Sometimes dramas, like Broadchurch, need to be left alone after one series – when a huge, breathtaking plot has been twisted as far as it can turn, it’s time to move on. Just because a show ‘deserves’ another series doesn’t mean it should get one.
But with Peter Bowker’s believable, excellent The A Word, it’s not that it ‘deserves’ a second series – although it does – but more that it needs one. There are so many more stories to be told about these characters and their relationships, and it feels like the show has just got going.
I want to know how Joe will get on in the world following his diagnosis of autism, whether Alison (the seriously good Morven Christie) and Paul will keep their marriage from fragmenting under the pressure. And will Eddie and Nicola emerge from the shadow of infidelity?
How will Rebecca deal with that hot-and-cold boy at school and her flaky dad? And what about Maurice? Beneath that goofy exterior is a widower discovering that grief presents itself in all sorts of strange ways.
The series was never supposed to be a perfect, all-encompassing account of autism and how it affects families, but it’s been an interesting insight into aspects of it – and I’d love to know more. Leaving the clan now, just as they’re coming to terms with their “different” child, would feel totally wrong.
And because The A Word isn’t an especially twisty, plot-heavy show, the threads of relationship drama could be pulled in all sorts of directions, just like in real life. As with Sally Wainwright’s Last Tango in Halifax, The A Word could work so well as an ongoing series which deals with the thrust of domesticity without the pressure to constantly shock.
Apart from anything else, we need more of Joe’s wonderful indie-rock singing.
A second series can often dilute the power of the show, but with The A Word another series would only make it stronger.
Kasia is a TV, film and arts journalist who writes news, feautures and comment. She spends a lot of time feeling nostalgic about 90s American films and working her way back through the Desert Island Discs archive.