Heartstopper is a new Netflix show that was released on 22nd April 2022. Produced by See-Saw Films, the series is a young high school drama that has been adapted from the book of the same name by Alice Oseman.
Heartstopper Series Cast
- Kit Connor as Nick Nelson
- Joe Locke as Charlie Spring
- Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent
- William Gao as Tao Xu
- Jenny Walser as Tori Spring
Heartstopper Series Plot
When Nick Nelson, the rugby lad and Charlie Spring, the gay nerd sit next to each other in class, they become unlikely friends. Navigating school problems and surprising emotional development, Nick and Charlie set about their own story.
Heartstopper Series Review
High School-based TV series. One would think Netflix would have been tired of them till now. Yet, this OTT platform shows the true meaning of consistency. Like its predecessor, Blockbuster, it too is trying to stay relevant while its competitors slowly eat the market away.
Yet here is the issue, they have released so many of these stories that they need to beat their own hold in this genre to make a success. Even a cutesy trailer and new faces couldn’t save the latest high school romance, Heartstopper.
While I do say new faces, some of you may recognise the love interest, Nick who is played by Kit Connor from Rocketman, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and several other projects. The protagonist, Joe Locke, is a completely fresh face though. Separately, they did a fabulous job. Charlie’s hopeful looks and overactive thoughts were communicated beautifully and Nick’s permanent state of confusion was also acted out perfectly by Kit. Yet, when they shared a screen together, there was not much chemistry. There was a doe-eyed quality to them but it started and ended there.
Depicting Social Media, the Right Way
Before heading onto what I didn’t like, let’s cover the good stuff. Heartstopper was super accurate and relatable when it came to the use of social media. The continuous checking whether they replied, casually scrolling through their profile and even unsending messages, is all unfortunately super common in this generation. In terms of other aspects of high school too, social media was used well. How much simple comments can affect a relationship and person is something many people go through. On such platforms, many comments like, “you don’t look gay”, “too bad that you are lesbian” or even blatantly hurtful things often get away with no repercussions. The show did not belittle this reality and also didn’t propagate it further which is a good stance to take.
One thing every reader will know is that books are able to materialise feelings. They are able to make it real and not something just in the person’s head. Not many movies do that because ultimately these feelings are in one’s head, right? This show uses minimal animation like adding hand-drawn hearts, leaves, and electric sizzles around the characters. It isn’t anything shocking but adds an overall cute look which is the vibe the entire series is going for. The show uses bright colours and fresh light to get a look similar to an ice cream parlour. At the same time, it uses dampened shades of the same colour to indicate Charlie’s turmoil when he is overthinking.
The series had some decent continuities like Rugby was in the series throughout and wasn’t simply a prop used in the beginning and forgotten till the last episode. While the leaves and sizzles were an interesting addition, the leaves disappeared for some time and they didn’t explain their significance. Why was it leaves and not hearts?
There were too many things in the series that didn’t make sense till the end of the series. A prime example is Olivia Coleman. She played the role of Nick’s mother but also had no role. She wasn’t even the token adult who was giving life-changing advice or the parent that becomes overtly an ally. Her entire character was pointless.
All the characters were not explored well. Tao could have had so much more potential but was reduced to a whiny teenage boy. There was a token overly eager girl who was made way too extra to be made into comedic relief. Even Charlie’s elder sister was nothing more than a sibling that appears out of thin air. She was there but no one knew why or how? She was given an eccentric look but no character. The series wanted to do a lot but ended up doing nothing.
Relationships which Lacked Chemistry
The worst part of the series was how Tao and Elle’s relationship story. That was one of the very few relationships in the show that actually had any chemistry. Their story was not given anything towards the end. while Elle’s character was perfect in all aspects, her story was ignored way too many times. Nothing was explained or given a story that gave their idea any credit. Every character seemed to come from a place that could have easily hooked the audience but none of these storylines was explored.
There was only one plotline that was given so much importance that its initial relevance got wiped away. The series diminished a problem of vast importance by using it several times within the 8 episodes. It became a predictable story with even the cuteness becoming more forced.
While the series did show how the entire process of understanding your sexuality can be confusing, and stressful and shows that it is not the easiest thing to do in high school, it doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been done before. Friends getting distanced because of a new romantic relationship? Done. Falling for a guy who is not in your social status and has friends who are homophobic? Also done. Protagonist thinking that they are not good enough for the love interest and then distancing themselves from them? DONE. It could have done so much justice to the characters but decided to go with nothing.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
The series had its heart in the right place but not the story. High school dramas need to evolve and create a kind of conversation that this series didn’t end up doing. It does take a step forward in hinting a conversation. Overall for a cutesy vibe, one can binge this show on Netflix.