We Are Who We Are (2020)
|Content Rating||TV-MA (TV-MA)|
|Company||Home Box Office (HBO), Sky Italia, Wildside|
We Are Who We Are
We Are Who We Are is a coming-of-age drama television series co-created and directed by Luca Guadagnino for HBO and Sky Atlantic. A coming-of-age story set on a US army base in Italy, the series follows two American 14-year-olds, Fraser Wilson and Caitlin "Harper" Poythress. The cast includes Chloë Sevigny, Jack Dylan Grazer, Alice Braga, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Spence Moore II, and Scott Mescudi.
The series premiered on September 14, 2020, on HBO in the United States and on October 9, 2020, on Sky Atlantic in Italy.
We Are Who We Are focuses on two American kids who live on a fictional U.S. military base in Chioggia, Italy in 2016. The series explores friendship, first love, identity, and immerses the audience in all the messy exhilaration and anguish of being a teenager – a story which could happen anywhere in the world, but in this case, happens in this little slice of America in Italy.
Cast and characters
- Chloë Sevigny as Sarah Wilson, a colonel in the United States Army and Fraser's mother
- Jack Dylan Grazer as Fraser Wilson, a 14-year-old who moves from New York to a military base in Veneto with his mothers
- Alice Braga as Maggie Teixeira, a major in the U.S. Army, Fraser's mother and Sarah's wife
- Jordan Kristine Seamón as Caitlin Poythress / Harper, a seemingly bold and confident girl who is struggling with her gender identity
- Spence Moore II as Danny Poythress, Caitlin's older brother
- Scott Mescudi as Richard Poythress, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, Caitlin's and Danny's father
- Faith Alabi as Jenny Poythress, Caitlin's and Danny's mother
- Francesca Scorsese as Britney Orton, an outspoken, witty, sexually uninhibited girl
- Ben Taylor as Sam Pratchett, Caitlin's possessive boyfriend, and Craig's younger brother
- Corey Knight as Craig Pratchett, a soldier in his twenties, cheerful and good-natured, who is also Sam’s older brother
- Tom Mercier as Jonathan Kritchevsky, a major who works closely with Sarah
- Blood Orange as himself
- Beatrice Barichella as Valentina, Craig's nineteen-year-old girlfriend
- Sebastiano Pigazzi as Enrico, a playful eighteen-year-old boy from Veneto, who has a weak spot for Britney
- Vittoria Bottin as Sole, a friend of the group
- Nicole Celpan as Giulia, a girl interested in Harper
- Maria Teresa Cerantola as Teresa, a bar proprietor who secretly buys fuel from Richard
- Hans Bush as Colonel McAunty, the exiting base commander who is replaced by Sarah
- Jim Sweatman as Colonel Martin
- Tomeka Campbell Turley as Mel
- Gaia Schiralli as Monica
- Lisa Lazzaro as Loredana
- Brixhilda Shqalsi as Marta, Jonathan's girlfriend
- Giulia Manzini as Anna
- Jacopo Brigotti as Angelo
- Arturo Gabbriellini as Luca, Fraser’s love interest whom he meets while on their way to the Blood Orange concert in Bologna
- Emma Segat as Futura, a bartender that Harper meets at the Blood Orange concert
- Timothée Chalamet
- Armie Hammer
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Right here, right now #1"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||September 14, 2020||0.117|
|Fraser Wilson and his mothers, Colonel Sarah Wilson and Major Maggie Teixeira, arrive at Venice Airport in Italy from New York City, where they're greeted and picked up by their Nigerian neighbor, Jenny Poythress. They arrive at their new house, located on the U.S. Army Base "Caserma Maurizio Pialati" near Chioggia, and the family begins to settle in. Fraser explores around the army base and the army base high school, and later haphazardly finds himself dragged along to the beach with a group of his new classmates, led by a girl named Britney. Fraser finds himself fascinated with a girl named Caitlin, who is Jenny's daughter. Fraser spots Caitlin at a restaurant; unexpectedly, she is dressed like a boy and calls herself Harper. Later at the beach, Fraser asks what he should call her.|
|2||"Right here, right now #2"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||September 21, 2020||0.090|
|The events of the first episode are retold from the perspective of Caitlin, whose family has been at the Italian base for many years. She has a short-tempered older brother, Danny, who is still in school and is currently learning Arabic. Her father Richard, whom she looks up to, is a Trump supporter. Caitlin seems generally uninterested in most things. At the beach, she gets her first period. Her relationship with her boyfriend Sam is strained when she rejects his sexual advances. At a restaurant, she passes for a boy, and Fraser witnesses it. She tells him to stay away from her, but Jenny later tells her that Fraser sent a package. Caitlin, initially reluctant to open Fraser's package, curiously opens it and finds a set of clothing. That night, Caitlin sneaks out of her room to goof off with her brother and their friends. The next morning, Caitlin tries on the gifted clothing, and Fraser sees her from his window.|
|3||"Right here, right now #3"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||September 28, 2020||0.062|
|Fraser and Caitlin's relationship has strengthened since the last episode. On Richard's boat, Caitlin makes a mess of some cookies after Fraser informs her that they may contain shellfish. Later, a heartbroken Sam breaks up with Caitlin, who is unfazed. Britney sees Sam's misery and comforts him. It's made clear that ever since she became friends with Fraser, Caitlin's other relationships have become strained. At Fraser's house, the two discuss transgender people and Fraser attempts to teach Caitlin how to shave, but they're interrupted by Sarah. Fraser is angry that the dish he prepared for dinner didn't turn out well, and Caitlin soon witnesses his dysfunctional relationship with Sarah. When Caitlin gets back home, Richard angrily tells her to clean up the cookies she left in the boat. The next day, residents of the base take part in a large parade that happens once a year. Caitlin chooses to walk with Fraser, which angers Danny and causes him to violently lash out at Fraser. Meanwhile, Richard questions his own self-worth after losing the annual game of tug-of-war for the first time. Jenny and Maggie walk together and eat a pie Jenny baked.|
|4||"Right here, right now #4"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||October 5, 2020||0.060|
|5||"Right here, right now #5"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||October 12, 2020||0.049|
|Caitlin gets up early to go to the digital shooting range, assisted by Sarah, who commends her accuracy. Maggie and Jenny are revealed to be sleeping together. When Fraser arrives at school, he spots a note posted on the board in the hallway referring to "Harper," signed by Giulia, the girl who Caitlin spoke to at the restaurant in Episode 1. He gives it to Caitlin, who wants to meet Giulia again. With Fraser's help, Caitlin applies trimmed hair onto her face while Fraser orders Blood Orange concert tickets, then the pair shave Caitlin's head. They ride to the meeting spot, where Fraser leaves Caitlin to hang out with Giulia and her friends. Fraser wanders off and stumbles upon the movie theater, buying a ticket for Ouija: Origin of Evil. At the theater, he sees Jonathan, a major in Sarah's command whom he is infatuated with. Jonathan invites him to sit, and the two walk home after the movie, striking up a friendship. Meanwhile, Richard notices Caitlin's shaven hair in the bathroom. Furious, he later confronts Caitlin, who breaks down in her father's arms.|
|6||"Right here, right now #6"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||October 19, 2020||0.050|
|7||"Right here, right now #7"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||October 26, 2020||0.092|
|8||"Right here, right now #8 and last"||Luca Guadagnino||Paolo Giordano & Francesca Manieri & Luca Guadagnino||November 2, 2020||0.058|
|Caitlin and her family pack to move to Chicago as Richard has been reassigned. Britney visits Caitlin and admits she has always been in love with her and the two share a kiss. Fraser texts Caitlin that the Blood Orange concert is imminent and the two run away to Bologna to see the show. They eventually hitch a ride with other fans and Fraser meets a boy named Luca who also loves fashion and says he has a girlfriend. Caitlin gets separated from the boys as they enter the venue and meets Futura, a female bartender who gives her a backstage pass; Caitlin meets Blood Orange and texts a picture to Fraser. Caitlin kisses Futura who asks her if she is transgender. As Blood Orange does an encore, Caitlin texts Fraser she is leaving to catch the train home. Fraser asks her to wait but she leaves. Luca takes Fraser on a tour of the arches in Bologna and they share a kiss. Fraser leaves and Luca literally disappears. Fraser goes to the train station and pulls Caitlin from the train home. He takes her to the arches and they share a long, romantic kiss as it becomes morning.|
In February 2019, it was announced that Luca Guadagnino was in talks with HBO to work on a new one-hour, eight-episode show tentatively titled We Are Who We Are. Guadagnino would direct the series and write the script with Paolo Giordano and Francesca Manieri. Lorenzo Mieli and Riccardo Neri were named as prospective executive producers.
The US Department of Defense was initially supportive, and the show was to be filmed at the US army complex at Vicenza, which would also provide the extras. Guadagnino later commented that they must not have read the script; the Department of Defense later withdrew all offers of support and, according to Guadagnino, would have preferred the show not to happen. Ultimately HBO had a set built nearby to represent the base.
The first reports described the main characters, Fraser Wilson and Caitlin Harper, as "a detached teenager who hails from New York City" and "a character is hard to describe—beautiful, sometimes disapproving, poetic," respectively.
On July 17, 2019, the cast was revealed by HBO and it includes Chloë Sevigny, Scott Mescudi, Alice Braga, Jack Dylan Grazer, Spence Moore II, and newcomers Jordan Kristine Seamón, Faith Alabi, Corey Knight, Tom Mercier, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Taylor and Sebastiano Pigazzi.
Principal photography on the series was expected to begin in Italy in late May 2019, with production set to run through October, but production began in late July.
The series premiered in its entirety at the San Sebastián International Film Festival on September 20, 2020.
The series premiered on television on September 14, 2020, on HBO in the United States and on October 9, 2020, on Sky Atlantic in Italy. The finale aired in Italy on October 30, 2020, ahead of its broadcast on HBO. In the United Kingdom, the limited series was released in its entirety on November 22, 2020, by BBC Three via iPlayer.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 89% based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 7.85/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "We Are Who We Are doesn't move mountains, but by focusing on the little details and allowing its central teens to just be, Luca Guadagnino creates small-screen poetry." Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 77 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B+ and said, "Despite some flat characters, Guadagnino exuberantly spotlights his cast of up-and-comers, especially Corey Knight." Writing for Rolling Stone, Alan Sepinwall gave a rating of 4/5 and wrote "Few transplants from the big screen to the small have as keen an eye, or ear, as Guadagnino, so the voyeuristic nature of the storytelling feels inviting rather than indulgent. (Mostly)." Caroline Framke of Variety described the series as "so visceral as to become unsettling—but what else is being a teenager like, if not immersive, visceral and unsettling?". Reviewing the first three episodes, Matt Roush from TV Guide stated that the series wants to be "shocking" like Euphoria, "but it soon grows monotonous."
|1||"Right here, right now #1"||September 14, 2020||0.02||0.117|
|2||"Right here, right now #2"||September 21, 2020||0.01||0.090|
|3||"Right here, right now #3"||September 28, 2020||0.01||0.062|
|4||"Right here, right now #4"||October 5, 2020||0.01||0.060|
|5||"Right here, right now #5"||October 12, 2020||0.01||0.049|
|6||"Right here, right now #6"||October 19, 2020||0.01||0.050|
|7||"Right here, right now #7"||October 26, 2020||0.03||0.092|
|8||"Right here, right now #8 and last"||November 2, 2020||0.01||0.058|