Heartstopper (TV series)

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Heartstopper
A blue background with pastel leaves and the series' title
Title card for the trailer for the first season
Genre
Created byAlice Oseman
Based onHeartstopper
by Alice Oseman
Starring
ComposerAdiescar Chase
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producers
ProducerZorana Piggott
CinematographyDiana Olifirova
Simona Susnea
EditorsSofie Alonzi
Andonis Trattos
Running time26–41 minutes
Production companySee-Saw Films
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release22 April 2022 (2022-04-22) –
present (present)

Heartstopper is a British coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama television series on Netflix, written and created by Alice Oseman and based on her webcomic and graphic novel of the same name. The series primarily tells the story of Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a gay schoolboy who falls in love with classmate Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), whom he sits next to in his new form. It also explores the lives of their friends Tao Xu (William Gao), Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney), Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan), Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell).

The television rights for the series were purchased by See-Saw Films in 2019 and Netflix acquired distribution rights in 2021. Euros Lyn was enlisted as the director. Filming took place from April to June that year, with teasers released throughout the timeframe. Various pre-existing songs were used as the series' soundtrack, in addition to an original score by Adiescar Chase. The cinematography and colour grading were planned ahead to give the series a unique atmosphere, amplified by the use of traditional animation adapted from the source material. For the upcoming third season, the director role is handed over to Andy Newbery.

The first season of Heartstopper was released on 22 April 2022 and the second on 3 August 2023. The series has received critical acclaim, particularly for its tone, pacing and portrayal of LGBT people, with the first season receiving nine nominations and five wins for the inaugural ceremony of the Children's and Family Emmy Awards. It gained instant popularity, being among the top ten most-watched English-language series on Netflix within two days of release. It also increased the popularity of the graphic novels and the songs featured in the series. A third season will be released in October 2024.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Kit Connor as Nick Nelson, a popular Year 11 rugby player at Truham Grammar School seated next to Charlie in form class.
  • Joe Locke as Charlie Spring, a Year 10 student at Truham Grammar School who was recently outed.
  • William Gao as Tao Xu, Charlie's protective best friend.
  • Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent, Charlie, Tao and Isaac's friend who transferred to Higgs Girls School after coming out as transgender.
  • Corinna Brown as Tara Jones, a student at Higgs Girls School who befriends Elle.
  • Kizzy Edgell as Darcy Olsson, Tara's girlfriend and a friend of Elle's.
  • Tobie Donovan as Isaac Henderson, an asexual quiet member of Charlie, Tao and Elle's friend group.
  • Jenny Walser as Tori Spring, Charlie's older sister.
  • Sebastian Croft as Ben Hope (seasons 1–2),[2] Charlie's first, clandestine relationship.
  • Cormac Hyde-Corrin as Harry Greene, a boy on the rugby team who is a homophobic bully.
  • Rhea Norwood as Imogen Heaney, one of Nick's friends who had a crush on him in season 1.
  • Fisayo Akinade as Mr Ajayi, an Art teacher who looks out for Charlie.
  • Chetna Pandya as Coach Singh, the rugby coach who looks out for Nick and Charlie.
  • Olivia Colman as Sarah Nelson (seasons 1–2),[3] Nick and David's mother.
  • Jack Barton as David Nelson (season 2), Nick's older brother.
  • Leila Khan as Sahar Zahid (season 2), a new student at Higgs Girls School who befriends Elle, Darcy and Tara.
  • Nima Taleghani as Mr Farouk (season 2), a stern teacher for exams who is Mr Ajayi's new love interest.
  • Bradley Riches as James McEwan (season 2; guest: season 1), a student at Truham Grammar School who has a crush on Isaac.

Recurring[edit]

  • Araloyin Oshunremi as Otis Smith, a boy on the rugby team.
  • Evan Ovenell as Christian McBride, a boy on the rugby team.
  • Ashwin Vishwanath as Sai Verma, a boy on the rugby team.
  • Georgina Rich as Jane Spring, Charlie and Tori's mother.
  • Joseph Balderrama as Julio Spring, Charlie and Tori's father.
  • Momo Yeung as Yan Xu, Tao's mother.
  • Alan Turkington as Mr Lange, a history teacher and Nick and Charlie's form tutor.
  • Stephen Fry as the voice of Headmaster Barnes, the Headteacher of Truham Grammar School.
  • Bel Priestley as Naomi Russell (season 2), a transgender student at the art school Elle applies to.
  • Ash Self as Felix Britten (season 2), a student at the art school whom Elle befriends.
  • Thibault de Montalembert as Stéphane Nelson (season 2), Nick and David's father, Sarah's ex-husband.
  • Rachael Stirling as Amanda Olsson (season 2), Darcy's homophobic and abusive mother.

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1822 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
283 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
38October 2024 (2024-10)

Season 1 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Meet"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Truham Grammar School student Charlie Spring is in a secret relationship with Ben Hope. In his new form, Charlie is assigned to sit next to Nick Nelson, a rugby player for whom he develops feelings. They become friends, though Charlie is unsure of Nick's sexuality. Nick invites him to join the rugby team and he accepts. After seeing Ben kissing a girl and realising his own unhappiness in the relationship, Charlie tells Ben he does not want to meet up anymore. Later, Charlie reluctantly meets with Ben again, who forcibly kisses him but is fended off by Nick. Meanwhile, one of Charlie's friends, Elle Argent, has moved to Higgs Girls School after coming out as a transgender girl.
22"Crush"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Charlie vents to Nick about his relationship with Ben, whom Nick condemns. Charlie's friend Tao Xu assumes that Nick is heterosexual and tells Charlie to abandon his feelings, but he refuses. Tao tells him that Nick has a crush on a girl named Tara Jones, whom Elle soon learns is in a same-sex relationship with Darcy Olsson. While hanging out at Charlie's house, Nick tries to hold Charlie's hand while he is sleeping and begins to question his sexuality.
33"Kiss"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Nick is invited to his friend Harry Greene's 16th birthday party. He invites Charlie, who accepts. Tao is unhappy that Nick has been causing his and Charlie's friendship to become more distant. At the party, Harry and his group try to set Nick up with Tara. Tara comes out to Nick, who tells off Harry after he makes fun of Charlie. Imogen Heaney, one of Nick's friends, tells Nick she likes him. Charlie tells Ben to leave him alone. Nick and Charlie go to a secluded room, where they kiss; Nick is dumbfounded and leaves after he hears Harry looking for him. Though heartbroken, Charlie is surprised to see Nick at his doorstep the next day in the pouring rain.
44"Secret"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Charlie apologises to Nick for what happened the previous day. Nick kisses him, explaining that he is still closeted and confused; Charlie says he does not need to publicly declare anything. At school, they spend more time together while eating lunch. After a rugby game, Nick visits Charlie in the sick bay and is briefly interrupted by their friend, Isaac Henderson. Tao and Elle overhear Nick reluctantly agreeing to a peer-pressured date with Imogen.
55"Friend"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Nick is about to cancel the date with Imogen when she reveals that her dog died and Nick reverts his plan because he feels sorry for her. Charlie invites Nick to his 15th birthday celebration, which happens to be on the same day as Nick's date, but he decides to be with Charlie. Tao tells Charlie about Nick and Imogen. Nick overhears the two of them, later clarifying to Charlie before explicitly admitting his feelings for him, which Charlie reciprocates. The next day, Nick explains to Imogen that he does not like her romantically. Imogen thanks him for his honesty.
66"Girls"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Nick thinks he might be bisexual; Charlie tells him to take his time. Nick comes out to Tara and Darcy, who suggest a double date. After Elle reveals she has feelings for Tao, the group then secretly makes it a triple date, hoping to set the two up. On the date, Elle notices their intentions and confronts them, saying she does not want any more change in her life and wants to protect her friendship with Tao, though she is happy for Nick and Charlie. That day, there is an orchestral concert with Truham and Higgs. Tara angrily leaves after hearing homophobic comments; Darcy calms her down and they go back to perform.
77"Bully"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Nick invites Charlie to the cinema with his friends, reassuring him that Harry and Ben are not coming. However, they both turn out to be there and Harry bullies Charlie about his sexuality. After Charlie leaves, Nick tells Harry to stop the bullying. Harry calls Charlie a fag and a fight ensues. At the car park, Ben tells Charlie that Nick does not care for him and that no one could. Tao feels guilty for unintentionally worsening Charlie's situation by verbally attacking Harry, but as Charlie continues to ignore him, he gets into a fight with Harry and confronts Charlie for not telling him about his relationship with Nick.
88"Boyfriend"Euros LynAlice Oseman22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Harry is suspended for the fight and Charlie's friendship with Tao is still strained. Depressed, Charlie quits rugby and ignores Nick. Tao and Nick bond and find common ground on wanting Charlie to be happy. Tao reconciles with Charlie, who also confronts Ben for being abusive. Nick tells Charlie that he does not want to break up and they kiss. On a date at the seaside, Nick reveals his plan to come out and tell their friends, which makes Charlie happy. Later that day, he comes out to his mother, who accepts him.

Season 2 (2023)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"Out"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
As Nick and Charlie's relationship matures, Nick faces the challenge of opening up to others outside their friend circle. At a sleepover with Charlie's friend group, he gradually manages to come out to Imogen, who acknowledges that she already knows. Elle and Tao face uncertainties about forming a relationship. Charlie rejoins Truham's rugby team and opens up to his parents about his relationship; however, his father bans Nick from coming over to prevent any sexual behaviour. Charlie vows to be there for Nick in his coming out process.
102"Family"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
With grades coming in, Charlie's parents ban him from visiting Nick until he has improved his grades and finished a school essay. Tao begins to feel distant and jealous of Elle as she visits the Lambert School of Art and makes new friends. His mother encourages him to fight to keep her as a friend and he admits to Charlie and Isaac that he likes her. Nick's brother David returns from university and disapproves of Nick and Charlie's relationship. Nick grows worried about Imogen dating Ben; he tells her that she should stay away from Ben, but when she asks him what Ben has done, Nick says he cannot tell her.
113"Promise"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
Charlie finishes his essay and motivates Nick for his final General Certificate of Secondary Education exam, in which he succeeds. Nick tries to come out to his rugby friends but is constantly interrupted by Harry. Recognising his stress, Charlie suggests that Nick forget about coming out first. After doing some research on how to impress a crush, Tao asks Elle out and she accepts. After a failed date, Tao is jealous of Elle getting closer to her new friends from Lambert, then blames himself for seemingly ruining every situation.
124"Challenge"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
The students go on a school trip to Paris. Charlie, Nick, Tao and Isaac are assigned to the same hotel room, with Tara, Darcy, Elle and Sahar Zahid assigned to another room. Tao and Elle begin to warm toward each other and decide to remain friends; Tao apologises for his earlier outburst. Charlie and Tara discuss the problems with their respective partners. Imogen breaks up with Ben after he ignores her and obsesses about Charlie; Nick and Charlie comfort her. Nick gives Charlie a hickey on his neck while making out.
135"Heat"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
Charlie's hickey prompts speculation among the other students about who gave it to him. Charlie forgives Tao for unintentionally causing him to be outed in the past and challenges his pessimism regarding him and Elle. Later, while spending time together, Elle kisses Tao, who kisses her back. After fainting, Charlie admits to Nick that he has an eating disorder. Tara confronts Darcy for not responding when Tara said she loves Darcy.
146"Truth/Dare"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
Nick introduces Charlie to his French father Stéphane, who reveals his plan to visit England. As an apology, Darcy arranges a party at the room on Tara's birthday. Fellow student James McEwan, who has a crush on Isaac, kisses him but Isaac takes no interest. Harry apologises about his past bullying to Charlie, who rejects the apology. In a game of truth or dare?, Nick comes out and says he is fine with people knowing his sexuality. After the party, Darcy tells Tara she loves her. Meanwhile, supervising teachers Mr Ajayi and Mr Farouk develop feelings for each other and kiss. They and the students go home the next day.
157"Sorry"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
Elle is accepted into Lambert; Tao says he has gotten over his envy and Elle says she is still undecided on Lambert. Isaac discovers he is asexual. Prior to leaving Truham, Ben asks Charlie to forgive his past actions, but Charlie refuses, noting that Ben's apology merely demands self-validation. During a dinner at the Nelson home with the Nelsons and Springs, Nick confronts David for his bullying and his father for being uninterested in his life. Nick tells his father that Charlie is his boyfriend. His father apologises and says he likes Charlie, before going back to Paris. Darcy has an argument with her homophobic mother and leaves her home.
168"Perfect"Euros LynAlice Oseman3 August 2023 (2023-08-03)
Nick comes out publicly on Instagram. Elle tells Tao she is going to Lambert, then accepts his proposal to be his girlfriend. At a school prom, everyone is present but Darcy, who later shows up and opens up to Tara about her situation at home. Nick and Charlie's friend group leave the prom to celebrate at Nick's house. When Nick and Charlie remain, Nick requests to know about his past bullying experience; Charlie opens up about it and how it caused him to self-harm. Nick tells Charlie to always open up to him if anything happens. Charlie reluctantly accepts, before going home.

Season 3 (2024)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
171"Love"[4]Andy NewberyAlice OsemanOctober 2024 (2024-10)

Production[edit]

Writing and pre-production[edit]

The series is written and based upon the graphic novels by Alice Oseman and (for the first two seasons) directed by Euros Lyn (on the photo).

In September 2016, Alice Oseman started a webcomic titled Heartstopper which later expanded to a graphic novel after gaining a cult following.[5] Sometime in 2019, See-Saw Films asked Oseman if she could try writing a screenplay.[6] The production company had been suggested[7] by its own executive producer Patrick Walters,[8] who helped with Oseman's Kickstarter campaign in 2018.[7] She expressed interest in doing it, noting the lack of wholesome, teenage LGBT representation on television, hoping that this could potentially assure LGBT youth "that they can find happiness and find romance and find friendship". She wrote a screenplay based on the first two volumes of the graphic novel. See-Saw Films liked it[6] and optioned the television rights later that July.[9]

In January 2021, it was revealed that Netflix had ordered Heartstopper as an eight-episode half-hour series.[9] It was deemed the best platform by Oseman and Walters due to its global availability.[7] Euros Lyn was enlisted as director and executive producer. He had not read the original source material and called the screenplay riveting.[10] Netflix "Kids & Family Content" director Alexi Wheeler said that the story "deserves to be told" due to its relatability among the young demographic.[5] Walters served as executive producer for the series, alongside Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, with Zorana Piggott as producer.[11] During production, the programme had working titles of Evergreen for its first season,[12] Electric for its second season[13] and Firework for its third season.[1]

Casting[edit]

To provide an authentic depiction, Oseman wanted actual young people to portray the characters.[6] Daniel Edwards served as casting director. An open casting call went out in January and February 2021 for five of the main characters and three of the recurring cast.[14] Oseman explained that the character Aled Last would not appear in the adaptation to respect his story in another novel within the Heartstopper universe, Radio Silence. After over 10,000 people auditioned via Zoom, she announced the first round of casting decisions in April 2021, with Kit Connor and Joe Locke starring as Nick and Charlie respectively.[6][15] Heartstopper marked Locke's acting debut.[16] After agreeing that Locke suited Charlie's role, Connor was auditioned and the production team found chemistry between the two;[10] the actors themselves recalled only taking a few hours to bond.[16]

The rest of the cast members were announced days later and included Yasmin Finney, Sebastian Croft, William Gao, Corinna Brown, Kizzy Edgell, Cormac Hyde-Corrin, Rhea Norwood and Tobie Donovan.[17] Jenny Walser joined in the cast in May 2021.[18] The final audition was conducted face-to-face.[6] Having worked with her previously, Lyn reached out to Olivia Colman after Oseman expressed an interest in a notable actress to portray Sarah; Colman accepted the offer. It was also noted that fans of the webcomic and graphic novel agreed that Colman was suited for the series.[19] Lyn said that Colman's "instinctive" and "warm" character was a good fit for Nick's mother Sarah.[10]

In July 2022, an open casting call was announced for a 16-year-old character named Sahar Zahid, a British female or non-binary person of South Asian descent.[20] That September, it was announced that Leila Khan would play the role and much of the lead cast would return for the second season. Other roles announced included Jack Barton as David, Nick's older brother; Bradley Riches as Truham student James McEwan; and Nima Taleghani as schoolteacher Mr Farouk.[21][22] In November 2022, it was announced that Colman, Chetna Pandya, Fisayo Akinade and Alan Turkington would reprise their roles in the second season, along with new casting including Bel Priestley and Ash Self as Elle's new friends Naomi and Felix respectively, with Thibault de Montalembert as Nick's father Stéphane.[23]

In August 2023, shortly after the release of the second season, it was confirmed that Sebastian Croft would be exiting the series, given that his storyline had come to its conclusion.[2] In November 2023, it was announced that Darragh Hand had joined the cast as Michael Holden.[24] In February 2024, it was announced that Hayley Atwell had joined the cast as Diane.[25] In March 2024, Colman said that she would not return for the third season of Heartstopper due to other commitments.[3]

Filming[edit]

Season 1[edit]

A British mansion exterior
Hampton Court House, where Harry Greene's birthday party scenes in series one episode 3 "Kiss" was filmed

Filming for series one began on location throughout England in April 2021 and finished that June.[26] It mostly took place in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.[27] Harry's party was filmed at the Hampton Court House in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.[28] The rugby match shown in the episode "Secret" was filmed at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre. A Hollywood Bowl bowling alley in High Wycombe was used for filming. The railway station from which Nick and Charlie depart to the seaside is North Weald railway station in Essex, and the scene on the seaside was filmed in Herne Bay, Kent. After milkshakes, Charlie and his friends are seen walking along the River Thames in Windsor, Berkshire, before their concert.[29] Colman filmed all her scenes in two days.[30] In the episode "Boyfriend", during a scene where Nick and Charlie take a train, Oseman decided to give herself a cameo as a passenger; she is drawing the couple nearby.[31] The scene near the end of the episode featuring a merry-go-round was filled with crew members.[32]

Diana Olifirova was enlisted as cinematographer. She was immediately presented with challenges in visually depicting "love and emotion and tenderness". Using two Arri Alexa Mini LFs with Canon K35 spherical lenses, she used hand-held cinematography to give the cast space and to achieve an effect that resembled the documentary genre. With production designer Tim Dickel, they conceived a light-hearted colour palette of orange, yellow, turquoise and a mix of pink and blue. Olifirova employed colour gel for the lighting, which she had previously done for We Are Lady Parts. The colours of the school building were controlled to not be overdone but, at the same time, to be vivid. The scenes during Harry's birthday party were filmed in the daytime, and thus, the production team had to shut the windows and use artificial lighting to resemble outdoor lights. Transitions between seasons were achieved through lens flares.[28][33] The opening scene was achieved in two takes; in the first, the depth of field for Nick achieved through the Contrazoom was deemed overdone; they later managed to reshoot the scene to make it more minimalistic.[10] As Tara and Darcy kiss in the third episode, Nick is bathed in bisexual lighting (pinks, purples and blues) symbolising him realising his sexuality; this was suggested to Olifirova by the series' creative team.[34]

Production designer Tim Dickel worked with set decorator Maxwell Fine, who used his experience in past art lessons to create a realistic representation of British classrooms.[32] Dickel, meanwhile, asked his friends to photograph their kids' rooms, creating a mood board, which was reviewed by the cast.[35] Some of the set objects also changed as the characters progressed and grew. In the geography classroom, Nick's seat was located to have him in front of images of rocks; Fine correlated this with metamorphic rocks forming under pressure, symbolising Nick and Charlie's romantic development. Nick has his room littered with items representing his complicated life. Elle's room is "more refined" and artistic, Tao's room was designed to reflect his cinephilia and Tara's is awash with teddy bears per the screenplay. With respect to the source material, several set objects were given a hand-drawn style. Reflective of the characters, Charlie's room is wide and chaotic, while Nick's is tidier. Oseman drew murals to be depicted in the series; they were inspired by the works of Hokusai and Julian Opie.[32]

Season 2[edit]

The second season began filming in September 2022 at Twickenham Studios in London,[36] and finished in early December the same year.[37] Among the places throughout the Paris episodes that were filmed in England was the hotel, specifically in Slough,[38] also where Truham and the GCSE afterparty was filmed. Another instance is the café Nick takes Charlie to after he faints, which was filmed in Piccadilly Circus, London. The Lambert School of Arts was filmed at Farnham.[39] A sequence set in the Eiffel Tower was filmed in "two mornings"; the cast and crew needed to reach there by 06:00 local time prior to being open for public. Other locations include the Shakespeare and Company bookstore; the Arc de Triomphe; the Pont des Arts; a café by the Seine; and the Marais, known as a centre of LGBT culture. Some scenes featured places in the district of Montmartre, such as the Sacré-Cœur, the Musée de Montmartre and a restaurant called L'Escalier.[40][41][42] In the episode "Heat", during a scene where Nick and Charlie are running at the Louvre, Lyn decided to give himself a cameo as a security guard.

Whereas the first season features a blue-yellow colour palette, the second season features pink-pistachio. Various decors in the series settings, notably Truham, were changed to complement the summer backdrop. Costume designer Adam Dee wanted the series to feature more casual clothing and made T-shirts for Nick and Charlie that resembled the cover of the novel's third volume. Elle also wears clothing mirroring Finney's Bohemian background.[38] Tao's new haircut was inspired by Chow Mo-wan, the male main character of one of his favourite films, In the Mood for Love (2000), whose poster is also featured in his bedroom.[40][43] Production buyer Zoe Seiffert found a Fjällräven bag matching Charlie's bag in the novel. The art department also contributed to the similarities with the original source material. Donovan collaborated with Oseman in creating a new look for Isaac.[38]

To pay homage to Tara and Darcy's kiss, Tao and Elle's kiss at the prom was filmed under ultraviolet lighting.[38] Susnea painted the camera filters for some of the scenes featuring Nick and Charlie kissing, for artistic purposes.[40]

Season 3[edit]

The third season began filming in October 2023, with Andy Newbery taking the role of director in an unspecified number of episodes.[44] Filming wrapped in December.[45]

Post-production[edit]

A compilation of hand-drawn pastel leaves
The animated leaves of Heartstopper

In the series, traditionally animated leaves float around during moments of love, a direct copy of the visual motifs in the webcomic. In Nick and Charlie's first kissing scene, sparks of electricity come out as Charlie tries touching Nick's hand. Animated seagulls and lovebirds are also seen. Oseman said that the animations represent a "feeling of magic" they intended to evoke. She had already thought of using such effects while writing the screenplay, conceiving that they would appear primarily during the intimate scenes between Nick and Charlie, which she dubbed "Heartstopper moments". Eventually, Anna Peronetto was chosen to create the animations, using a storyboard by Oseman. Peronetto had been a fan of the original source material and was chosen when Oseman made an Instagram post looking for traditional animators. She discussed with Lyn and editor Sofie Alonzi to see what kinds of animations fit in a certain scene. For the lovebirds, she analysed London feral parakeets.[28][46][47]

Using DaVinci Resolve, Olifirova worked remotely with colourist Tobias James Tomkins,[33] working for the company Cheat, to create a 3D lookup table (LUT) that resembled the shots' colour palette, as well as "add[ing] a hint of turquoise in the shadows and warmth to skin tones". Lyn had told them he wanted the colour intensity to increase as the story progressed and as seasons changed. They talked about how to create a proper Dolby Vision high dynamic range for the series, establishing colour and tonal limits. Then, the LUT's brightness was stopped down by one so that Olifirova could create additional light in the shadows and experiment with the colour grading. To enhance the HDR, an RGB colour space of DCI-P3 was chosen. Tomkins worked on the first two episodes for two days before working on individual remaining episodes for a day and a half.[28][48] Digital imaging technician Vincenzo Onorato was responsible for applying the LUTs to the dailies.[33]

Adiescar Chase composed the score and employed electronic riffs to give it a contemporary feel.[49] Heartstopper marks her first project after graduating from the National Film and Television School. She read the webcomic prior to composing and was given direction to have her music complement the pre-existing songs used.[50] She would play chords on her keyboard, then add riffs on a synthesiser, then add sound effects.[51] Some of the tracks, including the titular one, aided the "Heartstopper moments" by further emphasizing the feeling of electricity and excitement.[50] Variations of Nick and Charlie's "First Sight" music were used whenever a character meets someone for the first time. Ben's theme, "X", incorporates slapping sounds to mirror "how his attitude slaps you in the face." For Season 2, Chase rearranged some previous tracks and made new ones. In the finale featuring Tara and Darcy, she recorded her singing to represent comfort.[51]

Release[edit]

Heartstopper's one-minute teaser was released on 16 March 2022.[52] Collider then announced that its tagline was: "Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love." Hilary Remley, who wrote the news, saw the teaser as teasing the series's "emotionally vulnerable" air, "showing the experience of teenage love in a direct and sincere way", assured that audiences will enjoy the final product due to its faithfulness to the source material's dreamlike aesthetic.[53] The series's episode titles were released on 19 April,[54] before the series's episodes were released on 22 April 2022.[55]

When asked whether there would be a second season, Walters said that they were looking forward to it, seeing that the executives of Netflix seemed to "understand" the series.[31] Locke and Connor had also expressed anticipation for a renewal, noting the narrative progression in the series's source material.[16] On 20 May 2022, following Netflix's review of the 28-day viewing figures, it was announced that the series had been renewed for two more series.[56] The second season was released on 3 August 2023;[57] the opening scene and episode titles were revealed prior on 18 June 2023,[58] and a trailer on 25 July.[59]

The title of the first episode of the third season was revealed on 4 September 2023.[60]

Soundtrack[edit]

A selection of songs used in the soundtrack for the first season were released digitally on Spotify under the title Heartstopper: Official Mixtape to coincide with the series's release on 22 April 2022.[61] Chase's score was also released under a separate album on the same day.[62] A single by British artist Baby Queen, "Colours of You", was released by Polydor Records in conjunction with the launch.[63] Other popular songs featured in Season 1 include "Girls" by Girl in Red and "Tired" by Beabadoobee.[64] Chase's score for the second season was released ahead of the series release, on 28 July 2023.[65] Songs used in Season 2 include "Bros" by Wolf Alice and "Seven" by Taylor Swift.[64] The Spotify digital mixtape was re-released on 3 August 2023 with new songs from Season 1 and 2 under the new title Heartstopper: Official Playlist.[66][67]

Season 1[edit]

Heartstopper (Soundtrack from the Netflix Series)
Soundtrack album by
Released22 April 2022 (2022-04-22)
Length32:39
LabelMaisie
ProducerAdiescar Chase
Heartstopper (Soundtrack from the Netflix Series) track listing
No.TitleLength
1."First Sight"1:09
2."Déjà Vu"0:57
3."X"0:44
4."Head In the Clouds"1:00
5."On the Move"1:02
6."Angst"1:25
7."Off to Nick's"0:41
8."Just Friends"1:26
9."Milkshakes"1:24
10."Falling Leaves"1:03
11."Electricity"1:03
12."The Lads"1:10
13."Misconceptions"1:11
14."Kiss"2:05
15."Possibilities"2:04
16."Clash"1:07
17."Rugby Match"3:24
18."Wanna Go Out Sometime"0:55
19."Happy Complications"0:50
20."New Best Friend"0:44
21."Embrace"1:02
22."Exploration"1:56
23."Sports Day"0:48
24."Heartstopper"2:32
25."Encore"0:57
Total length:32:39
Heartstopper: Official Mixtape track listing
No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."Colours of You"Baby Queen4:15
2."Want Me"Baby Queen4:18
3."Lovesick"Peace2:13
4."Dover Beach"Baby Queen3:38
5."Don't Delete the Kisses"Wolf Alice4:35
6."Sappho"Frankie Cosmos1:52
7."Girls"Girl in Red3:18
8."Dance with Me"Beabadoobee3:54
9."Angel"
  • Lava La Rue
  • Deb Never
3:56
10."Why Am I Like This?"Orla Gartland3:32
11."My Own Person"Smoothboi Ezra4:42
12."Telephone"Waterparks2:33
13."Lucid"Rina Sawayama3:38
14."Don't Leave Me (Chapter 1: Despair)"HMLTD3:32
15."Clearest Blue"Chvrches3:53
16."Alaska" (Toby Green remix)
3:05
17."What's It Gonna Be?"Shura3:34
18."Heart"Flor3:42
19."Nothing Else I Could Do"Ella Jane2:50
20."UrbanAngel1999"Thomas Headon3:12
21."If You Want To"Beabadoobee3:43
22."Buzzkill"Baby Queen3:24
23."Fever Dream"Mxmtoon3:16
24."Paper Mache World"Matilda Mann2:59
25."I Want to Be With You"Chloe Moriondo2:59
26."Knock Me Off My Feet"SOAK3:08
27."Flirting With Her"Sir Babygirl3:50
28."Bang Bang Bang"Lauran Hibberd2:22
29."Tired"Beabadoobee3:19
30."Any Other Way"Tomberlin3:22
31."Smokey Eyes"Lincoln3:15
32."Our Window"Noah and the Whale5:48
33."Because I Love You"Montaigne3:37
34."Close to You"Dayglow3:14
35."Moment In the Sun"Sunflower Bean3:09
36."I Belong In Your Arms"Chairlift3:27
Total length:1:56:46

Season 2[edit]

Heartstopper: Season 2 (Soundtrack from the Netflix Series)
Soundtrack album by
Adiescar Chase
Released28 July 2023 (2023-07-28)
Length31:44
LabelNetflix Music
ProducerAdiescar Chase
Heartstopper: Season 2 (Soundtrack from the Netflix Series) track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Boyfriend"1:22
2."Back to School"1:10
3."Rugby Fail"1:06
4."T + E"2:29
5."Exam"0:59
6."David"1:04
7."Star-Crossed Lovers"1:44
8."School Trip"1:43
9."Panic"0:37
10."All That Mattered"1:45
11."Slumber"0:51
12."You Taste Like Toothpaste"1:28
13."Pair Up"2:24
14."Best Friends"1:15
15."What's Wrong"0:51
16."Mon Amour"0:46
17."He Doesn't Know Me"1:24
18."I'm Bi Actually"1:30
19."Out"0:52
20."Misperceptions"1:48
21."Sorry"0:55
22."Prom"1:06
23."Telling People"1:43
24."❤️"0:52
Total length:31:44
Heartstopper: Official Playlist track listing[note 1]
No.TitleArtist(s)Length
37."Shatter"Maggie Rogers3:40
38."Out of My League"Fitz and the Tantrums3:29
39."Pressure to Party"Julia Jacklin3:02
40."The Beach"Wolf Alice2:35
41."Coming of Age"Mxmtoon2:38
42."Paradise"Carmody2:55
43."Welcome to the Sidelines"Amy Michelle2:57
44."You Wouldn't Like Me"Tegan and Sara2:56
45."Retrospect"Vistas3:26
46."Things Will Be Fine" (Bratty remix)3:20
47."The Sound"The 19754:08
48."I Think Ur Rlly Cool"Carpetgarden3:16
49."Le temps de l'amour"Françoise Hardy2:24
50."Kiss Ur Face Forever"Orla Gartland2:46
51."Foreplay"Siouxxie Sixxsta3:04
52."Miss U"Bad Smith3:32
53."Lovesong"Beabadoobee4:05
54."Obsessed"Hatchie5:13
55."Trésor"Hervé2:55
56."Un peu plus souvent"Alexia Gredy3:21
57."Mona Lisa"Mxmtoon3:10
58."Freak Out"Miya Folick2:43
59."Nobody Really Cares"Baby Queen2:54
60."Doesn't Matter (Voleur de soleil)"Christine and the Queens4:23
61."Fall In Love With a Girl" (feat. Orla Gartland)
2:48
62."Never Be the Same"Gabrielle Aplin3:25
63."On était beau"Louane3:25
64."Bros"Wolf Alice3:44
65."3D Feelings"Alfie Templeman3:17
66."Then It All Goes Away"Dayglow3:03
67."Hot & Heavy"Lucy Dacus4:10
68."Pretty Girl Lie"Baby Queen3:38
69."Deep End"Holly Humberstone2:51
70."We Can Be Anything"Baby Queen3:21
71."People Watching"Conan Gray2:38
72."Cry!"Caroline Rose3:43
73."Crush Culture"Conan Gray3:24
74."I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend"Girl in Red3:24
75."Skin"Carmody4:01
76."Blush"Wolf Alice4:19
77."Run Away with Me"Carly Rae Jepsen4:11
78."Young"
  • Neon Capital
  • Kinck
3:24
79."Happy New Year"Let's Eat Grandma4:39
80."All the Things"Baby Queen3:22
81."Seven"Taylor Swift3:28
82."Ur So Pretty"Wasia Project2:12
Total length:4:49:22

Reception[edit]

Audience viewership[edit]

During its debut week, Heartstopper ranked at number seven on Netflix's Top ten TV British titles just two days after its release. Based on Netflix's method of measuring a programme by the number of hours, the series generated 14.55 million hours viewed.[68] The following week, the show climbed to number five with 23.94 million hours viewed.[citation needed] In its third week, the show dropped to sixth position with new viewership numbers of 14.97 million viewing hours.[69][70] Variety reported the series had reached Netflix's Top Ten list in 54 countries as of 20 May 2022. The series also topped the publication's Trending TV chart for over five weeks, judging by the 1.3 million Twitter engagements.[71] The show appeared in the Top 10 list in three countries where same-sex relations are illegal[72] (Lebanon,[73] Saudi Arabia,[74] and Sri Lanka).[75]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Heartstopper
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
1100% (59 reviews)[76]85 (9 reviews)[77]
296% (52 reviews)[78]79 (19 reviews)[79]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating for the first season with an average rating of 8.7/10, based on 59 critic reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "An inclusive romance told with striking sensitivity, Heartstopper is so effortlessly charming that viewers won't dare skip a beat."[76] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 85 out of 100 based on nine critics.[77] The second season was given a 96% rating from Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.5/10, based on 52 reviews, with the consensus reading: "Beautifully acted and scripted, Heartstopper's second season is fit to bursting with emotional truth.[78] Metacritic gave it 79 out of 100 based on 19 critics.[79]

Reviewing the series for The Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson gave a rating of four out of five, and said, "Heartstopper may not quite live up to the dramatic promise of its title, but this adorable teen romance is a heartwarmer, at the very least."[80] Saloni Gajjar of The A.V. Club gave the series an A− and said "Thankfully, Heartstopper subverts notions by keeping its protagonist proudly gay: It's the love interest who has to sort through his unexpected feelings, not the other way around. Nick's attraction to Charlie catches him by surprise (but not disdain)."[81] Digital Spy's David Opie gave a rating of 5/5 and said, "Heartstopper centres queer love, affirming the feelings of young people watching who might be unsure or afraid to speak their truth."[82] Jonathan Wilson of Ready Steady Cut gave a rating of four out of five and stated, "Heartstopper might lack some edge and feel as if it's speaking to a younger demographic than the usual teen drama, but its deeply uplifting portrait of young love is very difficult not to get swept up in."[83] For Paste Magazine, Emily Maskell gave a rating of 8.8/10 and said, "An open-armed embrace for queer youth, Heartstopper lays the strong foundations of what you can only hope will be the uplifting and inclusive depictions of queer characters for the next generation of viewers."[84] Ezelle Alblas for The Upcoming gave a 5/5 rating and said, "Heartstopper feels like a show everyone needs to see. It's sweet without the cheese and quietly radical without the shock factor of shows like Sex Education, Euphoria or It's a Sin."[85]

Heartstopper was ranked the best show of 2022 by NME and The Mary Sue.[86][87] Meanwhile, Entertainment.ie placed it at number four,[88] TVLine at number eight,[89] Decider at number nine,[90] and PopBuzz at number 10,[91] while The Austin Chronicle and Lifehacker included it in their respective unranked list.[92][93] In addition, Collider named it one of the best new TV shows of 2022.[94][95]

Impact[edit]

Following the release of the series, the first volume of Oseman's Heartstopper graphic novel became the top-selling children's bestseller in the UK.[96] Songs featured in the series received large increases in chart sales and streams. Songs on the soundtrack that received a surge in chart sales when compared to the previous week included "Want Me" and "Dover Beach" by Baby Queen, "Why Am I Like This?" by Orla Gartland, "Clearest Blue" by Chvrches, and "I Belong In Your Arms" by Chairlift.[97]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Results Ref.
2022 Attitude Awards TV Award Heartstopper Season 1 Won [98]
C21 International Drama Awards Best Comedy-Drama Series Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated [99]
Children's and Family Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Live Action Program Daniel Edwards Won [100]
Outstanding Guest Performance in a Preschool, Children's or Young Teen Program Olivia Colman Won
Outstanding Lead Performance in a Preschool, Children's or Young Teen Program Kit Connor Won
Joe Locke Nominated
Outstanding Makeup and Hairstyling Diandra Ferreira, Sorcha Fisher and Melanie Lindsay Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Preschool, Children's or Young Teen Program Yasmin Finney Nominated
William Gao Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Young Teen Program Alice Oseman Won
Outstanding Young Teen Series Heartstopper Season 1 Won
Dorian Awards Best LGBTQ Show Heartstopper Season 1 Won [101]
Best TV Drama Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated
Best TV Performance Kit Connor Nominated
Edinburgh TV Awards TV Moment of the Year "Nick & Charlie's First Kiss" Won [102]
Gay Times Honours On Screen Trailblazer Cast of Heartstopper Season 1 Won [103]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Song/Score — Trailer "Colours of You" Nominated [104]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Musical Moment "Dance with Me" Won [105]
National Television Awards New Drama Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated [106]
Rising Star Kit Connor Nominated
Joe Locke Nominated
Rose d'Or Awards Comedy Drama and Sitcom Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated [107]
Emerging Talent Yasmin Finney Won [108]
RTS Craft & Design Awards Casting Award Daniel Edwards Won [109]
Soho House Awards Breakthrough Actress Yasmin Finney Won [110]
TV Choice Awards Best New Drama Heartstopper Season 1 Won [111]
2023 British Academy Television Awards Memorable Moment "Nick and Charlie's First Kiss" Nominated [112]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Writer: Drama Alice Oseman Nominated [113]
Casting Directors' Guild Awards Best Casting in a TV Drama Series Daniel Edwards, Lucy Allen, Tom Payne and Catherine Garlick Won [114]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Kids and Family Programming – Live Action Heartstopper Season 1 Won [115][116]
Kidscreen Awards Best Acting Heartstopper Season 1 Won [117]
[118]
Best in Class Heartstopper Season 1 Won
Best Inclusivity – Tweens/Teens Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated
Best Live-Action Series – Tweens/Teens Heartstopper Season 1 Won
Best New Series – Tweens/Teens Heartstopper Season 1 Won
Queerty Awards Performance – TV Joe Locke Won [119]
TV Comedy Heartstopper Season 1 Won [120]
Royal Television Society Programme Awards Leading Actor: Male Kit Connor Won [121][122]
Satellite Awards Best Drama Series Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated [123]
Visionary Arts Awards Television Show of the Year Heartstopper Season 1 Nominated [124]
Rose d'Or Awards Comedy Drama and Sitcom Heartstopper Season 2 Nominated [125]
C21 International Drama Awards Returning Comedy-Drama Series Heartstopper Season 2 Nominated [126]
Rolling Stone UK Awards Television Award Heartstopper Nominated [127]
2024 British Academy Television Awards Best Original Music: Fiction Adiescar Chase Pending [128]
TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series Heartstopper Season 2 Pending [129]
Best Actor Kit Connor Pending
Best Actress Yasmin Finney Pending
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Kids and Family Programming – Live Action Heartstopper Season 2 Pending [130]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Heartstopper: Official Playlist contains 36 songs from Heartstopper: Official Mixtape from Season 1, five tracks from the Season 2 soundtrack ("Boyfriend", "T + E", "You Taste Like Toothpaste", "Pair Up" and "Telling People") and 46 songs featured in Season 2. The track listing here lists only those 46 songs, arranged in the order of appearance in the show.

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