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Heartstopper Season 2 Review

Netflix’s hit teen drama adapting Alice Osman’s beloved web series and graphic novel is finally back, and set to sweep viewers away once again. The first series quickly became an overnight success thanks to the charming and optimistic tone and the undeniable chemistry of the central pairing, which stayed ever faithful to the important teen source material.

While season 1 primarily focused on the central will-they-won’t-they romance of Nick and Charlie, along with Nick coming to terms with his developing feelings and sexuality, the stronger second outing delves into their growing relationship and Nick grappling with the anxieties of coming out to his friends and family. With the cutesy romcom foundations already laid, Oseman deepens their flourishing relationship with internal struggles while navigating GCSE exams, school trips to Paris and prom.

As Nick’s attention seeking brother David (Jack Barton) returns home from uni, this newly introduced dynamic sensitively shines the light on the issues around biphobia and the anxiety of “not being or feeling gay enough”. While Charlie’s friendship group are hugely supportive of Nick as he takes his time coming out on his own terms – with plenty of characters reinforcing the theme of you don’t owe anyone your coming out – it’s the formative experiences with David and fellow students online which begin to take a toll on his mental health. We also finally get a glimpse into Charlie’s coming out experience, along with the ramifications which still affect him to this day.

With the dramatic ante upped for the leading pair, actors Joe Locke and Kit Connor impressively handle the weightier tone, bringing more range and depth to their respective roles. Meanwhile, their chemistry continues to sparkle throughout, especially amongst the beautiful Parisian backdrop. There’s also plenty of adorable parallels to their graphic novel counterparts as the cast recreate charming scenes directly from the page to screen, complete with the iconic signature crackles/sparks and leaf embellishments.

Thankfully there’s also a greater runtime afforded to the supporting cast, particularly best friends Elle (Yasmin Finney) and Tao (William Gao) as they take tentative steps to addressing and embracing their romantic feelings for each other. Their endearing journey perfectly captures the trepidation of falling for someone, with the terrifying uncertainty of how events could affect your friendship. There’s the awkward encounters, the butterfly inducing first date and the subsequent anxiety shared with friends in the following debrief, with Gao particularly nailing the relatable panicky vibe.

The theme of coming out is also continued throughout couple Darcy (Kizzy Edgell) and Tara’s (Corinna Brown) arc as Darcy finally reveals her rocky home life, along with the often overlooked book worm Isaac (Tobie Donovan) as he discovers he could be asexual – a particularly undeveloped but important thread which should be given the time to be fully explored in the next series. Another underrated character who deserves plenty more screen time next time round is the wonderfully Wednesday-esque Tori, (Jenny Walser), Charlie’s scene stealing protective sister who particularly excels when it comes to dealing with Nick’s brother David. However, the ever delightful Olivia Colman is back once again and with a greater involvement in Nick’s arc, bringing plenty of warmth and support.

Whilst the tone can at times stray into the overly cutesy/dramatic, complete with pyjama parties and spin the bottle encounters, it’s easy to forget that this is indeed aimed primarily at tweens and teens, an audience which is underrepresented with this kind of content. Love, Victor is probably the closest in tone, while the more adult-focused series Euphoria and Sex Education often steal the limelight.


The beauty of Heartstopper is in the joy, hope and optimism surrounding these beloved characters and their respective journeys, whether that’s their friendships, blossoming relationships or journeys of self-discovery. Each tale is handled with care and empathy, strengthening positive LGBTQ+ representation on screen for the next generation. Joe Locke and Kit Connor continue to impress, wonderfully bringing to life ‘Narlie’, complete with the iconic cute montages, animated firework flourishes and an incredible soundtrack featuring Wolf Alice, Taylor Swift and Maggie Rogers. Fans of the series and graphic novel will undoubtedly relish this latest chapter!

Heartstopper season 2 is available to stream on Netflix from August 3.