We Are Who We Are

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
We Are Who We Are TV Poster Image
Teen drinking and sex in lovely, lyrical cinematic drama.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

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.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

In lyrical sequences, this series celebrates friendship, living authentically, asking for and receiving emotional support from loved ones, boldly asking for what one wants -- and the beauty of its Italian coastal setting. 

Positive Role Models

There are no villains here, despite the way characters sometimes hurt each other. Each is flawed and human, but largely accepting of one another's quirks. The military is painted as intolerant of differences, and a gay couple is treated harshly. Fraser is immature and thoughtless, but viewers understand that he's a teen acting out under difficult circumstances, and that he's learning over time to treat others with more care. The show's cast is diverse in terms of age, race, sex, gender presentation and identity, and sexual identity. 

Violence

Violence is rare but can be surprising, like when Fraser slaps his mom across the face when she refuses to cut his meat the way he wants it. Suicide is referred to, as is self-harm; Fraser balance-walks along the top of a bridge when drunk, risking serious harm or possibly death if he falls. 

Sex

Nudity is casual and often non-sexual: a man is shown at length naked coming out of a shower; a teen pulls off his bathing suit and wiggles his penis jokingly in front of his friends, a woman's breast and buttocks can be seen as she slips into a bath, another woman uses the bathroom with the door open. Teens joke about sex, like when one says that she believes a boy has a "big one" due to how he walks. Many characters are fluid in their sexuality and gender presentation; expect same- and opposite-sex kissing, dating, flirting, and having sex off-screen. 

Language

Language includes "f--king," "f--k," "s--t," as well as words like "balls" (meaning "courage"). 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A 14-year-old main character seems to have the beginnings of a drinking problem, asking for drinks to handle emotional problems and tense moments; his mother hands him an airplane bottle of what looks like vodka when he says he's "thirsty." Teens drink at parties and gatherings; "You can drink anywhere in Italy," says one. After drinking for a long time, a boy vomits and is sloppy. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that We Are Who We Are is a series about a teen who moves to an American military base in Italy when his mother is appointed commander of the unit. The show's Italian setting informs some of its content; as a teen says, they can "drink anywhere in Italy," and they do, consuming cocktails and beer at parties and gatherings. A 14-year-old also drinks alone, including in a scene where he throws up and almost falls down from drunkenness. Violence is infrequent but has emotional consequences: characters consider suicide, a teen slaps his mother in the face suddenly when she's cooking for him. Several characters are fluid in their gender identity and sexuality; expect same- and opposite-sex kissing, dating, flirting, and off-screen sex, as well as frequent non-sexual nudity: men visible fully naked from the front and behind while they shower; a woman's breast and buttocks visible as she gets into a bath.  Language includes "f--king," "f--k," and "s--t." Characters are complex and human; there are no stereotypes here, but instead flawed humans who make mistakes but also give each other acceptance and emotional support. The cast is diverse in terms of age, race, sex, gender presentation and identity, and sexual identity. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHarlley October 20, 2020

quite a lot of nudity

This show in my opinion is for older teens,the only BIG thing you have to worry about in this show as a parent is the nudity.
Adult Written byMovstar96 February 5, 2021

Masterpiece for mature teenagers and older

Parents should know that this incredible, mature coming-of-age story about sexuality and identity contains a good deal of explicit nudity, sex, and drug use. It... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bysnusmumrikken October 25, 2020

so beautiful

a very slow, beautiful piece of cinema. everyone should see it.
I don't see a problem with the nudity, because most of it is not in a sexual context.
Kid, 12 years old November 9, 2020

LOTS OF NUDITY

IM TWELVE AND HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS COMING. at first there was just a naked woman which almost made me click exit but i gave it another chance. And then OF COUR... Continue reading

What's the story?

Created and directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), WE ARE WHO WE ARE takes place on an American military base in Chioggia, Italy, where Commander Sarah Wilson (Chloe Sevigny) is transferring to be the head officer, bringing with her wife Maggie (Alice Braga) and her teenage son, Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer). As tensions rise on the base between Sarah and her troops, who resent serving under both a woman and a lesbian, Fraser gets friendly with his next door neighbor, Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón), and the two help each other navigate life, love, friendship, and sex in a country not their own, and a place not of their choosing. 

Is it any good?

Intimate, beautiful, and enchating, this drama takes its time getting places, but introduces us to characters so unique and compelling that we're happy to get to know them slowly. Fraser is an eyefull from the first moment we see him: bleached blonde hair corkscrewing eccentrically out from his head in all directions, yellow and black nails, animal-print fur culottes; his suitcase has gotten lost on the way to the tiny Italian town where his mom is to take command, and he's cranky. "I'm thirsty," he complains to mom Sarah, pushing away the bottle of water his stepmom Maggie offers. Sarah eventually hands him a bottle of what looks like airplane vodka.

Their relationship only gets more unusual from there, but that's not exactly what this character-driven show is about, just like it's not exactly about living as a weirdo on a military base where conformity rules, or about how gender and sexuality don't necessarily predict who you'll fall in love with, or how friends who get you can ease the sting of a world that often doesn't; it's actually about all these things, and every other part of these fiercely real characters' lives. We spend large swathes of time just watching the crowd of military-brat friends Fraser takes up with as they play around at the beach, party at each other's houses, wander around the military grocery store and through throngs of soldiers jogging in formation. And it's beautiful, getting to know these characters and understand what they're looking for. Take all the time you need, We Are Who We Are -- you're worth waiting for. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how We Are Who We Are depicts characters who are gay, gender fluid, bisexual, or otherwise non-cis heterosexual. How does it compare to other/typical depictions in Hollywood films?

  • How is sex portrayed here? Is it loving and respectful? What does it mean for the characters involved? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • TV shows and movies often begin with characters who are new to a particular situation: an office, a school, a group. Why? How does this approach help orient the audience to our setting and characters? Is is a cliche? Is it used in a cliche manner in We Are Who We Are

TV details

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