Review of Heartstopper’s second season – This LGBTQ+ teen drama is even sweeter and more lovely than before.

What will happen to Nick and Charlie after the fairy tale ending of season one? The show still deals with the complicated issues of being a teenager, and both teens and adults will love it.

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper season two.Heartstopper season two featured Joe Locke and Kit Connor. Photo: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix/See Saw

Heartstopper, an LGBTQ+ teen drama, is even sweeter and lovelier in its second season.
What will happen to Nick and Charlie after the fairy tale ending of season one? The show still deals with the complicated issues of being a teenager, and both teens and adults will love it.

Rachel Nicholson
Thu Aug 3, 2023, 5 a.m. BST
The first season of Heartstopper went on to do things that no one expected. The show, based on Alice Oseman’s popular graphic novels for young adults, was a hit with the teenagers it was meant for, but it also spoke to the complicated heartache of older viewers. Many LGBTQ+ adults were moved by the book’s picture of queer adolescence, saying that it was what they wished they had been like at that age. Many people found the sweet romance between two teenage boys to be a little sad.

When it comes back, people will have a lot of hopes for it. Much of the first season was about Nick (Kit Connor), a popular rugby player, and Charlie (Joe Locke), an artist his classmates picked on when they found out he was gay. But the way it did things was part of what made it so charming. Charlie had a group of artistic friends who helped him through the hard times of coming out, and his crush on Nick turned out to be a fairy tale.

TV show-writers know that it’s not always easy to figure out what to do after a “will they or won’t they?” story ends with “they did.” Now that Nick and Charlie are together, they are so in love that they always kiss, send each other texts like “Good morning, boyfriend,” and celebrate their two-month anniversary. In any other situation, this would not be very good, but here it’s just so cute.

But they are still teenagers, and even though they find comfort in each other, pressure is everywhere. Their feelings are too much to handle, and sometimes these kids fall apart.

It’s time for the GCSEs, and both boys are thinking about each other. Nick has already told his mother (played by the imperious Olivia Colman, who shows up now and then). Still, there are other family members to tell, like his bossy older brother and his distant father. Late in the series, there is another awkward dinner party to add to the list of awkward dinner parties on TV this year. Those who have seen The Bear will be happy to hear that no fish are involved.

Tao (Will Gao) and Elle (Yasmin Finney) in HeartstopperTao (Will Gao) and Elle (Yasmin Finney). Photograph: © Netflix / See Saw

Most of the time, the danger in Heartstopper isn’t too bad, and the conflict is solved quickly. Teens who are gay or questioning deserve this hope. But the story isn’t as simple as it seems. For example, when one character goes to a club, they tell us it’s a night for people under 18. Nick’s coming out has many parts that depend on who he tells and when. People say he just hasn’t realized that he is gay yet because he is bisexual. This gives us a chance to talk about biphobia and bi-erasure. It looks at how the other person in the relationship feels about coming out.

The show also deals with the end of the main couple’s relationship by broadening its focus and giving the side characters more time and space to develop their storylines. Elle and Tao are thinking about taking their best friendship out of the “friend zone,” but they are afraid that doing so could hurt how close they are. Isaac makes a touching discovery about himself after writing a lovely, quiet thread about how important books and reading are. Tara and Darcy learn more about their relationship’s limits and what they don’t know about each other outside of school. Even Ben, the bad guy in the first season, has had his mask removed.

Heartstopper often asks quietly for everyone to understand it, and this is where its maturity lies. Even teachers are allowed to have feelings outside of work.

It talks about things teens do all the time, like the school trip to Europe, the big party after finals, and prom. They spend a few episodes in Paris, where there are hookups, breakups, and love bites. The topic of sleepovers and sharing rooms on trips, as well as what is and isn’t okay for same-sex couples and what parents will let them do, comes up.

The show also makes a few references to the real world. One adult character makes a sad comment about older viewers who may not have had “those beautiful gay teenage experiences.” Fans will notice that the words in a specific Instagram post were carefully chosen.

The second season was better than the first. It is more prosperous, more sure of itself, and better off because it casts a broader net. It’s for kids, and that’s never forgotten, but it’s more subtle than it initially seems, while still being a sweet and lovely thing.

  • Netflix has the movie Heartstopper.

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