Let’s Talk About Netflix’s New Series “Heartstopper”

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Kendall Dexter, Staff Writer

 

On April 22nd of this year, Netflix released the show “Heartstopper.” Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novel with the same title, the show follows Charlie Spring, a quiet, openly gay, year ten at Truham’s Grammar School for Boys, and Nick Nelson, a year eleven at Truham who is the star rugby player, as the two develop a friendship that soon grows into more. The show follows Nick, Charlie and their squad of friends as they navigate the challenges of their teenage years, discovering their identities and forming new relationships as they go. 

The cast of the show is made up of a group of young and upcoming actors. For many of them, “Heartstopper” is their first mainstream gig. The two main characters Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring are played by Kit Connor and Joe Locke. Kit Connor, an eighteen year old actor, starred in his first film at the age of eight. Since then, Connor has had roles in various other on screen productions. Most notably, in 2019, he took on the role of young Elton John in the movie “Rocketman.” Joe Locke is also eighteen years old. His role as Charlie Spring in “Heartstopper” is his first major role in television or film. One of the other main couples in the show

is Tara Jones and Darcy Olsson. Tara is played by Corinna Brown who is currently twenty-two years old. Although she is most known for her role in “Heartstopper,” previously, she has starred in “Daphne” and “The Show Must Go Online.” Darcy is played by nineteen year old actor Kizzy Edgell. Before landing their role in “Heartstopper,” Edgell has not starred in other films or television series. Another duo of the show, Tao Xu and Elle Argent, is played by William Gao and Yasmin Finney. William Gao is nineteen years old while Yasmin Finney is eighteen years of age. “Heartstopper” is both Gao and Finney’s first major role in television.

In media today, there is not a large amount of LGBTQ+ representation. The show “Heartstopper” is loved by fans all over the world who are grateful to have access to this new se

ries where LGBTQ characters are front and center. Although the show has received some minor criticism, viewers largely appreciate the casting and representation of young queer love. The show’s emphasis on healthy relationships between gay characters, without solely revolving around their queer identities, is a truly valuable aspect of this series for LGBTQ+ youth. Also featuring multiple POC characters and transgender actress Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent, the show includes both diverse actors and characters. This representation is something that audiences all over the world have been looking for. The transformation of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper” has certainly not disappointed its fandom and, in fact, has only grown in popularity. 

Personally, since the show has come out I have been fascinated by not only the actors and storyline, but also the music and realism incorporated into the series. Aside from the wholesome and lighthearted relationships between the characters, the show highlights small artists music that perfectly suits each scene.

In the show, songs by artist Baby Queen are featured. “Colors of You” is one of the more popular melodies of the series. Considering the fact that Baby Queen wrote the song specifically for the show, Alice Oseman’s artwork featured on the album cover has made all the difference to fans. A few of my favorite songs from the series include “Why Am I Like This” by Orla Gartland, “Dance with Me” by Beabadoobe, “Paper Mache World” by Matilda Mann, “I Want To Be With You” by Chloe Moriondo, and “Moment In The Sun” by Sunflower Bean. Although, to be completely honest, recently, I have had the entire soundtrack on repeat.

Outside of the show’s music, I would say that my other favorite aspect of the series is the realism of it all. Many shows directed at teenagers today involve casts in their 30s. This often creates unrealistic expectations for teens to look up to. “Heartstopper,” however, features largely teenagers in its cast. This allows youth around the world to see themselves in the characters and relate to their struggles. I think this is a really important aspect, particularly in today’s world of technology where everyone is constantly comparing themselves to these “perfect” online personas. I also really value the dynamic characters. Although the show deals with a decent amount of discovering sexuality, each character, separate from their identity, has their own personality and internal struggles. This is something that many shows lack, but “Heartstopper” hits fairly seamlessly. Overall, I appreciate nearly all aspects of the show from the characters and storyline, to the music and editing. “Heartstopper” is truly well executed and encapsulates the experience of many teenagers across the globe.