Why Everyone Is Talking About ‘Heartstopper’ on Netflix (and Why I Binged It in One Sitting)
Right now, it feels like we're going into an overload of stellar TV. Each week, new shows premiere with rave reviews and star-studded casts and we're not even sure how to pick between Gaslit, The First Lady, The Thing About Pam and so much more.
However, sometimes we need a break from the true crime tales and the con artist dramatizations. And with that, we have the new Netflix series, Heartstopper, an 8-part adaptation of Alice Oseman's webcomic of the same name. As one of the top shows on Netflix right now (and with a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes), there's a good reason this show is so popular—it's one of the most heartwarming shows you can stream (and it's so easy to digest that I watched the whole first season in one sitting). Keep reading to find out why.
Akin to recent shows like Love, Victor, this series follows 15-year-old Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a gay teen at a British all-boys school who navigates the perils of teenagedom, which includes the struggles of first love. When he gets seated next to an older rugby player named Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), the two quickly develop a close friendship and Charlie begins to wonder if there might be something more.
Heartstopper diverts from other popular high school-aged shows like Euphoria in that it avoids the melodramatic and favors hand brushes and bowling alley birthday parties over raunchy sex and drug-induced raves. And although you can tell from the beginning that these two leads are destined to be together, there is still enough conflict to propel the series forward as these characters explore their sexualities and deal with the social impact of coming out.
Yet, while Heartstopper highlights the struggles of discovering yourself and dealing with bullies, it does not get bogged down in sadness. Of course, as teenagers, these characters are going to make mistakes—but it's refreshing to see a group of teens who care for one another. Better yet, it's invigorating to see a world where trans and queer teens are warmly accepted for who they are (and played by age-appropriate actors too).
In PureWow's entertainment podcast, Stream On, VP of Entertainment, Phil Mutz, highlighted the series as one of the best new shows to watch, saying, “It's a really sweet story about friendship and romance and there's so much buzz about it, so I definitely recommend checking it out.” Hear what else he had to say below at the 19:34 timestamp.
While Locke and Connor nail the butterflies that come with falling for someone, their friends give equally winning performances, with Darcy (Kizzy Edgell), Tara (Corinna Brown), Elle (Yasmin Finney)‚ Tao (William Gao) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan) playing the best friends you could ever ask for. And we would be remiss not to mention one of the series' biggest stars—Olivia Colman—who plays Nick's mother, Sarah.
When I started Heartstopper, I couldn't stop because it was so exciting to find a show that presents queer love from such an endearing angle and doesn't turn high school into a hotbed of drama. Meanwhile, as someone who had loved the webcomic prior to the show's release, I felt that the series remained true to its source material (and if you loved the show enough, fans can continue with Nick and Charlie's story by reading the comics).
All eight episodes of Heartstopper are available to stream now on Netflix. Go take a break from the world and get lost in one of the most pleasing shows out there (and then you can go back to the gritty true crime).
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