Recommended: Love, Victor Season 3 on Hulu
What's new and what's changed?
In its third and final season, the Love, Simon spinoff series sees Victor choosing between Benji and Rahim, before learning that his life as a gay teen is more complicated than any one decision. Meanwhile, his circle of friends expands, becoming more queer, complex, and compelling as they each face their own challenges in living the lives they want.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
Love Victor's final stretch fully removes it from the shadow of its predecessor, the feature film Love, Simon. That film's star, Nick Robinson, doesn't reprise his role as Victor's phone-a-friend mentor this season — there's even a sly joke about it in a later episode — as Victor starts to grow and explore and figure things out for himself. There's still a romantic heart at the center of the series, and you'll pry the showrunners' sentimentality towards Victor's relationship with first-love Benji out of their cold, dead hands. But many of the final episodes allow Victor to branch out into gay life on his own terms, making his own mistakes, and even have some fun (finally!).
Meanwhile, the show's character map continues to grow beyond Victor, largely to its benefit. When it began, Victor was the only gay kid he knew, and for a while after that his coming out was only experienced via strife with his family and his romance with Benji. Now the canvas has expanded, and it keeps expanding. Lake's coming into her own bisexuality with a relationship with Lucy that's handled with a minimum of angst. And Rahim remains the show's best development, giving Victor another gay character to bounce off of and providing the show with some different notes to play in the coming-of-age realm.
The show's teenage supporting cast surrounds Victor with the kind of "chosen family" vibe that queer TV and movies thrive on, even as Victor's biological family remains very much a part of the story. All of this serves to make Victor his own man, as his romantic life takes the expected twists and turns (choosing between Benji and Rahim is just the beginning). While he still has doe-eyed romantic qualities, he's more confident now, experimenting with dating apps and casual sex in a very Victor way (i.e. innocently and reticently).
Ultimately, Love, Victor retains its amiable sentimentality, and at just eight 30-minute episodes, Season 3 makes for a deeply watchable weekend binge. It's a kids-are-all-right story that keeps its eyes open to a wider queer experience and ends on a sweet note of hopefulness.
Pairs well with
TOPICS: Love, Victor, Hulu, Ana Ortiz, Anthony Kayvan, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Elizabeth Berger, George Sear, Isaac Aptaker, James Martinez, Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson