Not too long after writing about Heartstopper on Netflix, I got to bingeing it just a few days later. Armed with having watched Love, Simon (and Victor), I can compare the ‘modern LGBT’ films against each other. Heartstopper in of itself has a quirky British vibe (because it is British afterall) similarly to Sex Education, minus all the sex. Anyways, to boot Heartstopper is rated TV-14 (which is a bit higher than Simon’s kiddy PG-13), quite similarly to Love, Victor.
Quite off topic, but Love, Victor, despite being a Disney production, was not on Disney+, but on Hulu, which is where Disney’s more ‘mature’ content would go, which could be seen as a being lowkey homophobic, since Disney is implying that LGBTQ+ content is not ‘family friendly’, though all the violence in the Star Wars universe (especially Revenge of the Sith) surely is! Imagine if Netflix had to put LGBTQ+ content on another platform. Well, the point of mentioning that is to say that Disney+ now offers [more] mature content, with Love, Victor now finally on the platform.
Heartstopper is definitely an interesting and unique gay romance between the two main characters, Nick and Charlie. Charlie in the storyline had previously had his status of a gay boy outed to the school, so there’s no secrets for Charlie as an out gay. In the first episode, he has a relationship with another gay boy, but one who prefers to stay closeted, so much so he can’t even acknowledge Charlie in public. Yuck. Then there’s jock ruby lad, Nick. Except, he’s not a stereotypical jock; he’s extremely kind and empathetic, which allows him to quickly take to Charlie, who shares all of his classes (and who sit next to each other).
Charlie and Nick do the cute and awkward “Hi” every time they run into each other (awww). Now, what starts to already give us worries is Nick’s jock friends, who are your stereotypical jocks: Stupid, mean, and homophobic, which intensifies when Nick somehow manages to get Charlie to join the team. Nevertheless, that just jumpstarts Nick’s feelings for Charlie, helping to protect Charlie as he overheard his break up his with psychotic closeted ‘boyfriend’.
Their feelings get to evolve when Charlie shoots a text at Nick, thanking him, with both characters doing the typical texting dance (typing…; seen; not typing — Taking a lot of thought into responding back). Nick is thought to be straight, because he had previously kissed a girl like years ago (who turns out to be a lesbian; this character and her girlfriend add another layer of LGBTQ+ to the series). But Nick is questioning, taking to Google to take a gay test when he thinks his feelings for Charlie might be more.
Nick’s feelings finally reveal themselves to Charlie, during an episode in which the two decided to go to Harry’s (one of Nick’s bully friends). He initially hunts for Charlie who had felt shut out by Harry, and they wind up alone in a room, in which Nick finally holds Charlie’s hand and kisses him. This end to the episode proved pivotal, though there more to go. Nick, who at least now knows he likes boys, wants to stay in the closet for now. Which is perfectly fine, and Charlie is okay with that, noting that the difference between Nick and his ex is that Nick isn’t toxic.