Life + Arts Society/Lifestyle TV

Heartstopper navigates teen love, sexuality

Cindy Muñoz/The Cougar

In a show that has gained much attention from the LGBTQ community, Netflix’s “Heartstopper” tells a love story in the end, but not without trials and tribulations through school bullies, regular high school drama and coming out to yourself.

Spoilers ahead

“Heartstopper” follows Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, as the two first become school friends, later becoming boyfriends after their long road of self-discovery. 

As a whole, I can’t find anything in the show that I didn’t like. A few characters, such as Harry Greene, who reminds me too much of Draco Malfoy and Ben Hope, are definitely no one’s favorite characters but are necessary if wanting to tell a true coming out story.

While the show currently only has eight episodes, viewers are able to feel the deep connection with Charlie and Nick as their relationship progresses. Charlie first pined for Nick, the straight guy on the rugby team, and the feelings are quickly reciprocated despite outcry from Charlie’s friends.

Nick battles with his sexuality throughout the entire season, something many members of the LGBTQ community are familiar with. Nick comes out to his mother in the last episode, earning an accepting response from his mom as they discuss his long journey.

While the show’s main focus is on Nick and Charlie, a lesbian couple is also shown, along with a transgender woman. This amount of representation makes the show more comforting to watch, as the plethora of identities shown allows more people to feel seen and heard.

The lesbian couple, Darcy Olsson and Tara Jones, also encountered their share of discrimination, with many of their schoolmates disapproving of their relationship and unable to understand their sexuality.

Previously attending the all-boys school and one of Charlie’s friends, Elle Argent now attends the all-girls school, something the show lightly touches on by mentioning her gender identity.

“Heartstopper” covers serious topics such as coming out to family members and dealing with backlash from peers, the show also had its comedic moments to lighten the mood.

The budding relationship between Nick and Charlie is touching, as they quickly began to fall for each other and enter their honeymoon phase while dealing with unsupportive friends and figuring out how to communicate with each other.

The comic book-based show gives members of the LGBTQ community needed and accurate representation, leaving room for non-members to become better allies and understand what members had to go through to realize their identity, and still go through despite feeling comfortable with themselves.

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