Luca Guadagino’s We Are Who We Are released its eighth and final episode on Monday. The miniseries is the filmmaker’s first work made for television.
We Are Who We Are premiered on Sept. 19, 2020, in the United States on HBO. It stars well known actors such as Jack Dylan Grazer, Chloë Sevigny, and Scott Mescudi.
The show takes the audience to a U.S Army Base in Chioggia, Italy where two teenagers meet and build a friendship. It takes place in late 2016, around the same time as the presidential election in the United States.
The premise of the miniseries is to capture the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of young people around the world through its main characters. The audience sees Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón) navigate through friendships, family dynamics, love, death, and questioning their identities and sexualities.
Scott Mescudi, also known as hip-hop artist Kid Cudi, joined the production as a main cast member, portraying a U.S Army Lieutenant Colonel and father to Caitlin, the main protagonist.
Director Luca Guadagino continues to add to his filmography with the beautifully shot miniseries. The cinematography, pacing and writing on the show are reminiscent of his previous works, such as the Academy Award winning film Call Me By Your Name.
Guadagino continuously has his projects take place in his home country of Italy. This setting as well as the European culture both add to the overall look of his films and now T.V shows.
We Are Who We Are can be considered a coming of age story, as it discusses topics like LGBTQ+ matters, sex and politics. Though not entirely clear in the show, Jack Dylan Grazer’s character appears to be either gay or bisexual. Jordan Kristine Seamón’s character is a trans young man.
The show explores sex and sexuality in a way that is respectful to the ages of both the characters and the actors. Though We Are Who We Are is not considered to be PG (or even PG-13), it would be safe to assume that many parents would be open to letting young adults watch this program. Perhaps they themselves would be able to gather valuable insight into the world of Gen Z.
Guadagino also incorporated news coverage from the 2016 presidential race and election. This was intended to show that the government and the political state of a country (not only the U.S.) will determine the future of its young people. Though the story took place in Italy, both protagonists are American and part of the LGBTQ+ community so American politics and elected officials will affect them, even if they are not necessarily paying attention to the news.
The performance from all cast members was stunning and extremely believable. When there are anger and frustration, the audience is able to feel it. When there are comfort and joy, the audience can feel that too.
The show is overall worth the watch. In between the stellar performances, beautiful visuals and eccentric wardrobe choices, there is a lot of value and validation that many audience members can gain from We Are Who We Are.
A second season has not been confirmed by HBO, but Guadagino has expressed willingness to make it happen should they decide to. Until that decision is made, all episodes are available now on HBO Max, along with bonus features from the show.