“Heartstopper”: a Show That Brought Me to Tears

And trust me, I’m not an easy crier.


Iben Orton, Staff Writer

Released on April 22, 2022, “Heartstopper,” an LGBTQIA+ twist on cishet young adult romance tv shows, joined the few other queer titles on Netflix. UK-based author Alice Oseman has written multiple young adult novels, including the graphic novel that served as inspiration for this Netflix special—which left many feeling content and simultaneously yearning for more. 

The producers of the show bring the comic book to life, casting actors that look very similar to those of the graphic novel in order to authentically portray each character. Occasionally, colorful leaves drift across the screen, or clusters of vibrant shapes and squiggly lines appear as the protagonists share meaningful looks or hold hands. These charming illustrations help to give the series a comic-book feel while also engaging the teen audience creators strived to reach when pitching the show to Netflix. 

Although some argue that the show is cheesy due to several cliché aspects—high school parties, jock bullies, a kiss scene in the rain—the mood Oseman and the producers implemented turned out exactly as was pictured. While watching, I found myself rooting for an inevitable happy ending, balling my fists as Charlie got bullied and sympathizing with Nick as he questioned his sexuality. You can’t help grinning a big goofy smile as Nick scoops up Charlie and sprints down the beach, hollering that he has a boyfriend. “Heartstopper” has an impressive way of evoking all the feels.

While lighthearted, “Heartstopper” also effectively portrays the confusion and fear involved in exploring one’s sexuality. The series has given teens an opportunity to feel seen and is material that many queer individuals connect with on a personal level. “Heartstopperopened up conversations about consent, representation and generational trauma on social media after quickly becoming admired, reaching over 8 billion views on #heartstopper Tiktoks alone. In fact, I managed to watch the entire 8-episode show in one night. “Heartstopper” proved to be one of those shows you cannot take your eyes off.