Heartstopper TV Show – Ground-breaking!

Always someone to welcome and encourage diversity, I am excited to write about the new Netflix series based on the incredible YA books written by Alice Oseman. It was definitely intriguing to see her work get picked up by Netflix but I was initially anxious that they may not represent it as wonderfully as she has.

Thankfully Netflix got Alice on board as script writer and producer during the making of the TV show and integrated some of her unique style into this brilliant take on LGBTQ romance. If you want to know more about the books, check my previous review of Heartstopper Book One here.

Heartstopper Review

This particular TV production was filmed last year in England and has been hotly anticipated ever since. Tiktok has always been fond of Alice Oseman’s best selling webcomic-turned book and the series trailers started to inspire a whole new set of inventive Heartstopper Tiktok videos right away.

Heartstopper tells the modern tale of a nervous, but likeable, Charlie Spring who is openly gay but pretty intimidated by the English equivalent of jocks (otherwise known as rugby players). Being asked to sit next to a slightly older rugby lad in class, Charlie is instantly smitten, despite that guy being apparently straight. Played by a newbie, Joe Locke, Charlie takes us on a journey through his crush.

Nick Nelson is the other lead character. As a charismatic lad who is in with the cool crowd, it surprises Charlie just how much interest in him he shows. Nick is played by Kit Connor who famously had the role of the young Elton John in the movie Rocketman.

Why is Alice Oseman so cool?

Alice originally published a book about Tori Spring, Charlie’s sister, in 2014 after signing a book deal at the age of seventeen. She followed this success with other novellas and, of course, a webcomic which was first put out weekly as a series of Tumblr cartoon strips.

Heartstopper illuminates Alice’s ability to shine a light on diversity in relation to LGBTQ issues without making the stories obscure. She has a way of handling such subjects with respect and cleverness, weaving them naturally into stories without making them seem awkward.

Following trans characters and topics such as confusion over sexuality, she has a way of making her characters very relatable and intriguing. I wish her material was around when I was younger as it would have made such a difference. It promotes acceptance and celebrates individuality.

So, in answer to my own question, Alice is cool because her stories grab readers and enable them to think carefully about these situations and feel more comfortable about their own feelings and insecurities.

The Heartstopper TV Show Itself

The director has a great way of capturing emotions and the actors are really well cast. It is a nice surprise to find out that Olivia Coleman has a guest role as Nick’s mum and it is also good to see Sebastian Croft (a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) playing the role of Ben, the guy who toys with Charlie’s affections while remaining safely in the closet.

Without giving too much away, this series of eight half an hour episodes is beautifully laid out with a well written script. The use of some cartoon images really adds a bit of extra Alice Oseman spark. For instance, colourful cartoon leaves float in and out of shot at key points in the episodes.

Summary

If you haven’t had time to check out this fresh and refreshing new Netflix phenomenon, what are you waiting for? It is great to see a series that discusses those issues that can consume you when growing up (and forever after). This show is a genuine heartstopper and is beautifully acted, in keeping with the thought-provoking feel good books of the amazing Alice Oseman.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about Heartstopper TV Show. If you enjoyed the post, please drop a comment below and consider following my little blog for similar future content.

Heartstopper – Review

As a lover of the work of Alice Oseman, the time had come for me to try one of her books that began as a WebComic. Part one of ‘Heartstopper’ is a colourful book that explores the beginnings of an LGBTQ relationship which is now going to be played out in a Netflix show.

Having already read her novella, ‘Nick and Charlie’, I was already familiar with these teenage characters and their intriguing dynamic. ‘Heartstopper’ turned out to be a well drawn comic that showed how neurotic Charlie and curious Nick first crossed paths at school. Nick was a protective friend who soon discovered a strange connection with Charlie and Alice wrote a story which explored their journey sensitively.

In a Nutshell

Charlie Spring is a seventeen year old geek (I consider a geek to be a positive term as I am one myself) who is openly gay and has a secret arrangement with a guy called Ben (who is very closeted, apparently). There is no love in this relationship and Charlie is starting to realise how used he has become.

Nick Nelson comes onto his radar as a very ‘straight-acting’ 18 year old who is very much into Rugby and seems to fit into the right kind of crowds. To Charlie’s surprise, Nick is not quite so predictable and actually shows signs of wanting to be close friends with him.

The rest is for you to discover in this brilliant LGBT+ story of attraction, confusion and general awkwardness. It is a sweet romance that is modern and involves really relatable characters.

Thoughts

Having watched an interview with the author, I realised that this book began as instalments of regular tumblr comic strips, with Alice adding up to ten pages every couple of weeks. Set in England, I could relate to the surroundings and situations and was impressed by the smooth flow of the narrative. It was easy to empathise with Charlie and his anxiety about himself. Similarly, Nick came across as very realistic, being a popular guy feeling uncertain about his feelings, yet trying to keep up appearances.

The story was fun, sweet and thought-provoking and shows just how clever Alice is at writing realistic YA content. I will certainly be reading the next few books in the series as I want to know how things played out for the leads. If you like YA books then this one is a very easy read with lots of pictures and a good coverage of LGBTQ issues.

Heartstopper Rating : 5 stars

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