A Heart-Stopping Show

A Review of Heartstopper, A New Netflix Series


Netflix annouces via Instagram for viewers to expect two more season of “Heartstopper”.

Leah Hallwirth, Journalist

Heartstopper, a new Netflix series, released on April 22, 2022, has had a big impact on the lives of many viewers. There are some shows that you watch and then simply move on with your life and then there are shows like Heartstopper that truly make an impact. According to a poll on the Western Branch Instagram ‘@thebruin_wbhs,’ 24% of students said they had watched Heartstopper.

It focuses on the lives of two teen boys who attend Truman Grammar School for Boys, Charlie Spring: a year 10 who was outed for being gay the previous year, and Nick Nelson: a year 11 who is the star rugby player for the school. The series shows the struggle of Charlie falling for a boy he believes to be straight and Nick discovers that he’s bisexual because of his feelings for Charlie. 

The show does a great job when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation through characters like Elle, a trans girl who was recently able to move to the girl’s school after the struggles of constantly being misgendered (not using the correct gender pronouns for a person) and deadnamed (using the name they were given that they no longer go by). It also shows the story of Tara and Darcy who started out keeping their relationship a secret and the judgment they face when they eventually reveal they’re dating.

Heartstopper conveys the struggles of friends trying to be supportive but not knowing how and is able to teach viewers, who may be in the same situation, how to help. Tao, the ‘token straight friend’ of the group, goes through the struggle of trying to keep Charlie safe from falling for a guy who is believed to be straight while also dealing with his feelings for his best friend, Elle.

Alice Osman, the creator of the Heartstopper webcomic in 2016 which was eventually published into a series of books in 2018, played a big part in the making of the show. The show closely follows the original plot of the series and has very accurate casting, which cannot be said for many other screen adaptations from books. There are many minor changes such as Charlie not having his younger brother Oliver who is seen in the original and Elle not being taller than Tao which was important for some who do not often get to see relationships with the woman being taller.

All the actors are perfectly cast and make it seem as if the characters walked straight out of the books. The two leads, Joe Locke who plays Charlie Spring, and Kit Connor who plays Nick Nelson, were able to perfectly capture Nick and Charlie’s relationship on the screen from their platonic friendship to their eventual relationship, have stolen the hearts of most viewers but there is definitely an actor for everyone.

This show has been able to do what most LGBTQ+ shows and movies have tried to do in the past but actually executed it correctly. They were able to show teenagers figuring out their sexualities and the many struggles that can come with it while including many other teenage struggles along with the positive sides as well.

Seeing positive LGBTQ+ representation that is actively talked about is not only important to those in the community but also to those not normally involved because it spreads a positive message for the group as a whole. Seeing Nick Nelson, a gay(bi) man, being depicted as more sporty rather than the feminine stereotypes usually given to gay male characters is so important to not only show that being gay can come in all different forms but also to validate those that do not fall into the normal stereotypes.

The show evokes so many strong emotions through the screen, like the “Why am I Like This” scene with Nick Nelson starting to research the possibilities of his true sexuality allows the viewer to really feel what he’s going through, the fear, the sadness. Nick and Charlie’s first kiss at Harry’s party perfectly takes you through the emotions of the whole moment from the original pure joy to the fear when they discover that Harry was coming to find them.

Since the show was recently renewed for another two seasons by Netflix after an outpouring of praise from viewers, many have begun to wonder what the next two seasons will look like. Will they choose to add in previously missing characters like Charlie’s younger brother? What new characters will they add? Will all the aspects of the Paris trip be added such as Nick being fluent in French and Tao learning that he is the one who originally, accidentally, outed Charlie, or will some of the familiar details be left out? 

With Alice Oseman previously working so closely on the show and most likely doing the same for the next two upcoming seasons, hopes are high that everything that fans know and love will be included and correctly explained. Now it is just time to wait patiently for what is to come in the next two seasons and rewatch Heartstopper season one for the hundredth time.