Heartstopper Review: Stephen Fry, Olivia Coleman in a Cute Romance

Heartstopper, the latest Netflix series, is a story of two schoolboys Charlie and Nick, who go on a path of self-discovery as they develop feelings for each other. Heartstopper is a beautiful depiction of high school romance complete with everything you would want in a romantic story. It’s warm and reassuring, making your heart full but still wanting more- like hot chocolate on a winter night. With each episode of 30 minutes and a total of 8 episodes, Heartstopper is a truly contemporary take on gay romance.

– Heartstopper review does not contain spoilers –

Story

Charlie is a 10th-grade openly gay boy who is a bit nerdy and plays the drums, while Nick is the cool Rugby king of the school and a year older than Charlie. They meet at the start of the new semester and gradually bond over jokes about homework and sports. Charlie tells his friends about being friends with Nick, they warn him to be careful since Nick is a straight guy, but Charlie struggles to suppress his feelings.

On the other side, Nick is also questioning his feelings towards Charlie, with whom he seems to bond quite naturally. Heartstopper will make you feel very nostalgic as you watch these two boys try to figure out their feelings towards each other. Then there are Nick’s friends, mostly Rugby players, who represent typical masculine behaviour we are used to seeing in high schools like making fun other others, bullying, rude jokes etc. Charlie himself has suffered bullying due to his sexuality, not just in the past but also as he hangs out with Nick. As Nick and Charlie come closer, Nick’s friends do not take it well and try, on various occasions, to make harass him.

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Although the depiction of homophobia has been dulled down under the PC culture, as nobody wants to be labelled as homophobic, yet make such comments and call it a joke. In one of the episodes, when Nick’s friend Harry is trying to bully Charlie for being gay, he gets offended when Charlie asks him if he is homophobic. There are various other such incidents in the series, where it feels like Heartstopper is trying to minimise the seriousness of such remarks or comments. Possibly to keep the rosy and ethereal atmosphere of the series going, such topics have been dealt with in a soft manner.

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There have been recent changes in the depiction of the LGBTQ community in TV dramas, like Sex Education or Euphoria. White Sex Education is on similar lines with Heartstopper in taking gay and lesbian relationships as the norm and depicting teens being very aware of their sexuality even as they discover it. Euphoria stands at the other spectrum in trying to show the very real- reality with its overtly- sexual themes and depictions of drug abuse and violence. Meanwhile, Heartstopper is the other extreme, where the violence is somehow less violent, the people are nicer even bullies have a kinder side to them, and teachers and parents are understanding and friendly.

Heartstopper is visibly a make-believe world, but nonetheless, a world you want to believe in, take it all in and lie in your bed in its warmth. Everyone is able to communicate with each other, especially Nick, as he is trying to understand his sexuality with the help of the internet and his lesbian friends, Tara and Darcy. Everyone is understanding and sweet, most of all Charlie’s friends, Tao, Isaac and Elle, who are supportive and quite interdependent. Heartstopper is a homosexual utopia, at least very close to it, which makes us believe in the goodness of people and gives us strength to try again, to not give up hope.

Heartstopper will definitely melt your heart

Watch Heartstopper to have a sweet, happy and adorable experience with these high school teens, who try their best to be better people and discover who they are. The main characters, Nick and Charlie, played by Kit Connor and Joe Locke, are very likeable and efficient, and so is the rest of the cast. In the supporting role of Nick’s mother is the legendary Olivia Colman, and the principal’s voice is given by Britain’s own LGBTQ icon Stephen Fry. Here’s a link to Fry’s own story of being a gay high school boy and his struggles.

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Heartstopper has done a good job in terms of casting, as almost all the actors playing school kids are actually teenagers, with both Connor and Locke at 18 years of age. Visually, this is such a pleasant sight, for instead of having to watch 25-30-year-olds play 16-17-year-olds, with clearly adult faces, there are teenagers looking their age. This also promotes a healthy attitude among the target audience, which seems to be teenagers, towards body images and skin issues that all kids go through.

So just sit back, relax and maybe make that hot chocolate and enjoy this fluffy, soft and happy drama. Heartstopper, although won’t really stop your heart, it will make your heart feel so much better and full. Heartstopper is available to stream on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Heartstopper is the story of Nick and Charlie as they try to come to terms with their identities and feelings for each other.

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Heartstopper is the story of Nick and Charlie as they try to come to terms with their identities and feelings for each other.Heartstopper Review: Stephen Fry, Olivia Coleman in a Cute Romance