with the stark reality of a family's struggle in the face of the life-altering diagnosis.

In conclusion, The A Word is a compelling drama series and a must-watch for anyone interested in the struggles of raising an autistic child. It sensitively depicts the delicate balance of emotions of parents, siblings, and the diagnosed individual, and explores the unique challenges of autism with great depth and care.

The A Word is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (18 episodes). The series first aired on January 6, 2016.

The A Word
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Episode 6
6. Episode 6
December 9, 2020
When Rebecca goes into labour, it falls to Joe to help his sister. Alison makes a decision about Ben, Paul makes Mark an offer and Maurice has a big question for Louise.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
December 2, 2020
Louise and Maurice are shaken when an unwelcome visitor arrives on the eve of Ralph's wedding. Mark and Joe test Paul and Sarah's liberalism when they strike out on their own.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
November 25, 2020
Alison brings the family together when she organises a sponsored walk for Joe. Paul gets a surprise from Sarah, and Maurice feels rejected by Ralph.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
November 18, 2020
Maurice and Eddie lock horns on a kids camping trip. Paul tries to forge a connection with Joe. Rebecca interrupts Alison's date with Ben to confront her about motherhood.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
November 11, 2020
Joe causes concern at school as he becomes fixated on his teacher, Heather. Paul helps Mark in his bid to join the army and Rebecca sets the family straight about her pregnancy.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
May 5, 2020
Unsettled by the change in his life, Joe rejects his headphones. Maurice tries to solve all his family's problems, Alison clashes with a stranger and Rebecca has some big news.
Where to Watch The A Word
The A Word is available for streaming on the Keshet International website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The A Word on demand at Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    January 6, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (2,389)