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The A Word - (S01E01)


The series is the story of the Hughes family, who work and love and fight like every other family. Then their youngest son is diagnosed with autism and they don't feel like every other family anymore. They realise that if their son is ever going to communicate, they are going to have to learn how to communicate themselves. It's a funny and thought-provoking series about parenthood and childhood.

Episode Title: Episode 1
Airs: 2016-03-22 at 21:00
  • Tim Goodman

    It's an absolute gem, delightful and thoughtful, serious, sad and also ridiculously funny. It's one of those series that ultimately bites off a bit more than it has time to deliver on, but it's never short on ambition and the talent to pull most of it off.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Molly Eichel

    [Five-year-old Joe Hughes (Max Vento)] doesn’t take direction, not because he’s obstinate, but because he can’t. Joe is also a wider part of the family portrait, which is one of The A Word’s greatest strengths. It shares that quality with another dramedy that used an autism-spectrum disorder to great narrative effect: Parenthood.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    The A Word’s world is small and deeply knowable, even to the point of discomfort. Yet it’s also warm, deeply affecting, and never loses its charm.

    Collider Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    For the most part, though, The A Word feels true and honest. Other shows that have used characters with disabilities for secondary plotlines have often seemed simplistic or glib, going for quick tears or feel-good moments. This one’s unblinking, and more powerful for it.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    If you keep watching, The A Word gathers its own quiet power as a succession of portraits of people under stress (to add to the tension, money is tight for every member of the family) without becoming unbearably morose, thanks to regular bits of dotty British eccentricity and a few comic misunderstandings. The show is at its best, however, when it centers around sweet, solemn little Joe, who’s shutting out the world by singing along to Human League, subconsciously seeking human connection.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Isaac Feldberg

    Though Vento is the standout, consistently holding the screen and drawing the audience into Joe’s head throughout a compelling yet largely nonverbal performance, all of the cast are aces. It’s their grounded, believable chemistry that keeps The A Word from sliding into silly, saccharine territory. But what’s most impressive about the drama is its attention to detail.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    The A Word is at its most affecting when the focus is on Joe and his parents.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    The emotions, tears and laughter ring true in this small but deeply moving and entertaining gem. [11-24 Jul 2016, p.17]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    If The A Word sounds dark and depressing, it isn't. Joe's autism is the central plot point, but this is also a messy soap opera about a family that's always butting heads.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    An overload of family angst--including a meddlesome grandfather and a more scarlet "A word," adultery--dilutes the impact of a well-meaning, well-acted melodrama that works best when narrowly and smartly focused on its title subject. [15 Jul 2016, p.64]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    The A Word is guilty of some sloppy plotting and an over-investment in maudlin plots better left to more masterful chroniclers of the charms of small town life. But at its core, there is a fascinating and unique story of one child’s difficult-to-understand world, and his parents who are being dragged into compassion, kicking and screaming all the way.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    The general conceit for the series isn’t the problem--it’s the ham-fisted execution. Bowker doesn’t trust his viewers to allow credible drama and character development to make his points, so he hits us over the head, repeatedly.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review