by Jena Le ‘23
Following its April 22 release date, Heartstopper has captivated audiences around the world, amassing over 23 million hours watched in its debut week. The success pushed Netflix to renew the show for two more seasons.
The Netflix show, based on the graphic novel by Alice Oseman, follows Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson’s (Kit Connor) love story. Unlike other LGBTQ+ themed shows, which often trend towards darker themes, Heartstopper highlights the pure happiness of falling in love. Rather than the constant angst that LGBTQ+ viewers are used to seeing, Heartstopper offers viewers a heartwarming relationship between Charlie and Nick, providing a window for many viewers to see a normalized gay relationship. Longing stares, holding hands, and first kisses make Heartstopper a feel-good watch for anyone regardless of sexuality.
One of the reasons why Heartstopper is praised by many is because of the realism of the characters. Locke, who plays Charlie, and Connor, who plays Nick, are actual teenagers and not actors in their late twenties or early thirties playing high schoolers as we’ve grown used to seeing. Many actors and actresses on the Heartstopper cast are also part of the LGBTQ+ community, which brings in more representation for LGBTQ+ youth. For instance, trans female character Elle Argent is played by transgender actress Yasmin Finney. Locke, who plays Charlie, is also openly gay.
Heartstopper stands out as a breath of fresh air from the explicit and mature themes that most high school shows seem to be based on, yet handles the more serious plotlines with care, allowing viewers to find themselves in the struggles and triumphs of the characters. It is light-hearted, cute, and funny for watchers to enjoy. The show is eight episodes long, with a run time of 30 minutes per episode, making it an easy show to rewatch whenever you’re in need of a serotonin boost.
Heartstopper is a feel-good LGBTQ+ centered show. With LGBTQ+ representation, age-appropriate actors, and a beautiful storyline, there’s no reason for anyone to turn it down. This Pride month, give the show a click and it won’t disappoint.