HEARTSTOPPER: Season 2. Hearts Full of Love [REVIEW]

The magic of “Heartstopper” has returned with a vengeance and will not leave your hearts soon.

Mary Kosiarz

4 August 2023

heartstopper s2

The second season of the adaptation of one of the most famous comic book series in recent years has already debuted on Netflix. The first part of Heartstopper really captured the hearts of millions of viewers with its innocence, childlike carefreeness and ease in discussing even the most difficult topics that teenagers have to deal with on a daily basis, not only LGBT (who, however, are the core of the cast in this case). There are even more heavy issues in the second season, and yet the creators managed to keep the smell of candy and the omnipresent ecstasy of love, acceptance and alliance in the air for most of the episodes focused on the evolution of Nick and Charlie’s relationship. Heartstopper is a true textbook on matters of the heart, but not only. This inconspicuous, sometimes sweet, but still trustworthy series shows how little you need to add a little more empathy and understanding to your everyday life, and although it seems to us that sometimes the narrative brings us closer to the vision of an almost idyllic society … in the end it does not avoid our flaws the cruelty of the modern world, bullying at school, mental illness or rejection. New plots, new characters – here’s everything you need to know about Heartstopper’s sequel.

Even more sugar

The second season begins just one day after Nick makes an emotional come-out in front of his mother (played by the wonderful Olivia Colman). However, this is not a one-time prank, but only the beginning of challenges in the relationship with Charlie. Now the boys face a difficult choice: reveal themselves to the whole school, or continue to meet secretly in the locker rooms, and only pretend to be good rugby buddies in the corridors? A big change also takes place in the fan-favorite relationship between Tao and Elle, hitherto best friends, who, risking a lot, decide to lead their relationship on a new, romantic track. The creators also have a very interesting character of Ben, who, known for the harm he caused Charlie last season, is now even more lost in the search for answers regarding his sexuality. For dessert, we also get a lot of side characters, such as new teachers, a group of Elle’s friends, or the theme of finding one’s own way by Isaac, who was somewhat neglected in the first series. The turning point of the plot of the second part is a school trip to Paris, where both sweet and charming, as well as much more serious issues, such as Charlie’s developing eating disorder or Nick’s difficult relationship with his father, come to the fore. We get to know all this with typical Heartstopper wink, sweetness and slightly exaggerated enthusiasm. But isn’t that what viewers love most about this peculiar series?

Ultimate inclusiveness

Isn’t it in this unique aura of goodness, and sometimes also charming krinj, that we find solace? In the warm, heart-warming atmosphere of this story that both entertains and moves you to tears? In the second season, Alice Oseman, the creator of the comic, lets us get to know the characters from many sides, not just those reproduced dot-to-dot from books. It also adds a lot of extensively developed threads, which, as you can guess in this case, are inclusive, sensitize to the needs of other people and teach openness and understanding. By transferring only one volume to the screen, and not, as in the case of the first season, two volumes, she had a lot of room to show off in the script, which she used very well, creating scenes that, like before, certainly became iconic a few hours after the premiere, such as the touching dialogue between the main characters ending the last episode or the moment when Nick proudly admits to his friends that he is bisexual.

A piece for everyone

Heartstopper is an extremely unusual production, which I do not judge in terms of aesthetics, accuracy of the script or other attributes important when reviewing all series, because when delving into the meaning of this series, it turns out that it is completely not important in it, and the creators do not even they pretend to try to subordinate themselves to the average viewer. This exaggerated sweetness emanating from the screen is not accidental, it is supposed to be a safe haven for the audience that needs just such a warming confirmation from the inside that love always wins, regardless of who it occurs between. Fortunately, however, this is not one of those works that will convince the viewer without thinking that the feeling is able to move mountains and scare away all problems from the hero. In the second season, we see even more clearly how easy it is to fail, how easy it is to judge and hurt another person, if only because of their psychosexual orientation, appearance or illness. A lot of time is devoted to the heroes discovering their sexuality and dealing with the trauma of Charlie, who, after revealing to his friends that he is gay, was bullied at school, which caused him to lose faith in himself and fall into anorexia, and maybe depression ( these issues will certainly find their development in the next episodes of the series). These are the threads thanks to which we have the opportunity to observe the real magic on the screen, which is the chemistry between Joe Lock and Kit Connor playing Charlie and Nick. Following the fate of not only them, but also of the other supporting characters, each of whom is given attention and none leaves this season omitted, we have the impression that we are not watching actors presenting imaginary situations, but real sensitive teenagers who dress like us, watch the same shows with us, obsessed with the same trends and listening to the same music. This rare inclusivity makes Heartstopper a unique and age-old work accessible to almost everyone.

The second season not only lives up to the first eight episodes, but also raises the bar for the next installment of Charlie and Nick’s adventures. Spending these few hours with them, it’s hard not to completely melt in their charming, beautiful world. It’s also hard not to feel a note of sentiment for their teenage years, even if not all the problems the characters face directly affected us. Heartstopper, however, sensitizes to all these difficulties and replaces them with delicacy and warmth, to convince viewers entering adult life that they deserve absolutely everything they want.

Mary Kosiarz

Mary Kosiarz

Far from keeping her feet firmly on the ground, she has sold her artistic soul to books and cinematography. Fascinated by Meryl Streep and an avid fan of unconventional film endings. In her free time, she educates about mental health and recommends her favorite books and screens.

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