The A Word: Spoiler-Free Review 2016

Please be aware, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through these links, I may be paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

This TV series ended last night after 6 brilliant episodes. I simply can’t emphasise enough how strongly I recommend The A Word as a program. But I’m going to have to try to because today’s blog post is all about The A Word and why you need to watch it. Or at least why I think you should.

The A Word starts with 5 year old Joe Hughes walking along the road on his own listening to his music. During this first episode, he is diagnosed Autistic and his family start the long process of coming to terms with the diagnosis. Joe’s parents have their own problems, as it seems almost every family has these days. Joe’s half sister has yet more problems and at first appears to be just your usual moody teenager. However as the show continues, the stories develop and you end up growing more and more attached as time goes on.

My Thoughts on The A Word

Following the range of characters in The A Word could be considered difficult, but the core 6 are more than enough to keep bringing you back week after week for more. So that’s why my review of The A Word will not be based on any particular aspect of it but as a whole. The A Word is very interesting and I believe that every family should watch it because there is lots to learn.

wood design creativity child The A Word Autism
Photo by Tara Winstead on

For example, The A Word shows us and helps us understand how a simple thing many people take for granted, like communication, can actually be very complex and confusing for many people in our society. Also one very important aim of the drama series is to raise awareness of Autism, which I appreciate it has been criticised for as it’s quite a privileged portrayal – a well-off family running their businesses and able to afford the help they need. Plus they add other family problems to try to “lighten” the “burden” of a show about a family adapting around an autistic child, somewhat going against the grain of the show. However I do feel like it means more people will watch and enjoy The A Word as there is something in each character you should be able to relate to for one reason or another.

All the characters, as I was saying, are interesting, and there is a lot of drama as everyone has something to say. The generational gap, the cultural aspects of The A Word, everything points to take it much closer to reality, therefore allowing us as viewers to draw parallels with our own life and ask what we would do in their position. At a time where the blockbuster movies are hovering around fantasies and superheroes, this drama series actually is so fresh and so unique. Not that I’m against fantasies and superheroes! I just love a good drama.

connection business creativity childhood
Photo by Tara Winstead on

With only 6 episodes, it feels like the story should just be beginning, not over. Who knows, maybe there’ll be another series! Episode one is a slow start but I promise it gets better. You can find it on BBC iPlayer or potentially on Britbox if you subscribe to it.
Please give it a chance!

white scrabble tiles on blue background The A Word
Photo by Polina Kovaleva on

Update 18th April 2020

There was in fact a series two, and series three is said to be coming out soon here in the UK! The first two series are available to watch for free on the BBC iPlayer as a boxset, so with lockdown currently underway, I might just watch the 12 episodes again before the new series begins. What do you think?

Update 21st May 2020

Yes, The A Word has returned for series three, and you can catch it weekly on a Tuesday at 9pm BST on BBC One. Or, if like me you simply can’t get enough of The A Word, then the full series is available to watch on BBC iPlayer! Now, Mum and Dad won’t let me watch it in advance, so I’m super excited to see what happens next!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.