By Ermioni Pavlidou,
Happy Pride Month, everyone! One of the most trending Netflix British series of the past couple of months, which created thousands of TikTok edits and quickly became a fan favorite, Heartstopper (2022-) is renewed for two more seasons. Based on the webcomic created by Alice Oseman, who is the creator of the show as well. The series follows the — very admirable — forming of a relationship between Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), experimenting with sexuality, all the while struggling with being a hormonal and emotional teenager in Truham Grammar, which is an all-boys high school. This series and others like it becomes a safe space for young queer people and what people of the LGBTQIAP+ community would have wished to have as a part of the pop culture in the past.
The story unfolds as chapters — each corresponding to one episode —, having the structure of a comic. Charlie is a 15-year-old, shy, and very kind-hearted openly gay teenager with a warm smile. Fisayo Akinade plays an art teacher that has become Charlie’s mentor and friend; he lets Charlie sit with him during breaks because he does not want to deal with the judgment of his peers. He sits next to Nick in the first period and develops a crush on him. Nick is one year older than him, being very popular due to him being a rugby player. All of Charlie’s friends assume that Nick is straight and discourage the lovestruck Charlie from getting ideas and interpreting Nick’s friendliness as flirting. Little did they know, Nick is trying to figure out whether his feelings for Charlie are platonic or not. Also, Olivia Colman plays Nick’s mom — how awesome is that?
There are also sub-stories — which we hope we see more of in the seasons to come — being developed simultaneously with Nick and Charlie’s relationship. Charlie’s group of friends has its own separate arcs branching, including Isaac (Tobie Donovan), Tao (William Gao), and Elle (Yasmin Finney). Isaac is observant, kind, and quiet. Tao is a strong-willed film enthusiast, who has feelings — that are reciprocated — for the other member of their high school outcast group, Elle. Elle is adjusting to her new school environment since transferring to the all-girls high school, Higgs, after coming out as transgender. Even though being new in a school can be difficult, she becomes friends with Darcy (Kizzy Edgell) and Tara (Corinna Brown), two seemingly close friends that quickly trust her and disclose their private romantic relationship to her, establishing the start of their friendship.
Traditionally, almost every comic has its villain, and in this comic-structured series, they appear in the presence of Harry Greene (Cormac-Hyde Corrin); a rich and popular eleventh grader bully, who is in the same rugby team and extended friend group with Nick. Last but not least, another anti-hero is Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft), another member of the “popular clique”. He was involved with Charlie at the beginning of the series, but he could not come to terms with his sexuality and he — undeservingly — made Charlie the receptor of his insecure mentality.
Heartstopper has a very real teenage perspective through the narration of a love story, all with the dab of a comic coming to life. It deals with a lot of issues that people in this age (in their teens) and place (high school) are concerned with, like discovering one’s sexuality and the importance of destigmatizing it, while the creator of the show wants to include the issue of mental health in the later seasons.
- Heartstopper season 2 potential release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know, digitalspy.com, Available here
- ‘Heartstopper’ and the Importance of Depicting Queer Joy, collider.com, Available here