Some shows are meant to open your heart, and “Heartstopper” is one of them. This Netflix teen LGBTQ+ drama came out last year as a delightful mix of happiness and romance, instantly becoming a massive hit with a dedicated fan base. It’s the kind of series that’s easy to love, where every scene oozes sweetness without overwhelming you with saccharine sentimentality. It beautifully represents a world where the stories of queer kids are taken seriously, and their straight and cisgender counterparts are equally valued. And if you haven’t felt the love among its enthusiastic young cast on-screen, there are stars and sparks aplenty to help you out.
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Heartstopper Season 2: Trailer
“Heartstopper” Season 2 (streaming on Thursday, four out of ★★★½) brings back that wonderful feeling of queer joy, but with a touch more introspection and thoughtfulness. Amidst the exuberant emotions of British teenagers Charlie (played by Lockie Chapman) and Nick (Kit Connor) and their friends, there are moments of stillness and contemplation, which is a departure from Season 1, where the kids navigated their personal lives and the challenges of the bigger world. Life isn’t always easy for teenagers, especially queer ones, and Season 2 embraces that struggle. Yet, it’s a fictional and aspirational world that becomes the key to its success.
There’s no denying that Alice Oseman has crafted the series masterfully, drawing from her own graphic novels. The young cast is terrific, the writing is brilliant, and Paris’ backdrop gives the new season a vibrant and fresh atmosphere. While Season 1 was a story of finding love as Charlie and Nick discovered their feelings for each other when Nick realized he’s bisexual, Heartstopper Season 2 is an ongoing love story, not just for our central couple. Exploring the intricacies of companionship, Tara (Korinna Brown), Darcy (Kizzy Edgell), Elle (Yasmin Finney), and Tao (Will Gao) are discovering that a profound bond transcends mere chemistry between individuals.
As Nick comes out of his love cocoon and returns to the real world, he and Charlie will have to figure out how to be a couple and connect with the rest of the world. The majority of the new season revolves around Nick’s journey of coming out, which is filled with ups and downs. At one point, he gets so anxious about telling his “rugby mates” that he pretends to be sick, and Charlie has to take him to his mother’s (played by Olivia Colman, a delightful presence in any show) for support. When some people in his life find out, it’s not always a heartwarming moment. Oseman handles Nick’s story with subtlety and how Charlie supports him, making it remarkable. While TV has a history of mishandling and misrepresenting queer stories, “Heartstopper” avoids any such pitfalls.
In the meantime, ”Heartstopper” their friends have their own romantic struggles. Tara and Darcy, who seem like the ideal couple, are emotionally distant. Tao and Elle can’t seem to bridge the gap between friendship and something more. The show’s most delightful moments often come from Tao and Elle’s interactions, where two quirky kids experiment with affection and mature emotions. It’s the kind of teenage romance that makes you go “aww” and feel like you’re 16 again.
We find ourselves in a fearful and perilous time for this peculiar community, as laws have been passed across America and Britain that impede the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. When the first season premiered in 2022, it felt like a soothing balm, a moment of queer joy amidst the turmoil. In 2023, it stands as one of the most essential representations.
Life might be tough for Nick and Charlie, but “Heartstopper” reminds us that LGBTQ+ life can also be wonderful.”