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09th Aug 2023

Why everybody needs to watch Netflix’s Heartstopper

Season two of Heartstopper hasn’t even been out a week and I’ve watched it more times than I’d like to admit.

The show first came onto the scene in 2022 and instantly took the world by storm – and there’s a clear reason why.

Telling the story of two young boys finding love and also discovering who they are and their sexuality, the show is so much more than your average love story.

As Imogen says in her now iconic line, I’m an ally. But God do I wish a series like this had come out when I was a lot younger.

I saw TikTok clips of the new season on Saturday morning and decided to finally watch the show.

By Saturday evening, I had finished it. By Sunday evening, I had caught up on all four volumes of the books – bearing in mind, I went to an Ireland match and did a shift in work in between this… it’s that addictive.

It opens your eyes to just how difficult it is for teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality.

The world is a much better place when we understand and accept each other, and Heartstopper is paving the way for that change.

I grew up watching Glee and I am thankful I did because it helped me gain a much better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.

Watching a programme that showcased gay relationships in the same way as straight relationships was a pivotal moment in my own character development and how I viewed the world.

While Glee has not aged as we all hoped it would – and is definitely not a show I’d recommend now if someone wanted to learn more about gay relationships – it paved the way for a series like Heartstopper.

The Netflix original shows how varying and beautiful the LGBTQ+ community is, and portrays young, gay relationships in a way that has never been done before.

Based off a graphic novel (which you should also read), the relationships we see in Heartstopper are nothing but completely normal. There is nothing but pure love at the root of it.

From Charlie and Nick and Darcy and Tara to Elle and Tao and Issac’s journeys, the show depicts normal teenage lives and normal teenage issues – they just happen to be members of this community.

The show deals with tough subject matter too, being outed, homophobia and transphobia, the struggle of coming to terms with your sexuality – but how this is approached is some of the best writing I’ve seen in a long time.

Young people are using Nick’s coming out scene as a way of coming out themselves. The scene is from the end of season one when Kit Connor’s character reveals to his mum, played by Olivia Coleman, that he is more than just friends with Charlie, played by Joe Locke.

The heartwarming moment shows the mum accepting her son with open arms, even bringing real tears to Olivia’s eyes.

Showing this type of queer representation is exactly what the world needs right now. It’s making people feel seen, even those who are much older than the characters in the series.

Shows like this are few and far between, and while there shouldn’t be a question mark around including representation like this – I for one am delighted this one exists.