Heartstopper – The New Netflix Series Garnering Attention from Viewers


Olivia Fegers

Graphic novel and television cross-over collage.

If you have been anywhere near Netflix recently, then you have more than likely heard about the new television show Hearstopper based on the hit graphic novel series written by Alice Oseman. The teen drama story is focused on two boys figuring out their sexuality, what love looks like, and finding support in those close to them. Let’s also not forget about their friends who are trying to figure out growing up and accepting themselves while also dealing with real-world issues of being a young LGBTQ+ person.

Originally a webcomic on Tapas and Tumbler, the Heartstopper graphic novel series has gained an audience of over 52.1 million viewers and at this time has four published paperback novels, the fifth and final novel’s supposed release being set for sometime in 2023. The TV adaptation, released on Netflix April 22, 2022, is produced by Zorana Piggott, with the show being based and shot in Herne Bay, ‎Kent‎, England‎. The first season contains eight episodes or “chapters” of twenty-five minutes with the two main characters being played by Kit Conner as Nick and Joe Locke as Charlie.

I have no question in my mind of why this story would be chosen to be adapted by Netflix; as there is nothing truly like it out there. As an avid book reader myself, show adaptations of novels can be a hit or miss if they truly grasp the original storyline. Heartstopper didn’t fail to impress me in how perfectly they depicted the same feelings created by the novels; everything from them taking direct dialogue from the book, the perfect diverse casting, and how it truly feels almost like a diary when watching it.

This show demonstrates the inner workings of young adults figuring out who they are in a society built on stereotypes and judgment. There are serious issues that are shown in this show, so I feel like it’s only right to offer a trigger warning to anyone interested in watching or even reading this story. There is homophobia, transphobia, discussion of self-harm, and depictions of an eating disorder. In no way, like many other shows in the media, does this series try to romanticize, exaggerate, or show unrealistic solutions to these issues.

Although some of the issues that the characters deal with are very serious, don’t let that scare you off from delving into this story. It’s truly amazing to be able to see a realistic example of how young adults react to these situations and witness the interworking of how these forms of hate can have serious effects. At the end of the day, this is an uplifting LGBTQ+ film that has succeeded in making people of all sexuality feel heard and represented in a relatable coming-of-age story.

“It has a good depiction of real world issues,” Ava Hirt said. “It also shows a young healthy relationship that demonstrates good communication while exploring their sexualities. You don’t see a lot of shows with young couples, let alone same-sex couples, that isnt sexualized in some way.”

Whether you want to gain a better understanding of being a LGBTQ+ youth, maybe you want to see what goes through someone’s head when they’re figuring out sexuality, or you just want to watch a really good show, Heartstopper will not fail to make you smile and maybe even shed a couple tears.

Of course, like many TV shows that we love, I wish there were more episodes and I would also like to see more side character development in the next season. For that, I’ll have to give the first season of Hearstopper a 9/10. I am extremely excited to see what comes from the second season, as the graphic novels dives into deeper mental health issues and we get to witness Nick and Charlie’s relationship go through some high highs and some low lows.