Heartstopper, or the love story between Charlie and Nick, offers a ray of sunshine and lightness, while addressing sensitive themes.
What is a Heartstopper? Charlie (Joe Locke), 15, is an all-boys high school student who was bullied the year before he dropped out. Shy and reticent, he has a secret romance with Ben (Sebastian Croft), who never comes out of the closet and ignores him in public. During the course, he was hired as study partner Nick (Kit Connor), the star of the hugely popular and self-confident rugby team. The two boys couldn’t be more different, yet they instantly become inseparable friends. The problem is, Charlie likes Nick. Who is straight. Undoubtedly. Well, apparently…
In 2016, Alice Osman created the webcomic heart stopFrom which she would draw a graphic novel two years later. The saga, now comprising four volumes (the fifth volume set for 2023), explores the romantic relationship between two teens, Charlie and Nick. And it was Osman who took charge of the Netflix adaptation, with an eight-episode first season. The result couldn’t have been better – from our point of view but also from the audience’s point of view, the series seems to have been unanimous. The series was also renewed for two more seasons.
Having Usman as a screenwriter and executive producer is no ordinary. She has figured out how to keep the core of her story and expand her world by giving more importance to the secondary heroes. We find tenderness, innocence, friendship but also the fears and fears of its heroes; Moreover, the actors are physically similar to the characters, which readers will appreciate. but interest heart stop It lies less in fidelity to the novels than it does in the themes and the way they are dealt with.
Charlie is a shy teenager, still fragile after being bullied by some high school students because of his homosexuality. He attends the same institution as Charlie, but the two boys never rub shoulders, they develop in different circles and couldn’t be more opposite. One day, after their husbands had been put for review by the teacher, they found themselves sitting next to each other. The complicity is instantaneous and they become inseparable friends. Except that Charlie falls madly in love with Nick, even if he’s convinced he doesn’t stand a chance: Nick is athletic, he plays rugby, the girls run after him, he’s the testosterone ideal. But the heart has its reasons that clichés ignore, and to his surprise, Nick feels the emotional attraction to Charlie.
What immediately catches the eye is the perfect chemistry between the main actors. Every sentence is imbued with emotion, whether in deep conversations or in everyday trifles, every look or every gesture is imbued with tenderness. Without this duo as a complementary opposite, the chain wouldn’t work either. If Nick is interpreted by Kate Connor, who is only 18 years old, he already has an impressive career behind him (he played young Elton John in Rocket Man and we saw him in Its dark matter), Joe Locke aka Charlie makes his screen debut. This surprisingly benefits the series, as Locke’s nervous, goofy energy cleverly combines with Connor’s confidence.
behind the two heroes, heart stop Filled with a cast of lovable minor characters, who are gradually turning away from clichés to occupy their own story. They include Ellie (Yasmine Fini), a transgender teen who begins her education at an all-girls high school; His girlfriends Tara and Darcy are dating; Tao (William Gau), Charlie’s close friend; Imogen (Rhea Norwood) who loves Nick; Benevolent art teacher Mr. Ajayi (Visayo Akinade), who may have gone through the same thing as Charlie…
with heart stopWe are far from overly sexualized and exhilarating trance where sex education. It is a story of love and soul-searching made of sweetness, sensitivity and innocence. Fresh and luminous, the series sparkles when tiny visual pop dots appear on screen as something out of a graphic novel to bring out the feelings of the characters. This does not prevent him from tackling difficult topics such as bullying at school and its psychological consequences, homophobia in both its violent manifestations and in its everyday banality, phobias of relocation, anxiety, and questions about oneself … but heart stop Charming and so sensitive that it is hard to resist, even for the most pessimistic. A wonderful romantic teen, sweet and fun. Oh, and of course, it’s a LGBTI love story.
Read also: Love, Victor is much more than a LGBTQ teen drama
We can already hear certain voices regretting it heart stop Following in the footsteps of a series like Love, Victor where generation By showing a fact where heterogeneous normative is an outdated and narrow concept. Too bad for them, they will ignore this beautiful series that presents an LGBT representation with full “normality” and, above all, empathy, naturalness, respect and honesty. No matter their gender, gender, or cuteness, characters roam heart stop Without having to ask permission to occupy the space they are entitled to.
It’s a teen show, it’s a gay romance. But far from its most visible audience—young, LGTBI, rom-com fans—Heartstopper is above all a charming story, perhaps the most beautiful and subtle we’ve seen in a long time. Without ignoring the more painful and problematic aspects that permeate the relationship between Nick and Charlie, this is a great series that gives you a smile and a smile. Appreciating beautiful feelings and beautiful stories about love and friendship does not depend on age, gender, sexual or romantic orientation; It’s just a matter of personal attraction to the romantic and sensitive type.
8 episodes of about 30.
Available on Netflix