“Heartstopper” Review: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novel Turned into Netflix Series

Laura Lieu, Staff Reporter

“Heartstopper” is a cute, romantic LGBTQ+ graphic novel written by Alice Oseman starting in 2016. Oseman began by creating this series of graphic novels on Tumblr; it is now ranked one of the top ten movies/series on Netflix UK.

The show is about a teenage boy, Charlie, who is an outed gay teenager. He meets Nick, who is in the grade above him. Nick is the opposite of Charlie. Nick loves rugby and socializing, while Charlie is quiet and loves playing the drums.

Episode 1 – The first time I watched this episode, I nearly died from all of Nick and Charlie’s first cute, romantic moments! The first episode demonstrated what most of this series would feel like. I strongly dislike Ben Hope(Charlie’s first “boyfriend”) Later in the episode, Nick asks Charlie if he wants to join the rugby team. 10/10 – I literally screamed so many times because Nick and Charlie are so cute!

Episode 2 – I’m so glad Nick messaged Charlie on Instagram. Nick is so caring! The scene with Elle looking at a girl named Tara while “Girls” by Girl in Red is playing. It made me wonder if Elle had feelings for Tara or if she knew that Tara was a lesbian.  The snow scene is one of my top five favorite scenes from the series. Nick and Charlie are so cute! At the end of this episode is where Nick starts to question his sexuality and tries to figure it all out. 8/10 – I thought that Elle liked Tara, but that was not the case so it confused me. The snow scene was adorable!

Episode 3 – Charlie at a party?! He is so antisocial! This episode is a lot. Tara and Nick run into each other at the party. They catch up on things like their sexuality. Tara tells Nick that she is dating a girl named Darcy. Nick’s friends make fun of him for hanging out with Charlie because Charlie is gay. Nick realizes that Charlie had run off and he went to go find him. He eventually finds him and they run to somewhere quiet. In the quiet room, they kiss! The first time I watched this, I screamed. 10/10 – They kissed!

Episode 4 – The morning after the party, Nick runs to Charlie’s house in the rain. How cute! They talk about the kiss. Charlie apologized and said he didn’t want Nick to feel awkward about it. Nick kisses Charlie to assure him that it was okay! Nick expresses his feeling and talks about his “gay crisis.” Tara and Darcy face negative reactions to their coming-out post on Instagram. Nick and Charlie have an important rugby game. All of Charlie’s friends come to see the game. 9/10 – I love that Nick and Charlie are becoming more than friends!

Episode 5 – Tao and Elle, Charlie’s friends had overheard a girl named Imogen asking Nick out on a date. Nick, who is very nervous, said yes. Charlie’s birthday is coming up and he asks his friends if it would be okay if Nick comes to his birthday party. Charlie’s birthday party was fun, but Tao dislikes Nick a lot. When Charlie was alone, Tao told Charlie about Nick saying yes to Imogen. Nick decides to tell Charlie the truth and he explains everything. In the end, Nick explains to Imogen that he doesn’t feel the same way toward her. 7/10 – Nick should’ve said no and it was also a boring episode compared to the others

Episode 6 – Nick watches a video about bisexuality. Tara and Darcy still face negative reactions to their coming-out post on Instagram. Elle starts to think that she has a crush on Tao! Nick talks to Charlie about his sexuality and how he is still confused. Nick runs into Tara at Charlie’s concert practice. She suggests that Nick have lunch with her and Darcy. At lunch, Darcy suggests a double date for her and Tara and Nick and Charlie before their concert. They invite Tao and Elle. On the date, Charlie tells Elle that he and Nick are dating. Charlie does not tell Tao though because so far in the series, Tao shows that he dislikes Nick. Right before the concert starts, Nick tells Charlie that he has been researching about bisexuality! 8/10 – They should not have tried to set up a secret triple date

Episode 7 – In this episode, Charlie goes to see a movie with Nick and some of Nick’s friends. Ben Hope is there!!! Ben is the worst character in the series.  After walking out of the theater, one of Nick’s friends, Harry messes with Charlie and asks him questions about being gay. Nick stands up for Charlie while Charlie walks away. While Charlie waits for his dad, Ben sneaks up on him and says mean things because he saw Nick holding Charlie’s hand. Nick and Harry got into a fight because of what Harry said. At lunch, Harry comes up to Tao and says mean things like always, but this time they got into a fight. 8/10 – Go Tao!!! Go Nick!!!

Episode 8 – Tao gives Charlie the silent treatment. Charlie quits the rugby team and Nick decides to talk to Tao about what happened and why Tao is upset with Charlie. Their school has a sports day. Charlie takes one of Tao’s activities, which is running. After the run, Charlie confronts Ben and tells Ben to leave him alone. Tao and Charlie apologize to each other. Nick decides to take Charlie on a surprise trip to the beach. They do many activities together and use the photo booth to take cute pictures! As they lay on the beach, Nick says he wants to come out and not keep their relationship a secret anymore. 10/10 – Nick coming out was just so emotional and I loved the picture near the end of Nick and Charlie on the beach!