Following Joe's diagnosis Alison removes him from school to protect him, but Paul and Rebecca take a different view. Eddie is troubled by thoughts of Nicola's ex-lover and Maurice tries to avoid his ...
Alison and Paul are in denial about the behaviour of their young son, Joe. When the extended family gather for Joe's fifth birthday it is suggested something is wrong - prompting grandfather Maurice ...
Father Michael, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish who is Modern, maverick, and reassuringly flawed; must be confidant, counsellor and confessor to a congregation ... See full summary »
In this moving BBC drama, the Hughes family living in the Lake District are like any other family; when their young son Joe is diagnosed as autistic, their lives are changed forever, and the family members must pull together to better learn their son's condition.Written by
Decent family drama that's not really about autism
I was a bit nervous about The A Word, I anticipated that the BBC would not pass up the chance to get preachy. Fortunately they (mostly) resisted that temptation - the autism's main role is to stir up an already complex web of family relationships, and The A Word follows the response to that perturbation in the same way as say Mike Leigh does (without getting that miserable). So the autistic son plays an oddly peripheral role, not least because he shuts us out as viewers as well as his parents; the core of the drama revolves around his parents trying to cope with him and trying to present a happy, "normal" facade. I'm no expert on how families cope with that sort of thing, but there seemed to be some truth in their response, even if you could quibble with the detail.
And it's just nice to have a "serious" drama these days that isn't trying to find a Nordic murderer...
I think they got the length just about right - I'm not sure I could have stuck with 26 episodes of the original Israeli version, but there was enough room for most of the subplots to "breathe" without outstaying their welcome. The exceptions were both on the business side - it felt like the original script had an interesting subplot about control of the brewery that was butchered until it barely made sense, and ditto about the development of the pub. Another half an hour would have cracked it - but both could be developed in a second series.
Oh, and I'd disagree that a microbrewery and a glorified burger van make you "rich". The brewery looked like it was around 15 barrels capacity, so one step up from a "starter" microbrewery, the kind you would have after a few years trading and perhaps some awards that got you recognition beyond the local area - that would describe Coniston brewery, which I assume is where it was filmed? But you don't get "rich" off that kind of setup. If they were rich, they wouldn't be converting a derelict barn in the middle of nowhere to turn into a pub, they'd be buying an existing pub (of which there are plenty for sale in the Lakes). It's true that the BBC "Waitrosed" their home life but in terms of income they're on a similar level to people with a burger van and a back street boozer in the inner city.
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