In As We See It, Jason Katim's new series for Amazon, Harrison (Albert Rutecki) and Mandy (Sosie Bacon) are both at significant crossroads in their lives. Harrison, who is autistic, lives independently for the first time with roommates Jack (Rick Glassman) and Violet (Sue Ann Pien), but he's worried about going outside because of the sensory overload of modern society. Mandy, who is the roommates' aide, is faced with the choice of going to medical school or continuing to build relationships with the people in her care. There are no easy answers for either character, and that confusion comes through in every frame.
Katims made an important choice to ensure that the characters with autism in As We See It were played by actors on the spectrum, and he found the right person for Harrison with Rutecki. However, this was Rutecki's first major role, which he admitted was a bit daunting at the start.
"I've always wanted to act. I've done like little things, like community theater, student films, and stuff, and this was so exciting that I finally got to do what I love, and with a really good cast and crew," Rutecki explained in an interview with PopCulture.com. "It was a lot to take in. Inside, there was just a lot of stuff going on where I was like, 'Do I deserve this? Will I do a good job? What if I mess up?' But in the end, you can see everyone was supporting each other, and I feel like we did the characters justice."
Bacon, who was last seen in Mare of Easttown, brings a quiet vulnerability to Mandy, who finds herself unintentionally causing pain due to her indecision. Things get complicated with Violet's brother, Van (Chris Pang), and she also has to navigate the complex relationships with each of the roommates, particularly Harrison.
"I feel like young women are portrayed in all of these various ways and I was grateful to see a young woman who both was confident and organized and had her stuff together, and then also was human and messy and had faced challenges," Bacon told PopCulture. "As much as she didn't want to, she hurts people's feelings, and then she's able to get through those moments with those people. I think there's an archetype of all sorts of things. There's an archetype of people with autism or with young women. And I really feel like this show showed imperfections in everybody and successes in everybody, and that felt very real to me. So I really appreciated that, to be playing a young woman that felt like someone who I know or me."
The first season of As We See It is available to stream on Amazon on Jan. 21.