Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’ lives up to its name



Netflix’s use of graphics is effective in displaying emotions of the characters in “Heartstopper.”

Zara Siddique, Reporter

Originally known as the Tumblr comic that amassed 52.1 million views, “Heartstopper” by Alice Oseman is now ranked fifth across the U.S. in Netflix television shows. The show takes place in the United Kingdom and follows the lives of a group of teenagers struggling with school, sexuality and relationships. 

“Heartstopper,” a genuinely adorable series that truly captures the excited energy of crushes and first love, shows an innocent reality with milkshake dates, bowling trips and long hugs, but it is still able to capture a mature take on discovering one’s sexuality.

The story follows Nicholas “Nick” Nelson (Kit Connor) and Charles “Charlie” Francis Spring (Joe Locke), two boys who enter a relationship that they keep a secret, because Nick is not “out” and also is friends with some students who are openly homophobic. Each episode follows a different stage of their relationship. The first is called “Meet,” where Charlie develops a crush on Nick, the popular star rugby player in the grade above.  

 The show excels technically. It uses subtle graphic design to illustrate the characters’ emotions. It shows a heart above Charlie’s head and flowers connecting Nick and Charlie (which looks better than it sounds). The graphics add to the show’s overall sweetness.  

The music paired with cute and romantic montages adds to the show’s appeal. The music is recognizable and catchy, making the show feel current. 

Currency is portrayed well in the show with the integration of social media not feeling forced or excessive. 

The show does have a slight tendency to make the kids out to be too childish. While the activities were endearingly sweet, it feels as though the show is jumping from mature topics of dating and romance, to the characters making snow angels together, and the flow doesn’t feel very natural in these scenes.

Additionally, the happy medium between “Euphoria” and “Peppa Pig” wasn’t quite found. The actors themselves were brilliant, diverse and truly captured every quirk of their characters. Still, some potential personality and conversations were lacking due to the immaturity they were instructed to display.

The show portrayed mature and articulate conversations surrounding sexuality and the fears behind coming out, and while the show does display Nick making significant progress in accepting and understanding his sexuality, the show leaves some of his major conflicts unresolved.

With the exception of a few minor flaws, the show is a lovely and heartwarming watch. Each 30-minute episode is compelling and legitimately enjoyable. You will find yourself engrossed in and rooting for each of the characters.