A show full of heart

Netflix's Heartstopper is getting all the hype at the moment, and rightfully so. Photo: Instagram.

By Dominique Tassell

Netflix’s Heartstopper is getting all the hype at the moment, and rightfully so.

Heartstopper is a coming-of-age romantic comedy adapted from the novels by Alice Oseman.

It follows Charlie Spring, a gay schoolboy who falls in love with his classmate Nick Nelson after sitting next to him in form.

It also explores the lives of Charlie’s friends Tao, Elle, Tara, and Darcy.

The eight-part series has just been renewed for two more seasons, to the overwhelming excitement of many online.

It’s the kind of show that you can watch over and over again, especially once you realise there are a million new details to look out for with each rewatch.

The show also benefits from the weight of talent like Olivia Coleman and Stephen Fry, proving once again that British actors tend to jump at the chance to be a part of solid Young Adult media more than any other nation’s.

But Heartstopper’s success shows that what teens want might just be reality.

Watching the show, I was stunned by how realistic some elements felt- and how unrealistic other teen shows often are.

We all know the jokes about CW teens being played by 30-year-olds, but there’s something about Heartstopper that just feels so real.

It’s the little things, like teens texting like actual teens and talking like actual teens.

I think the real beauty of the show is that it treats representation with such normality. The show and all its characters are simply treated as teens being teens, and that may have just changed our expectations of YA media forever.

With shows like Riverdale finally, finally, coming to an end, can we please move on from teens played by thirty-year-olds who weirdly run businesses and never go to class?

Better yet, create some New Adult media with those actors and leave the teens alone.

I thought years ago when watching Skam that maybe we had turned a corner with YA media, and that realistic representation was going to become the norm.

But Skam’s American adaption bombed, and it remained a niche phenomenon.

By all accounts, we are getting better.

The upcoming Percy Jackson adaption has announced its three leads, and there’s not a 30-year-old playing a teen in sight.

Heartstopper’s success just cements that what teens want is realistic dramas treating their lives as dramatic enough as they are.

So please, make more of that.