Netflix’s New Show is a ‘Heartstopper’

Netflix’s new show “Heartstopper” is in Top 10 of all shows in all of Netflix series and has pulled in 929,000 engagements, according to Variety.

Shaina Taebi

Netflix’s new show “Heartstopper” is in Top 10 of all shows in all of Netflix series and has pulled in 929,000 engagements, according to Variety.

Netflix released the first season of “Heartstopper” on April 22, and the season consists of eight episodes based on the webcomic of the same title by Alice Oseman and was successful in portraying a realistic LGBTQ+ relationship. The show focuses on Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), Tara Jones (Corinna Brown), Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell), and Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) and their journey toward accepting their queer identities. 

The plotline follows the meet-up of 16-year-old Nick and 15-year-old Charlie. Within the first episode, the audience learns that Charlie was outed in his first year of secondary school and was severely bullied as a result. Nick, on the other hand, is friends with the people who bullied Charlie. Even though Nick was not directly bullying Charlie, his interactions with him make Nick question his sexuality in episode four. 

In the new age of representation in media, “Heartstopper” is essential in bringing light to LGBTQ+ stories. The scene in episode two when Nick begins questioning his sexuality and takes the “Am I Gay” quizzes resonates with viewers who went through the same journey, according to Gay Times. Nick coming out to his mother in episode eight was also an incredibly impactful scene for those who dealt with anxieties about coming out. 

Throughout the show, Heartstopper incorporates the comical features from the comic book, such as the leaves, to incorporate a comic to light up the screens with affectionate couples. 

Another couple, Tara and Darcy,  is depicted as struggling with coming out and dealing with homophobic comments. In episode five, Tara breaks down, but due to the support of her girlfriend and her accepting friends, she is able to recover from the negative comments. 

The couples in the show do not have “fairy-tale” type relationships, and their lives are not solely defined by the homophobic or transphobic comments targeted at them. The characters grow and develop with their sexual identities, and by the end of the show, they begin to embrace their queer identities and express their true selves.   

Through its casting to portray the characters from the comic book, Heartstopper was successful in portraying teenage characters’ struggles instead of perpetuating the perfect and artificial image of a teenager. All of the cast members who play teenage characters are either teenagers or recently come out of teenhood in real life. With the rise of late-20 and 30-year-old actors playing teenagers and enforcing impossible-to-reach expectations, Heartstopper stands out as it portrays realistic characters and allows viewers to empathize with them as it portrays real-life teen issues and expresses problems that need to be addressed in Hollywood.