If you’re queer and haven’t heard of Heartstopper yet – where have you been?
Adapted from the webcomic of the same name created by Alice Oseman, the eight-part Netflix series is an absolute joy to watch.
The story follows Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a gay 14-year-old, and his friends at an all-boys school. Charlie ends up falling for Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), the star of the school’s rugby team. But Nick’s definitely straight – right?
The show perfectly encapsulates what it’s like to be queer in a British secondary school. From the snide comments to vicious bullying, it’s heartbreakingly relatable.
Despite this, the overall tone remains upbeat and hopeful. Queer joy is always centre stage, without shying away from the very real struggles of coming out in the UK.
The series is also unapologetically British. Oseman was heavily involved with the creation of the adaptation and they were adamant that it would not be Americanised. The characters suggest dates at Nando’s and try to get out of participating in sports day. The unique British elements make it all the more enjoyable.
Because of Oseman’s involvement, the show is a near-perfect adaptation of the comics. It stays true to the original story and even the elements that were changed or added still work well. In particular, the addition of the character Isaac, one of Charlie’s friends, was brilliant. He is effectively a replacement character for Aled Last from the comic, who was not included in the show as he is a main character in one of Oseman’s other books, Radio Silence.
Every detail is perfect, from the age-appropriate casting to the indie-pop soundtrack. It’s a scary time to be LGBTQ+ in Britain right now due to talks surrounding conversion therapy, and we need well-written representation more than ever. This show is exactly what the world needs – inclusive, honest and adorable.
Heartstopper will mend your little gay heart. Watch it now on Netflix and read the webcomic for free on Tapas and Webtoon.
Feature image credit: Netflix.
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