7.6
74 votes
The A Word

The A Word

BBC One 2016

The various generations of the Hughes family, who all love, work and fight like any other clan, find they must learn to communicate all over again when the youngest member is diagnosed with autism.

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The 10 Best Episodes of The A Word

The A Word - S3E3

#1 - Episode 3

8.37

Season 3 - Episode 3

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.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of The A Word from 19 votes.

The A Word - S3E1

#2 - Episode 1

8.24

Season 3 - Episode 1

Unsettled by a 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.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of The A Word from 21 votes.

The A Word - S3E4

#3 - Episode 4

8.24

Season 3 - Episode 4

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.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of The A Word from 21 votes.

The A Word - S2E6

#4 - Same Deep Water

8.17

Season 2 - Episode 6

An end-of-year show at Joe's old school brings his family members together. As Joe takes the stage, it is clear what they mean to him. But can they remain the family he knows?

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of The A Word from 46 votes.

The A Word - S3E6

#5 - Episode 6

8.05

Season 3 - Episode 6

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.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of The A Word from 22 votes.

#6 - Episode 5
8.04
Season 3 - Episode 5

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.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of The A Word from 24 votes.

#7 - Episode 2
7.81
Season 3 - Episode 2

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.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of The A Word from 21 votes.

The A Word - S1E1
#8 - Diagnosis
7.65
Season 1 - Episode 1

The various generations of the Hughes family, who all love, work and fight like any other clan, find they must learn to communicate all over again when the youngest member is diagnosed with autism. The opening episode of the drama sees the extended family reunite in the Lake District for Joe's fifth birthday party, but tensions soon rise among Alison, Paul and patriarch Maurice.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of The A Word from 150 votes.

The A Word - S1E6
#9 - Lost
7.65
Season 1 - Episode 6

It's the launch day of Paul's gastropub, and the family gathers to open its doors. While Maurice gets to grips with the half-done décor, Alison determines to reconcile with Paul. As Luke's romantic gesture falls flat with Rebecca, Nicola has some shock news for Eddie. Seeing Joe is in the way, Maurice takes him on a visit to Louise's - but within minutes the day has taken an unexpected turn.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of The A Word from 111 votes.

#10 - Family Album
7.63
Season 2 - Episode 5

Paul's deepest feelings about his son's autism emerge when Nicola makes a film of Joe's behaviours. Eddie reaches D-Day with Holly, while Maurice makes a shocking proposal.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of The A Word from 49 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020

Comments

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If you want to be sure of quality, watch ANY BBC show. This is no exception.

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Four years on and I'm still unable to comprehend why this garbage fire of a production was renewed not once, but twice by the BBC. Sensationalism at its finest, The A Word purports to be about the exploits of young Joe, a five-year-old music lover who just so happens to be autistic. What it's actually about is the relationship troubles of the adults in his life, most of whom are intolerable in their ignorance towards others, and the impact that his big bad condition has on his family unit. Great. I definitely tuned into a show that marketed itself as an exploration of an autistic individual's outlook on the world to hear about his grandad's sexual endeavours, or how his mother is completely justified in wanting to 'change him back' and reconnect with the son that she has 'lost'. That's not even getting into the racism, sexism, and homophobia on display throughout the entire programme; in the first episode alone, Alison, our alleged protagonist, refers to her black sister-in-law as a "wh*re" for having engaged in an affair, and in the fourth, her husband Paul remarks that if he had known the woman caring for Joe was letting him listen to rock and roll, he would have "had her deported sooner". That's right: the characters we're supposed to be rooting for are nothing but a bunch of entitled *ssh*les who are unable to cope with the idea that world doesn't reflect their own personal beliefs, even if those beliefs are incredibly harmful and toxic. In the third episode, when it's revealed that Alison literally bullied a speech therapist who is trying to get Joe the help he needs when they were both in secondary school, the show bends over backwards to excuse her actions as those of an insecure teenager, even having her crack a joke about how maybe her bullying her had a positive impact on her life since it led her towards becoming a therapist in the first place. Just...no. Do yourselves a favour and don't waste your time or braincells on this sorry excuse for a show. Turns out the real "A Word" was 'ableism'...

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An excellent show, though among the current abundance of autism spectrum shows, this is significantly less heartwarming, more heart wrenching in that typical gritty BBC style. The second season is a bit more mellow in some ways so far, one actual LOL moment for me. Definitely worth a watch, if only to see Christopher Eccleston as a socially bumbling grandfather.

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