The A Word: Season 1 (2016)



Critic Consensus: The A Word overcomes an uneven start to offer a thoughtful, warm-hearted look at the engagingly messy lives of its protagonists -- and a glimpse of challenges too rarely seen or discussed on television.


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Air date: Jul 13, 2016
Air date: Jul 20, 2016
Air date: Jul 27, 2016
Air date: Aug 3, 2016
Air date: Aug 10, 2016
Air date: Aug 17, 2016

The A Word: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

When Joe (Max Vento) is diagnosed with autism shortly after his 5th birthday, everything changes for the Hughes family. His parents, Alison (Morven Christie) and Paul (Lee Ingleby), try to help him navigate the many changes that come with the diagnosis, but change is one of the things Joe struggles with the most. The family patriarch, Maurice (Christopher Eccleston), finds it difficult to accept Joe's diagnosis, believing it is something he should be able to fix. Feeling invisible in her family, 16-year-old Rebecca (Molly Wright) begins to rebel and she starts to confide in her Uncle Eddie (Greg McHugh), the black sheep of the family, and his wife Nicola (Vinette Robinson), who recently moved back home when Eddie's computer business failed. More than a story about autism, the first season explores a variety of family issues and how a family become stronger together.


Lee Ingleby
as Paul Hughes
Morven Christie
as Alison Hughes
Molly Wright
as Rebecca Hughes
Greg McHugh
as Eddie Scott
Vinette Robinson
as Nicola Daniels
Max Vento
as Joe Hughes
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News & Interviews for The A Word: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The A Word Season 1

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (6)

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.

Jul 13, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

What drives the show forward, and makes it a landmark portrayal of a disorder too often stigmatized or left undiscussed, is that second, all-important A Word: acceptance.

Jul 12, 2016 | Full Review…

The A Word also got off to a very promising start.

Sep 7, 2018 | Full Review…

I did not feel what I knew I was meant to feel; did not feel what the family are going through.

Aug 31, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The A Word is a family drama where a member of that family has a disability rather than a "disability drama", which is an intriguing enough proposition.

Aug 14, 2017 | Full Review…

For the most part this is a quality piece of drama tackling an emotional issue. There's some great writing, some good performances and enough moments of warm humour to leave you feeling just a little bit uplifted.

Apr 26, 2017 | Full Review…

The soundtrack is a good'un and the scenes of Cumbria are beautiful. If only the script had fewer clunky sex scenes and more told from Joe's perspective.

Apr 4, 2017 | Full Review…

Though it takes on a worthy topic, this uneven drama ultimately gets in its own way with too many subplots that divert attention from the most important thing: Joe's autism.

Aug 22, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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.

Jul 13, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As the Hughes figure themselves out, making a lot of wrong decisions along the way, it also challenges viewers to consider our own lives and choices, and how we might react to these same situations.

Jul 13, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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