HEARTSTOPPER: THE PERFECT BRITISH TEEN DRAMA

This post isn’t spoiler free, sorry!

If you haven’t heard – ‘hi’ is the new ‘I love you’.

Heartstopper follows teens trying to navigate friendships, crushes and school work while life throws them curve balls. Charlie Spring, a recently outed Year 10 at Truham Boys School starts the new term with a secret boyfriend, Ben Hope – the boy who wants nothing to do with Charlie unless it’s behind closed doors. Safe to say, we don’t like him very much. But after meeting Nick Nelson, the popular rugby lad from Year 11, Charlie is smitten. You guessed it – Nick and Charlie start a relationship.

The books and show represent every being of the LGBTQ+ meaning. We see Charlie’s friend, Elle, a recent trans student adapt to life in the all girls school. She meets Tara and Darcy – who become her new best friends, but let’s not forget about Tao. Tao is Charlie and Elle’s closest friend. Trouble arises when everyone finds out about Nick and Charlie’s relationship…except Tao. There’s also Issac. He’s very silent, often seen with a book and just goes along with Charlie’s constant crushing on Nick and Tao’s rejection to any thought Charlie has involving Nick. He knows about them straight away, Charlie didn’t need to say anything. He knows. Issac’s just happy Charlie’s finally happy.

The series explores Nick coming to terms with his sexuality – when he meets Charlie, he’s seemingly straight but as they two become closer it’s clear he’s a tad confused. Especially when they kiss at a party. After Nick’s friends start looking and shouting for him, he runs off – leaving Charlie feeling guilty. Little does Charlie know, the rugby star is just figuring things out in his head, there’s a great scene of him researching bisexuality. Queue a raining scene where Nick runs to Charlie’s house to explain everything. Matched with an equally iconic line. A few episodes after the kiss, Nick gets into a fight with his friends and Charlie starts to feel like he’s ruining Nick’s life and friendship groups.

It’s not portrayed in the show as much as the comics, but Charlie has a history of eating disorders and depression. I think that’s one thing which could have been explored more as you are confused as to why Charlie has a change of heart halfway through the series. However, there’s a little scene with Charlie’s sister, Tori, who tries to lift Charlie up and encourage him when he’s starting on his downward spiral. It’s emotional to watch. Charlie start to shut Nick out, refusing to meet for lunch and even slightly ignoring him in the corridors. 

He starts comparing Nick to Ben Hope, remember him? The secret boyfriend. But Nick is far from Ben. He actually likes Charlie – he’s just struggling to work everything out. I definitely won’t spoil the ending, but you’ll be very happy. Like I was. This series is just like a warm blanket on a rainy day. I think it’s up there with Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging in iconic British teen drama / comedies.

From the opening scenes of this series, you instantly fall in love with Nick and Charlie. They perfectly represent what it’s like to have a crush in high school and having all your friends tease you or convince you they won’t feel the same. This entire show is a brilliant portrayal of life as a British teen, even in the original comics by Alice Oseman it’s depicted so well. 

Many viewers have commented on the joy and comfort this show brings to them – wishing they had something similar when they were growing up with Nick and Charlie’s situations. With the series opening episode, like I mentioned earlier, you just fall in love. From the sweet ‘hi’…’hi’ Nick and Charlie first say to each other to the moment when the series ends, we want more…

…and we have more! Netflix released Heartstopper will be returning for not one but TWO more seasons. If they are based off the books, we will see Nick, Charlie and their friends will be visiting Paris on a school trip! Exciting times are ahead for the Truham Girls and Boys group and I can’t wait to watch it unfold.

Published by Niamh Darby

Writer at No Extra Source

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