Being a teenager is not easy. But some teenagers have it a little easier than others. The protagonists of heart stopper They are among those who do not have it easy, because the changes, both physical and emotional and rational, derived from the transition to adulthood are added to the difficulties of homophobia and doubts about their own sexual identity.
It is not necessary to be a teenager or to belong to the LGTBI collective to empathize with the protagonists of the youth series that Netflix premiered last Friday. But there is no doubt of the extra value that it means for today’s young people to find on the screen (possibly, that of their mobile) references such as Charlie and Nick, positive references in a series that, although it explores some of the usual clichés in these stories, he does it with great efficiency and a sensitivity that invites the viewer to watch his eight half-hour episodes in one go with a permanent smile on his lips. What With love, Victorwalk on the bright side of teenage life, far, far away from the dramas of euphoria or, without going to the extremes of Zelda Barnz’s fiction, Genera+ion. And that, in these times, is always appreciated.
Actually, the story of Charlie and Nick already had a previous run in the form of a comic written by Alice Oseman and published first on the internet and, after its success, in physical format. She herself has been in charge of the television adaptation of the love story of the shy and dreamy Charlie Spring and the popular rugby player Nick Nelson. With an aesthetic that, as in sex education, seems out of the space-time we know, the translation of this story to the screen is supported by the great work of its protagonists, Joe Locke (Charlie) and Kit Connor (Nick), and a solid secondary cast where the appearance deserves to be highlighted, which was kept secret until its premiere (those who prefer to be surprised can skip to the next paragraph), from Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman as Nick’s mother and the voice in off of Stephen Fry as the head of the institute.
One of the many good things about heart stopper is that the love story begins early in the story. There are obstacles, many. Charlie comes from a very bad experience and suffers from bullying because of her sexual condition. Nick has feelings towards someone of the same sex for the first time and among his friends homophobia is installed as something normal. But soon sparks fly between them and, although there are steps backwards, the feeling throughout the series is that they are both walking forward almost constantly. Small animations, which remind the viewer of the origin comic book of the story, help to highlight emotions that are also perfectly portrayed on the faces of the actors. Another great merit of the series is successfully dodging the risk of falling into nonsense. Everything is natural and sincere, and his kindness does not prevent him from addressing the dramas and problems related to the situation.
Although Charlie and Nick’s relationship is at the center of the story, characters like Elle, a transsexual girl who, by changing her environment, have freed herself from the past that did not let her move forward, also find their own gap; or the lesbian couple Tara and Darcy, who decide to publicly expose their relationship; or Tao, who is not willing to let his friend suffer and who serves as an example of a different masculinity than usual.
heart stopper he knows well what it is and which spectator he is looking for. Its audience will not be massive nor will it be the series that saves Netflix. But it is one of those productions, small and niche but with a very dedicated faithful, who reconcile you with life, even if it’s just to spend four hours with a smile on your lips.
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