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.