Content warning: eating disorders, self-harm.
It’s official: Netflix’s hit queer coming-of-age show “Heartstopper,” based on the “Heartstopper” graphic novels, is returning for a second season on Aug. 3.
The streaming service and “Heartstopper” author and screenwriter Alice Oseman posted the announcement on their Instagram accounts on April 24. While fans wait eagerly to see their favorite Brits on the screen again, here are some predictions for season two.
Since season one covered the first and second installments of the graphic novel series, season two will most likely be tackling the third installment, which follows the beloved cast on their school trip to Paris in the summer. The events that take place during the trip are absolutely essential to the next season’s plot and will leave fans on the edge of their seats as they wait to see how it all unfolds.
The friend group may also grow to welcome one more person: Sahar. If you found season one to be heartwarming, you’ll be even more delighted by the joyous, but also more mature, moments that season two might have in store.
After protagonist Nick comes out to his mom, he feels more at ease with his and Charlie’s relationship. They spend every waking moment together, from having dates at the park to casually making out in their school athletics’ storage room and getting caught by their rugby coach. Nick and Charlie slip into the next stage of a budding romance: the puppy love stage. This only intensifies during the Paris trip, where they share a room with two other friends and later reveal their relationship during a party.
As for the side characters, the romantic tension between Elle and Tao has been building up for three whole installments and the entire first season, making fans eager to see them finally confess their feelings for each other by sharing a romantic kiss in the Louvre museum. If included, this will be a huge moment for Elle and Tao shippers. This moment will undoubtedly be a significant turning point in their relationship and will be cause for celebration among fans who have been rooting for them since the beginning.
We also might see more exploration and insight into Tara and Darcy’s relationship. Despite their penchant for stirring up chaos, this lesbian power couple often offers relationship advice to others, making them a beloved and integral part of the “Heartstopper” universe.
Tara and Darcy’s cute relationship causes fans to gush over them, and their endearing moments of affection always leave viewers wanting more. If the next season delves deeper into their dynamic, it will surely be a treat for fans who have grown to love these chaotic and adorable characters.
With a cast of fleshed-out characters with multifaceted personalities, it is time for Oseman to introduce the relationship between the iconic gay teachers. Mr. Ajayi was shown in season one as Charlie’s supportive, empathic art teacher; but his love interest Mr. Farouk is nowhere to be seen — at least not yet.
“If we do get a future season, we’ll be moving into volume three of the books. And that is when the teacher romance happens,” Osesman said in an interview with Digitalspy. “I think that will be so much fun to write in the show, and I’m very excited to hopefully get to write it.”
With this comment from the writer of both the graphic novels and the show, we can predict that Ajayi and Farouk might get their own side story. This can also contribute to the overall aim of “Heartstopper” to break stereotypes regarding the LGBTQ+ community by depicting queerness as not a phase, but rather an identity.
Most importantly, we might delve into Charlie’s mental health arc, which not only is crucial in raising awareness about mental illnesses but also in reducing the stigma around them. Charlie represents the very frightening reality of how LGBTQ+ youth are more susceptible to suffering both eating disorders and self-harm compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
Charlie explains to Nick how he used to self-harm due to the homophobic bullying he experienced through schooling. And during the Paris trip, he reveals his anorexia to Nick after he faints in the hot weather. Anorexia is an eating disorder in which a person deprives themselves of food and often over-exercises, creating a hateful and harmful relationship with food.
The success of including Charlie’s eating disorder in season two depends on portraying him as a complex character with many different qualities, rather than reducing him to just his mental health struggles. This story arc gives “Heartstopper” the ability to foster greater understanding and empathy for its characters as well as for the LGBTQ+ community.
Based on these predictions, the next season of “Heartstopper” may bring about themes of vulnerability, acceptance and what it means to love another complex individual. Fans of the series can hardly contain their anticipation for what promises to be a compelling continuation of the story.