It’s been well over a year since the first season of Netflix’s Heartstopper debuted on the streaming service, delighting millions of existing fans and earning millions more.
Few seem to have been prepared for just how big the wave of Heartstopper love has been, with the show launching its stars to international prominence and all that comes with that. Good and bad.
And pretty much since its debut, fans new and old have been clamouring for any scrap of news regarding season two, set to debut on 3 August 2023.
Well, we’re glad to say if you were a fan of season one, you’re going to love season two.
The creators have kept the same youthful and optimistic glow to the series. It pervades and dominates anything that transpires on screen.
That said, for months we’ve been teased that this season, largely based on volumes three and fur of Alice Oseman’s webcomic, will be “more serious” tonally.
And so it is. Nick Nelson (Kit Connor – who gives a strong performance this season) struggles with the pressure of coming out publicly as bisexual. Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) struggles with opening up generally, but especially with his mental health, even with Nick. Connor and Locke confidently manage to amp up their emotional performances as young lovers with many a tender and intimate moment between the two.
Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) and Tao Xu (William Gao) dance around their feelings for one another and whether they can lead to anything more than friendship for the pair. At the same time, Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell) also struggle as young lovers, with extra pressures being placed on Darcy by her mum in a welcome departure from the source material. Isaac Henderson (played brilliantly by a shining Tobie Donovan) also comes to terms with his identity. Thanks to Heartstopper creator Oseman, we know Tobie will be exploring asexuality identities. This is handled with sensitivity and respect.
Olivia Colman returns to play Nick’s mother in another strong performance that will have everyone wishing for a maternal and loving hug from the Oscar-winner. Colman elevates any scene in which she appears. You get the sense that everyone else steps up when they’re in a scene with her.
Elsewhere, there are quality performances from Jenny Walser who returns as Charlie’s sister, Tori, as well as Fisayo Akinade (Mr Ajayi) and Nima Taleghani (Mr Farouk), two teachers who become smitten with one another.
Consider these spoilers if you wish… But they’re in the comics!
The series does a good job of balancing the familiar loving tone of Heartstopper with the increase in serious themes and content. Heartstopper‘s sophomore season is noticeably heavier than its predecessor, but never forgets to treat everything with love and friendship. It’s a joy – if sometimes a little sweet. (I’m just cynical.)
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments from everyone with Edgell’s Darcy getting perhaps the meme-able moment of the series which is taken straight from the comics: “You’re being gay, good job. Carry on!” And of course, there are plenty of Heartstopper moments complete with adorable animations.
Fans can look forward to a welcome return to the sweet, clean, and safe world of Heartstopper.
Heartstopper season two debuts on Netflix on 3 August.