Parents' Guide to

Love on the Spectrum

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Adults with autism find love and heartbreak in lovely show.

Love on the Spectrum Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Love on the Spectrum is best for families who are supporting someone on the autism spectrum.

As a mother with an autistic son who is 15, I'm very touched by seeing the love that the families in the show have for their children. Raising an autistic child can be very challenging and isolating and I think that the families have learned to embrace their child's differences and are not trying to change them in any way. Everyone is focused on love and acceptance for their child. The quirky awkward relationships are so familiar and as a viewer, you become very invested in the hopes and dreams of the autistic adults seeking love. My 12-year-old son and husband also love the show; we laugh and cry together. My autistic son is hypercritical of the show, he thinks that the long awkward pauses are edited and that "reality TV" is not real. He does not see himself in the actors and thinks that the show doesn't represent his experience.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Most people want love and neurological differences don't change that, so something this heartfelt and lovely series gets very right is presenting its participants' romantic interests as absolutely typical. And yet, since many people on the spectrum struggle to make friends -- many of Love on the Spectrum's interviewees refer darkly to being bullied in the past, or of having no friends at all -- and since romantic relationships tend to be even more fraught, part of the show involves watching perfectly nice people strike out. As delightful as it is to hear Michael rhapsodize about how happy he intends to make his future wife, and to confidently sum up his appeal to his parents ("An A-plus partner looks like me," he says), his painfully awkward first date is hard to watch. And yet, Michael works up his courage to try again, as we all must, in this way like so many others, typical.

Love on the Spectrum has its beautiful moments, though, too, and they're all the better because they feel earned. The successful relationship of Ruth and Tom is an early series highlight; we see them canoodling at home, and witness Tom's proposal, pulling up on the bus he drives with a ring for his intended. Then we ride along as Ruth and Tom celebrate their anniversary, conveyed to a picnic with a view of the urban skyline by a uniformed chauffeur. "Do you like it?" Tom asks nervously, not sure how to take Ruth's facial expression. "It's very a la The Bachelor," she answers bluntly, dashing his hopes. But wonderfully, Tom values his wife for her quirky reactions. "You're a very special girl, Ruth," he says. "You're very different and very unique. "And you're a handsome boy," Ruth replies. "I'm a handsome boy," Tom agrees. Expect regular "is someone cutting onions in here?" reactions while you watch.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate