Saturday 19 August 2023

Heartstopper Season Two

I don't generally wait with much enthusiasm for a new television show's new season to be released, but I'm definitely prepared to make an exception for Heartstopper. I'm not going to go so far as to suggest that season one was life-changing, but it really was life-affirming. I've already documented here just how much it made me reflect on my past and how things could have been so different if the world was a more tolerant place when I was the age of the target audience for this wonderful show.

It's taken me a couple of watches to get my thoughts in order about season two and overall I'm very happy with the series. It truly carries on where it left off and follows the original material close enough to give a number of nods to the scenes in the original graphic novels. As many commentators and reviewers have pointed out, one of the key successes of Heartstopper as a whole is the family-friendly nature of the show. It may be unrealistic to portray a couple of teenage guys limiting themselves to kissing, but it makes the show suitable for the target teenage audience.

As is to be expected, the acting is of a very high standard and the whole cast seem to slip seamlessly back into their roles from season one. There is a little more drama this season and the underlying issues with Charlie's mental health are strongly hinted at as the season progresses. The storyline is shaping up to potentially be one of the best depictions of teenage mental health and eating disorders ever. Even Isaac's turmoil and uncertainty about his potential asexuality are well handled. I'm sure everyone feels the need to tell their friends to mind their own business once in a while. 

The overarching theme of this season is that coming out is hard and it shouldn't be. I can only agree wholeheartedly. Straight people will never understand because they never have to explain. I've been lucky enough to have had no negative experiences in my personal journey of self-acceptance, but I'm certain that the story would have been very different if I'd been honest enough with myself to be open about my sexuality forty years ago.

Sadly, as I've made clear here, there are still many places in the world that are not as accepting, tolerant or understanding and perhaps shows like Heartstopper that emphasise that love is love can slowly make these places understand the reality of life.

So, if you have Netflix, I'd recommend giving Heartstopper a try. Do watch the first season though, or the story will make little sense. Personally, I'm going to struggle to wait a year or more for season three.