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“Heartstopper” 2022 Review; An embrace of Queer Identity

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Heartstopper is a Netflix-exclusive British coming-of-age romantic comedy series. As the name suggests it might give you the thrills of the dramatic title, but on a larger picture, the series is rather more of a ‘hug warmer’. Adopted by Alice Oseman’s webcomic and graphic novel, the series is a young adult love story that examines both queerness and self-discovery.

The Heartstopper series portrays the vibrant colors of adolescence coupled with a teen’s innocence and a troubling mind. By combining animated elements that resemble the novel’s images, the series captures the enthusiasm and brightness of adolescent love. ‘Heartstopper’ is a one-season show with eight episodes ranging in length from 20 to 30 minutes, all directed by Euros Lyn.

Heartstopper

Some Characters which immediately captivate the audience’s likeability-

The audience’s likeability includes the diverse cast, thus focusing on Charlie Spring, a gay high school student who falls in love with his classmate Nick Nelson, whom he sits next to in his new form. Tao, Elle, Tara, and Darcy’s lives are also explored in length. The Heartstopper series follows the bond of a 14-year-old Charlie who develops a crush on Nick who is a popular lad from the rugby team.

The eight episodes of the Heartstopper series bring a sweet and wholesome experience and leave the sensation of a solid hug at the end of the final episode of the first season. The series gives out a true picture of modern love and friendship centered around the idea of film nights and DMs. Some of the scenes wherein the characters type, retype and delete the texts give quite an impression of the present age having a rapid tense situation on the other end of the screen. 

Heartstopper

1. Charlie-

Charlie is the bleeding heart of Heartstopper. Charlie is innocent and lovely, but he has problems opening up and struggles with self-doubt and insecurity as a result of the bullying he endured the previous year. He learns to speak up for himself and realizes the importance of his efforts as a result of his friendship with Nick. Charlie, unlike many other characters, isn’t scared to take chances. He is a dedicated and energetic person who is always concerned about others before himself. Charlie and his narrative will undoubtedly connect with millions of fans, establishing him as one of the best characters in current teen entertainment.

2. Nick-

Nick receives a lot of attention during the season as one of Heartstopper’s primary heroes. Nick, the school’s star rugby player, is popular but gentle, and he instantly falls for Charlie. He battles with his sexuality throughout the season but eventually embraces himself as a bisexual. Nick’s experience is shockingly similar to many youngsters who have faced similar challenges. Because of his relationship with Charlie and his friends, Nick remains kind and understanding despite his confusion. Nick takes a long to stand up to his friends, but going against the flow isn’t always easy. Nick’s tale and portrayal, though, are both motivating and endearing.

3. Elle-

Heartstopper is one of a number of recent shows starring trans protagonists. Elle’s story is depicted as a girl who recently transferred to an all-girls school on the show, which takes a compassionate approach to her character. Elle is clever and soulful, and she has a maturity that most of her friends don’t have. Because of her chemistry with Tao and her dynamic with Charlie, Tara, and Darcy, Elle rapidly became a fan favorite. She’s also one of the show’s bravest characters and a positive role model for millions of trans girls who have long been neglected on television.

3. Tara- 

At Elle’s new school, Tara is a sweet and popular girl. She has a hidden relationship with Darcy as well, which she finally reveals during Harry’s party in episode three. Elle and Nick gain a close friend and confidante in Tara, who supports and encourages them in their relationships with Tao and Charlie.

4. Darcy-

Darcy is Tara’s outgoing and spirited girlfriend and one of Elle’s closest friends. Darcy decides to ignore any rude or disrespectful comments she receives since she is confident in herself and glad to be an out lesbian. Darcy is also a trickster, and despite the fact that her attitude can be overwhelming, she is pleasant and engaging.

Why one should watch “ Heartstopper”?

The LGBT coming-of-age drama on Netflix is a story of queer identity, love, acceptance, family, and friendships. The Heartstopper show, which is set in Truham Boys School and Higgs Girls School, is about gay people in same-sex institutions and the politics of their presence, which is carefully wrapped in a blanket of high-school romance. Though there are bullies who make LGBT people’s lives difficult, the plot is driven by love, understanding, and kindness, with milkshake dates and movie nights thrown in for good measure. The Heartstopper drama rewrites high school romance with emotionally mature, caring, and accepting individuals, which is uncommon these days. 

‘Heartstopper’ offers everything a romantic movie should have. It beautifully conveys the thrill of holding hands for the first time or kissing for the first time. I admire how diverse the Heartstopper show’s characters are and how it avoids traditional tropes based on coming-of-age themes. 

In comparison to today’s young adult dramas, the route to self-discovery is founded in reality and not outrageously far-fetched. The interplay between the characters is wholesome, and it is the foundation around which this show is built. Director Euros Lyn has created a vibrant and contemporary adaption that captures the wonder of friendship as well as the LBGTQ+ experience. Adults don’t have much of a role in the show; they accept their children and let them to their own devices. However, a special mention goes to Olivia Colman, who gracefully portrays a loving and welcoming mother, something queer people do not usually have the opportunity to do. Her affection isn’t limited to the screen.

Symbols/Art Style

Heartstopper’s art style is, in a word, adorable. I like that it’s not terribly complicated, but it’s also not too simple. It’s the right combination of the two, and I adore how much emphasis is placed on the characters’ facial expressions. The leaves and flowers dancing around when something romantic is happening, the innocence of Charlie and Nick’s relationship, and the focus on positivity are what make the series so enjoyable to watch.

Heartstopper

It’s also what makes for a pleasant watch, especially when one takes the time to immerse themselves in the camera work, the acting performances, and the sweet music. The Heartstopper series is also very appreciative of the book, and the images’ visual aesthetic translates beautifully to the screen; when the protagonists’ hands touch yellow cracker-like motions occur, and pink hearts appear when a character is yearning.

1. When Charlie makes eye contact with Nick at the beginning of the episode, we can notice a rainbow lens flare.

2. After Charlie kisses Nick in the rain, there’s another rainbow flare.

3. Charlie’s emojis are often associated with his personality, his loved ones, and the Heartstopper drawings.

4. Charlie’s Instagram bio is only a leaf emoji, a tribute to the iconic leaf doodles that feature throughout the series.

5. Yellow and blue are the central colors that represent Nick and Charlie, and they appear together frequently throughout the series.

6. As Tara and Darcy kiss in the music room, not only sparks fly (much like Nick and Charlie), but also music notes.

7. In the arcade, the doodles around Elle are pixelated like a video game.

8.  There’s literal butterfly art on the wall and in the doorway as metaphorical butterflies flutter between Elle and Tao on Sports Day.

9. Elle’s landscape painting appears to be a river with trees running alongside it, similar to some of the locations where we’ve seen her spend time with Tao.

10. When Nick and Charlie’s hands touch yellow cracker-like motions occur. 

Each episode of Heartstopper is supposed to replicate a chapter from the book, and the show gives the impression that the pages have come to life, with the actors nearly identical to the pictures. Heartstopper makes use of animations to give it a graphic novel vibe, with Alice Oseman’s animated images floating around to express the feelings of the characters. The animations are utilized to accentuate Nick and Charlie’s, Tara and Darcy’s, and Tao and Elle’s romantic feelings. The adaptation stays true to the graphic novel while still giving it a fresh chance at life. 

Use of Technology

Both the books and the Netflix original series feature a lot of technology. Throughout the story, texting is used, particularly between Nick and Charlie at the start of their friendship. Audiences also see unintentional social media stalking. Nick uses technology to address his feelings for Charlie and come to grips with his sexuality by searching the internet.

Technology’s use in both mediums is more than just a sign of the times. It also conveys to viewers how a character feels without the use of spoken words. When Charlie is writing texts, for example, he frequently deletes words because he is afraid of saying something inappropriate. Nick’s face also brightens up when he scrolls through Instagram and sees photographs of Charlie. The use of texting to convey emotion is done to perfection; the camera zooming on into the phone displays and showing the characters typing a message and then casually deleting it highlights the apprehensions of young people seeking to form relationships in the era of screens.

Why this Series is a must-watch for Indians? 

Heartstopper as a whole gives a glimpse of the entire issues starting from being bullied, to facing humiliation for being homosexuals. The scene where Charlie and his secret boyfriend Ben and the latter’s cold behavior toward Charlie when people are around, show the true essence of being trapped in a sexual orientation wherein one has to act or behave in a certain way to please the general audience. 

Thus, the Heartstopper series focuses on the positive side of acceptance and assimilation of the third gender community delicately wrapped around a blanket of sweet romance in the backdrop of high school. Even though laws have been implemented and the LGBT community is now legally accepted in India, people still have a long way to go to integrate into society or accept themselves as normal beings. Series like these demonstrate the positives and potential of finding happiness in the same way that everyone else around us who is LGBT+ does. This is why everyone, including friends, relatives, siblings, teachers, and anybody else who knows someone who is LGBT+, should watch it.

Heartstopper

Things will change in society when opportunities begin at home and among family and friends. However, accepting and embracing yourself as LQBTQ+  is a vital aspect of having a healthy identity and self-esteem. It is critical for you to “come out” or confess your homosexuality or bisexuality to those around you in order to create a healthy identity. Being untruthful to yourself and others means lying about your relationships and posing as someone you aren’t.

The show also truly gives you an essence faced within the community itself, wherein the show highlights the discrimination faced by the lesbian couple, which is far more different than that of a gay man, or a transgender person. The show is therefore less about coming out to society and rather more about self-definition and queer identities.

Heartstopper

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