Heartstopper Season 2 continues to explore the importance of representation. Not only in the LGBTQIA+ community, but through families, relationships, friendships, and abilities.
The heartfelt romantic tv drama series aired on Netflix on the 3rd of August, produced by See-Saw Productions, written by Alice Oseman, and directed by Euros Lyn. Based on Oseman’s webcomic and graphic novel books, this adaptation brings new components to Nick Nelson’s and Charlie Spring’s relationship (played by Kit Connor and Joe Locke, respectively), as well as additional events and happenings at Truham Grammar School for boys and Higgs Girls School.
In this season, we see Nick’s continued experience of coming out after the his bisexual awakening in the first season. During this process, Charlie continues to support Nick through all his successes and near triumphs.
Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcey Olsson (Kizzy Edgell) continue to explore their once-thought idealised relationship from the first season, whilst Tao Xu (William Gao) and Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) develop their relationship that was briefly touched over in the last season.
Lastly, the lovable book worm Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan) explores his asexuality thanks to James McEwan (Bradley Riches).
Through the representation of these characters Heartstopper educates its audience on what it is like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and asexual, showcasing the discrimination, bullying, and harassment that many queer people experience in their lifetimes for no reason other then wanting to be their true authentic self.
Homophobia and biphobia are prominent throughlines explored in most episodes, due to both the high school bullying aspect of the narrative and the homophobic mentality brought to relationships between parents and siblings. The hardships of being queer and publicly “out”, be that of their identity or romantic relationship, wears many of these teenage characters down, showing the audience the additional hardships pertaining to the queer relationship experience. Due to these hardships, mental health is naturally displayed in many of these young adults, with Charlie taking the brunt of the extremality.
New supporting characters like Felix, Naomi, Sahar, and Otis (played by Ash Self, Bel Priestley, Leila Khan, and Araloyin Oshunremi, respectively) have helped further diversify the loveable cast of characters. Despite some of these characters having minor or supporting roles, the importance of minority representation seen on TV is important in a world where white, heterosexual, cisgender, and able body individuals dominate the screen and everyday world.
Heartstopper continues to express the importance of intimate innocence through such simple acts as merely hugging. This act of support, in a world so desperate to sexualise teens, individuals, and relationships (especially in media), displays a comfort and acceptance for queer audiences, many of whom are only discovering themselves, which further assists in Heartstopper‘s overall effectiveness.
Heartstopper also explores and shows the maturity of teen relationships, with the characters expressing their troubling emotions through honesty, heartfelt conversations, and innocent gestures; A simple act that can be difficult to even adults.
Oseman has showed the world what it is to be a young adult (or a mature adult, as embodied by Nima Taleghani as Mr. Farouk), expressing and experiencing one’s queer identity through a diverse cast of characters, while simultaneously showing the virtuousness and importance of representation in media.
Heartstopper has gifted me and many others the acceptance, strength, and representation that is needed in today’s entertainment.
(FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS)
Heartstopper Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.