Teens Charlie and Nick discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love in this coming-of-age series.
Based on the webcomic and graphic novel by Alice Oseman, Heartstopper is about a group of sweet friends navigating love and friendship and bullying and whether to be open about who they are and what they want. Charlie has dealt with bullying since being outed as gay at his boys’ school. Then he develops a crush on his new jock friend, Nick, who convinces him to join the school rugby team. Charlie’s friends are worried that he’s going to end up getting his heart broken, or his ass kicked, but everyone is destined to be surprised.
Elle has just transferred to the girls’ school after being bullied for transitioning. She misses Charlie and her other guy friends, and they miss her, but luckily, she ends up making friends with Tara and Darcy. They’re welcoming and accepting, though they seem to be keeping a secret of their own.
Heartstopper slowly weaves these friend groups together in the most natural way, as the teens learn about the bonds of friendship, how they stretch and grow in new ways, and that sometimes they break, and that’s okay, too.
Joe Locke as Charlie Spring
Charlie is sweet and innocent, and lucky to be surrounded by good friends and an awesome sister. Joe Locke is a newcomer, as is most of this cast, and they are all nearly too precious for this world.
Kit Connor as Nick Nelson
Kit Connor has previously been seen in His Dark Materials and as young Elton John in Rocketman. He is ridiculously talented. With his expressive eyes and floppy hair, he is the most endearing thing I’ve ever seen on screen. He gives Nick so much depth, and he seems destined to be a huge star.
Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent
Elle is so well-adjusted for someone who had to put up with awful treatment when she was at the boys’ school. I love that she has loyal longtime friends and great new friends to support her.
William Gao as Tao Xu
Tao is the bitter cynic of the friends’ group. Tao is me. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the change in their dynamic since Elle switched schools and it doesn’t help when Charlie starts hanging out with rugby players.
Corinna Brown as Tara Jones
Tara is a popular student at Elle’s new school who makes her feel welcome, and also has some history with Nick.
Kizzy Edgell as Darcy Olsson
Darcy is Tara’s best friend and a delightful riot.
Olivia Colman as Sarah Nelson
When she’s not busy being the freaking Queen of England, Olivia finds time to be a wonderful mother to the best teenager on television.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Squeeze
I refuse to believe that there’s anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this show. Puppy pile in with your besties, your kids, your parents. Everybody loves love, right? If you have someone in your life who wouldn’t enjoy Heartstopper, it’s 2022, now is probably the time to rid yourself of that kind of bad taste and negativity.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Got Milk?
This show is so sweet and perfect that you don’t even need booze. (I know, I kind of can’t believe I said that either.) But I am nothing if not a sucker for a theme, so I highly recommend milkshakes to improve your viewing experience. What you choose to put in those milkshakes? Well, that’s none of my business.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Heart Eyes
I don’t usually read graphic novels, so I haven’t checked out the source material yet. I did love Check, Please!, which was super cute and would also make an amazing series. (You’re welcome, Netflix.) So, let me know how you think this adaptation holds up and if you think I should check it out!
This series is just so wholesome and heartwarming, like a big hug from Nick Nelson – the best kind. I hope people will watch it with their teens and that kids will find it on their own. There are so many people out there whose lives will be improved because Heartstopper exists. I’m grateful to Netflix for sharing these important stories and spreading this kind of joy.