Vol. 15, No. 10 – Feb 9 – Feb 22, 2022 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
As We See It – Amazon Original Series

4 out of 4 palm trees

As We See It follows the lives of three 20 something roommates on the autism spectrum, Jack, Harrison and Violet, as they work to gain the skills to lead independent lives through the assistance of their life coach Mandy. The three live in an apartment together where they have daily check-ins with Mandy to celebrate accomplishments and set goals. Each of them has a different type of autism diagnoses, and Mandy guides them with patience and empathy for the challenges they encounter trying to be “normal” like the rest of the world.

Harrison (Albert Rutecki) is socially disconnected and does not like to ever venture out of the apartment due to his fear of noises, strange people, dogs, …most things. He’s overweight, most likely due to the fact that he spends his days watching games shows on TV in the apartment and has a huge appetite for sweets. He comes from a wealthy, supportive family and has the social mentality of an adolescent, which made his 10 year old neighbor from upstairs AJ the perfect friend and playmate. AJ was young but had some good street smarts, which lead to he and Harrison getting into trouble on several occasions, Harrison being the one that just followed along.

Jack (Rick Glassman) has Asperger’s Syndrome, is a mild form of high-functioning autism more common in males than in females. While quite intelligent, he has no filter which often has him misunderstood and offending others frequently. He does not like being touched and is very detached emotionally, though he is very aware of this fact, and many of his goals revolve around connecting to people as his condition makes social interactions difficult. As an example of this dynamic, he works as a computer programmer, and and when asked at work to change some things with a program he wrote, he said it was asinine and told his boss he had inferior intelligence which got him temporarily fired. Jack is close with his dad Lou (Joe Mantegna) who had just been diagnosed with cancer and concerned he’ll die before his son finds independence.

Violet (Sue Ann Pien) is a 25 year old virgin whose sole motivation in life is to have sex, preparing for it by reading Cosmo, watching videos, learning from other sources online and from co-workers at Arby’s where she worked at the counter until she hit on a married man in front of his wife and was demoted to sandwich maker. She constantly uses profane language and regularly blurts out she just needs someone to f***, having no filter like Jack, especially when it comes to talking about sex. Her brother Van (Chris Pang) became her caretaker after their parents died, and is trying to not let his sister’s issues blowup his relationship with his girlfriend Selena, which has happened every other time in his past relationships.

Mandy (Sosie Bacon) is a life coach who educates them about the world and helps them to navigate it. Her patience and tolerance seems boundless, and is never reactionary, rather extremely calm when dealing with the variety of issues that arise coach all three in the same environment. They all trust her implicitly and generally follow her advise or instructions. Mandy wanted to work in the medical field doing autism research, but didn’t pass her MCAT entrance exam, and has a boyfriend named Joel who is trying to persuade her to join him in Berkeley for an internship at USF, but she feels torn about leaving Jack, Harrison and Violet behind.

As We See It is a very warmhearted, compassionate glimpse into the lives of those living on the autism spectrum and Mandy’s role as life coach shares some impressive coping skills that can be applied to many everyday situations with people from any walk of life.

Rated TV-16+ 8 – 35min Episodes

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