“We Are Who We Are” is a Quiet yet Immersive Series

Cover art by @marigrus_art on Instagram

by Alena Nguyen

From the beautiful mind of Luca Guadnagnino (director of “Call Me By Your Name”) comes a 2-episode series about a young teen Fraser (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) who has to move from New York City to a military base in Italy where one of his mothers has become colonel.

Fraser seems to hold himself with a “I’m not like other kids” attitude. He walks around as if he can do whatever he want and break any rule or regulation. He always has music playing and sunglasses on. His style is as bold as his attitude, donning floppy cheetah print pants and a bright orange sweatshirt in Episode 1. He doesn’t care about the world; he’s a just a teenager in Italy.

This careless attitude carries throughout the show, and it is seen when Fraser meets Caitlin (played by Jordan Kristine Seamón) who Fraser calls Harper. With Harper’s careful, logical attitude juxtaposing Fraser’s frivolous ways, the two easily balance each other out and creates a fun dynamic.

I appreciate the way Guadnagnino can find beauty in the quiet, especially in this show. As a writer, I’ve been taught that all shows have A, B, and C plots and there are events, or “beats”, that can be pointed out. However, in “We Are Who We Are”, the things that Fraser and Harper got up to seamlesly flowed together. The small, intricate moments they shared were highlighted in meaningful pauses as they sat at the beach and simply enjoyed each other’s presence. The concept of the show was so niche and incredibly specific that at first glance, one might think there’s nothing relatable about it. However, viewers will be surprised that it actually included all the aspects that made up a ‘coming of age’ series.

The emphasis on teens living lives away from their parents and the chaotic yet quiet happenings of teenage lives were highlighted in this series. Even though there’s not much to do on a military base, Fraser and Harper manage to find things to do and the repetition in mundane, quiet lives is glorified in this series. The slow pace did throw me off, as I am used to the quicker pace of dramas where things are constantly happening left and right. However, this was a good break from all the chaos of a regular series and the two episodes seemed like a movie broken into two episodes instead of one, two-hour feature.

Stream “We Are Who We Are” on HBO Max.

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