“As we see it” on Amazon Prime: Friendship between autistic people

The person who let the whole world learn and be affected by autism with broad-spectrum developmental disorders was Charlie Babbit. When Rain Man hit theaters in 1988, a classic drama, Dustin Hoffman was at the height of his fame and young Tom Cruise came out of the boy trap with this film. The film was quickly followed by critical voices, saying that autistic people are actually very different from Charlie.

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And when Hoffman even got the lead actor Oscar, rumors knew that for an Oscar award one had to worry only about roles that were sick or disabled. The DVD editions of the film later featured numerous autism-related additions to the film add-ons, featured people on the autism spectrum and their unique talents, and made it clear to viewers that director Barry Levinson and his team had done some good research. The fact that this masterpiece (four Oscars, two Globes), one of the most beautiful stories of brotherhood in cinema, puts its viewers in a sentimental mood is by no means a flaw. Generating emotions is the oldest task of cinema.

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Amazon’s new series “As We See It”, which is based on the Israeli series “On The Spectrum” (since 2018), shows us characters very similar to Charlie Babbit. Individual scenes can be funny, but the joke is never at the expense of those whose behavior does not conform to the norm. When autistic programmer with a blurred head Jack (Rick Glassman) tells his smug boss that he understands his narrow-mindedness, after all he is “weakly intelligent,” then he can dismiss him and his colleagues. his shake his head at the fact that Jack uses Woody Allen-Glasses to quickly snatch breakfast muffins of any kind (“I do not know which one I will choose later”), but you want to hug him for it. Very few would like to remove such a sentence in their work situation. Someone likes Jack “directly” instead.

It’s easy to fall in love with Jack, Harrison and Violet

And you also like Harrison (Albert Rutecki). The overweight teen has a massive contact problem. In the first episode, he dares to walk through the glass door of his apartment to the sidewalk for the first time. The phone call with his supervisor Mandy (Sosie Bacon from “Mare of Easttown”, “Here and Now”) gives him the courage he needs. He asked her in advance why she had to leave. To do things she replied. He wanted to postpone the action for tomorrow. And then he dares to take the giant step. He starts running with his eyelids down, is cut by a skater and still goes. Excited by the noise of a garbage truck and also passing it. But when a stranger’s husky barks at him, Harrison’s stability is gone. He runs back to the security of his home.

And you like Violet (Sue Ann Pien), the cashier at Arby’s burger shop, who sighs and confirms that the customer with a woodworking shirt has “beautiful eyes”. This is just the beginning of their idiosyncratic start to a conversation. As the flattered husband continues to order drinks, Violet photographs him and her first three meetings. “We can not have sex with the first two, but we can have sex with the third.” The husband is confused, his wife furious. “They should fire you immediately,” she asks the branch director. “Thank you for your support,” Violet exclaims after the two – completely friendly, not a little sarcastic. She finally wants intimacy, love and sex – like everyone else. And she can not understand, almost desperately, that you can not promote the community just like that and completely bluntly.

Three special people want to live “normally”.

These three reside in the same building. They are like islands at the beginning of this series and in their honest group sessions beyond the pain point. Jack tells Harrison that he smells bad because he is healthy and that he will never find a job without the support of his wealthy parents, he would never fall to the ground. Shy Harrison replies that he does not particularly like Jackin, while Violet thinks of little other than one thing and how she could work hard for him in a dating app. In the car she informs her brother, who is quite upset about it, that she has good breasts, so she asks for lace bras. “I am 25 years old. I want a boyfriend. “I want to be normal.”

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And that’s the whole story. Three who want to participate in the “normal” but can not do it otherwise, but in their own way, are rejected, hurt, despised, exploited – because the world does not understand them, because their closest relatives either have them refused. (Harrison’s parents), you have a life of their own (Violetta’s brother has a rather complicated love affair) or you will not live long. Jack’s father (Joe Montegna) has cancer: “I’m fighting for my life,” he admits to his initially completely unwavering son. “I need to know you’re fine.”

The only person who is close to the three like a tireless angel, who advises them, embraces them, explains the world to them, is their incorruptible lawyer and happy for their success is Mandy. But her boyfriend now wants her to go to Berkeley with him. He gives her a job in the search for autism, which she really can not refuse. Of course, Mandy doubts that a decision about her future would turn her defenders, particularly Harrison, into their development. What should be done? babe drama

Showrunner Katims had personal reasons for the series

Showman Jason Katims (“Parenthood”) has an autistic son of his own. What prompted him to make the series was above all the lack of opportunities for autistic adults in the job market. Even graduates in the autism spectrum are 80 percent unemployed. To reverse this rejection, to seek understanding, he felt it was his mission when his son was growing up. In addition, he simply wanted to give a series about free, beautiful, wonderful life to the world audience, which for two years has been trapped in the isolation of the pandemic, as he explained in an interview.

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A one hundred percent sensitive story like “Rain Man” – and part of this awakening from social rigidity appears (in the remaining five episodes to be seen) as a fairy tale. But before the rumors move the language again: Unlike Dustin Hoffman, the actors playing Harrison, Violet and Jack are themselves people from the autism spectrum. And they are incredibly touching as they smile, laugh, care and become more and more friends. “As We See It” brings joy, brings tears – as far as we could see. The second season is urgently needed.

“As We See It” Season 1 (eight episodes), by Jason Katims, with Sosie Bacon, Albert Rutecki, Rick Glassman, Sue Ann Pien, Joe Montegna (from January 21 on Amazon Prime Video)

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