A warm cup of tea on a snowy day. The fuzzy feelings of first love. A kiss under pouring rain. Life always has its way when it comes to unexpected moments of happiness. And although I’m not the kind of person who enjoys surprises very much, it never ceases to amaze me when one of those joyful moments presents itself in my day-to-day routines.
For example, over the past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of watching a brand-new Netflix LGBTQ+ teenage series called HEARTSTOPPER, and what a delight it was. Indeed, I liked it so much that I am on my third viewing already, but now with the amazing company of my kids, who are 11, 9 and 7 years old. HEARTSTOPPER is literally the first thing they want to watch as soon as they’re home from school.
But, what is HEARTSTOPPER?
HEARTSTOPPER is based on a homonym award-winning graphic novel created by British author, Alice Oseman. Oseman also penned every single one of the eight, half-hour episodes of the series, directed by filmmaker Eurus Lyn, better known for his work on shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, Torchwood, and Marvel’s 2015 series, Daredevil.
HEARTSTOPPER follows the charming romance of Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor), two teenage highschool boys who’s unlikely friendship blossoms into something more.
Outed as gay by some of his classmates, Charlie is proud of who he is, but he’s also mostly quiet and reserved, and enjoys spending lunchbreak with his closest friends, Tao (William Gao) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan), or isolated in the art room.
Meanwhile, Nick is completely the opposite. The star of the rugby team, and very popular with his peers, Nick lives with his mother, Sarah, played by Academy Award-winner, Olivia Colman, and is a constant target of Imogen (Rhea Norwood), an overly flirty friend who’s convinced they belong together.
However, there’s much more to Nick than what meets the eyes. And those surprising elements are what makes sparks fly between him and Charlie.
Why is HEARTSTOPPER such a special series?
The easiest and most direct answer to this question is “absolutely everything”. Nonetheless, let me expand on it a bit.
From a production perspective, HEARTSTOPPER is very accurate to its source material, and its use of animation is beyond smart and adorable. The soundtrack helps you immerse in the teenage world of Charlie and Nick, perfectly portrayed by Joe Locke and Kit Connor, respectively.
Although young, these two talented actors show great dedication to their craft, completely embodying their characters and giving their very best in every scene. The series is much more special because of their presence in it.
HEARTSTOPPER also shines when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation. Not only is the community represented across the board, with gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender characters present in every single episode, their stories are of utmost importance to the series, going beyond being simplified plot devices.
HEARTSTOPPER is a delight of a series, a stress-free show perfect for a weekend binge or evening time with family. Its charming story and romance is certain to warm your heart, just like it did mine, and I know you’ll be watching it more than once.
HEARTSTOPPER is available on Netflix at no additional charges.