The Must-Watch New Netflix Teen Queer Rom-Com Series, 'Heartstopper'

The Must-Watch New Netflix Teen Queer Rom-Com Series, 'Heartstopper'

The series has been praised for its LGBT representation and the young actors who have done a great job portraying the characters.

There is a new wholesome teen TV series on Netflix with the best queer representation one could ask for. 

Heartstopper is the creation of Alice Oseman who first published the story as a webcomic which currently has four graphic novel volumes. The coming-of-age narrative tells the story of Charlie Spring, an openly gay high schooler who falls in love with the school's rugby star and the ups and downs that come with it. The comics were already well-loved and when the Netflix adaptation was announced, fans had high expectations, which the series has managed to meet. The eight-part series has been praised for not only the LGBT representation but also for the performances by the young actors. (Warning, spoilers ahead!)


The story starts off with Charlie (Joe Locke) who develops a crush on Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), the popular rugby star. Charlie is still recovering from a year of bullying at school, where he was outed. Ben Hope, another boy at the school, breaks Charlie's heart by keeping their relationship a secret while he is still coming to terms with his sexuality. After an argument between Ben and Charlie which Nick intervenes in, they start to bond and become good friends. As they get to know each other, we see heart-fluttering moments when Nick realizes he is falling for Charlie. 


Nick contemplates his sexuality and by the end of the season, he not only comes to terms with his bisexuality but embraces it proudly. There is also the heartwarming moment when he comes out to his mother, portrayed by Olivia Colman, who says, "I am sorry if I ever made you feel like you couldn't tell me that," as she gives her son a big hug. The story of Nick and Charlie begins at the end of the first season, leaving us wanting more. With 178 Webtoon chapters already published, there is a ton of source material to work with. 


In addition to Nick and Charlie, we also meet their friends Tao, Elle, Isaac, Tara, and Darcy, portrayed by William Gao, Yasmin Finney, Tobie Donovan, Corinna Brown, and Kizzy Edgell respectively. Tara and Darcy are a lesbian couple who befriends Elle. Elle transfers schools for being bullied after coming out as trans. Isaac is a new character written specifically for the show (replacing Aled from the comics) and as confirmed by Oseman is aro-ace (aromantic and asexual). We also see Tara and Darcy going through a hard time after coming out as a couple in their school and how they support each other through thick and thin.


The representation does not feel forced and gives the younger audience some much-needed queer representation. “There’s a lot on TV now that has queer content, but it’s definitely for adults,” Oseman stated, adding, “a lot of queer stories are still very serious or focused on trauma.” They went on to say, “Nick’s coming out journey, that is such a big part of Heartstopper. It’s figuring out your identity and figuring out who you are and what you want. And Nick’s journey is all about how people perceive him versus who he actually is, and he has to make peace with the fact that people don’t really see him for who he is.” 


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