Type keyword(s) to search


Netflix's Heartstopper is so heartwarming, the experience of watching it is like experiencing a hug

  • "Heartstopper may not quite live up to the dramatic promise of its title, but this adorable teen romance is a heartwarmer, at the very least," says Rebecca Nicholson. "Adapted by the writer Alice Oseman from her graphic novel series of the same name, it follows 14-year-old Charlie as he develops a crush on popular rugby player Nick, after they bond over whether it is appropriate or not to do your homework on the way to maths. It is unutterably sweet and wholesome, and by the end of its zippy eight episodes, it leaves the sensation of being on the receiving end of a solid hug." Nicholson adds: "For this old cynic, such wholesomeness is a little hard to adjust to, and I am certainly not the audience its makers had in mind. But by the time I finish Heartstopper, I understand its appeal. It is a comic book fantasy about LGBTQ+ teenagers, and as such, it softens any hard edges and amplifies the sweetness of the romance at its center. There is something altogether soothing about the time spent in its company."


    • Heartstopper is a breath of fresh air, especially when compared to Euphoria: "With its candy-color palette, delirious pace and pointed use of needle drops, the new romantic teen drama offers itself up as an intuitive counterpoint (to Euphoria)," says Lovia Gyarkye." Whereas Euphoria’s interest in adolescent emotions depends on an exaggerated nihilism, Heartstopper leans into earnestness, constructing a coming-of-age story notable above all for its sweetness. I don’t mean that in a pejorative sense. Heartstopper’s dulcet tone is addictive. Oseman (who also wrote the web comic on which the show is based) aims for sincerity. Her characters approach familiar sets of problems with a nourishing level of care. They abandon cruelty for curiosity, restlessness for patience. The series opts for restraint and quiet humor, which gives its core lessons room to breathe. It’s a low-key viewing experience that stays with you long after the credits roll."
    • There are more than a few classic teen crush touchpoints in Heartstopper: "Sequences of furiously scrolling through each others' social media pages, strategic use of pouring rain for unexpected cute moments, copious amounts of montages — and I mean, a lot of montages here," says Shannon Connellan. "The art of the text messaging sequence is rather important. Heartstopper leans on it throughout the series: the universal stress of typing dots, the multiple drafts backspaced, the unsteady wave of excitement that comes from an even slightly flirty tone."
    • Heartstopper regards sexuality with the maturity these stories have always deserved: "With the warmth of bright sunlight and the liveliness of mixed pastels and neons, Oseman’s deftly written script has a certain lightness about it that doesn’t sacrifice watchability, an achievement in itself," says Emily Maskell. "Heartstopper also finds these glints of gold with supportive parents who check in on their children’s feelings and pick them up at parties with a 10 p.m. curfew, as well as a handful of teachers who genuinely care about the wellbeing of their students. Grounded in natural dramatics, the show’s heartwarming dynamics resemble Oseman’s soft story of self-discovery. It is remarkable how director Euros Lyn has not only conserved the core message with clarity but created a visual ode to Oseman’s work; sequences in the series lift panels of the webcomic and bring them to life from the page with such clarity. Heartstopper is one of the best of page-to-screen adaptations in a number of years in its uniquely direct bridging from drawing to live action."
    • Part of what makes Heartstopper work so well is, assuredly, the confidence and kindness of the source material: "Besides the characters, and the plot, which treats its teen LGBTQIA+ stories both frankly and gently, the pacing of the show is also pitch perfect," says Alex Zalben. "At eight, half hour episodes, it practically flies by; but works as both a four hour binge, or episodically. Each character’s storyline, every relationship is perfectly arched over the course of the season, while still leaving plenty of room for growth and exploration in a potential Season 2. That’s a rarity in any media, and jaw-droppingly impressive that Oseman has made it work her first time out to bat as a TV writer."
    • Joe Locke was surprised few picked up on Stephen Fry in the Heartstopper trailer
    • Heartstopper's shock casting was kept secret from the cast
    • How does Alice Oseman feel turning Heartstopper into a TV series after writing the webcomic?: "It's very strange! I guess it's been quite a gradual journey, from self-publishing the book in 2016, to having it published traditionally a couple of years later, and now the Netflix show – it's just been so fun and exciting!" says Oseman. "I love Heartstopper and it's always been a passion project and something that's very dear to my heart. I'm just very grateful and I'm having a great time!" Oseman adds: "Our goal with Heartstopper was for it to appeal to teens, mainly. There are a lot of teen shows that are for adults, but Heartstopper is primarily for a younger audience. I think people of all ages can enjoy it, but teens and tweens were who we wanted to cater to and make it accessible for."

    TOPICS: Heartstopper, Netflix, Alice Oseman, Joe Locke, Kit Connor