Love, Victor creators open up about ‘bittersweet’ ending: ‘We got to tell the story we wanted to’

Michael Cimino as Victor and George Sear as Benji in Love, Victor.

The creators of Love, Victor are having a lot of big feelings about the show’s ending.

After three seasons, Love, Victor – the trailblazing show that tells the story of a queer Latinx teenager as he comes to terms with his sexuality – is coming to an end.

Speaking to PinkNews, showrunner Brian Tanen and creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger explain why it feels bittersweet to be bowing out – and why they’re proud of what the show has achieved.

“We were lucky enough to know we were heading into the final season and to get to wrap up these stories in a way that felt complete and joyful and optimistic,” Tanen tells PinkNews.

“That’s a rare thing to know you’re headed towards a finale and to get the privilege to do that. We are all just deeply in love with these characters, so there’s a part of us that would love to continue these stories forever and see Victor and Benji in the old folks’ home together, but I think we feel really happy about where our characters ended up. We got to tell the story we wanted to.”

Berger echoes that sentiment – it’s “very emotional” to say goodbye to the world they’ve spent years building, she says.

Michael Cimino in Love, Victor.

Michael Cimino in Love, Victor. (Kelsey McNeal/Hulu)

“We love this world,” Berger says. “Isaac [Aptaker] and I have been living in this world since Love, Simon the movie, moving into Love, Victor the series. We love these characters. Like Brian said, we feel very privileged that we got to end the show on our terms and give everyone the endings we feel they deserved. I come back to the word ‘bittersweet’ because that really is how it feels to all of us.”

Aptaker is sad the show is ending, but he’s also excited to see what their incredible cast of young people go on to do next.

“For a lot of them, this was their first big thing and I’m just so excited to see them go out into the world. They’re the loveliest group of kids who became best friends on this show and I can’t wait to see what they all do next. So if part of this show’s legacy is launching this next wave of genuinely good, big-hearted talent, that will be really special.”

Love, Victor changed the game for LGBTQ+ representation

Tanen, Aptaker and Berger are also proud they’ve had the chance to help LGBTQ+ youth feel seen. For too long, queer characters existed only on the margins of television shows – they rarely had their own arcs, and their stories often ended in misery. Love, Victor helped change the game.

“I think being seen is the key element here,” Tanen says. “I can’t remember as a gay teenager ever seeing stories that were like this – any kind of gay story I saw growing up, while important, always seemed to feature some kind of really sad ending or some kind of brutalisation of the characters, really putting them through drama.”

A still image of the two main characters from the coming of age drama Love, Victor

Beloved LGBT+ coming-of-age drama Love, Victor will debut on Disney Plus. (YouTube/Hulu)

He continues: “That may have spoken to the culture at the time, but now to be able to tell stories that are joyful and optimistic – that are the same kinds of romantic comedies we’ve always seen for straight audiences – to be able to see those I think allows young people to feel seen, to feel like they’re a part [of society] just like everybody else, and that makes all the difference in the world.”

Berger hopes Love, Victor has shown the wider industry that there is an appetite out there for LGBTQ+ focused shows like theirs.

“I hope that’s part of the legacy,” she says. “Even since we made Love, Simon the movie, there’s been a change in the choices that are out there for viewers.

“There are more movies and there are more shows like this that simply weren’t out there when we started. If we were even a small part of that, that makes us all tremendously proud because we think that it’s, as Brian said, so important that people have the option of seeing stories that resonate with them and make them feel seen and heard”.

There’s been a history of LGBTQ+ content that does dwell on tragedy.

Crucially, Love, Victor shows LGBTQ+ youth that it’s possible to fall in love and to have a beautiful, happy life – even if there are obstacles along the way. That was important to Aptaker.

Love, Victor George Sear

Victor (Michael Cimino), and Benji (George Sear). (Michael Desmond/Hulu)

“There’s been a history of LGBTQ+ content that does dwell on tragedy, that does dwell on the homophobia and how difficult it can be. There are so many kids out there who have never had their big, fun, juicy high-school show where the main character gets a big win and has a great love story, and that’s always what we wanted this to be.”

It’s safe to say they achieved that goal with Love, Victor – Tanen has received heartwarming feedback from fans of the show who have opened up about the impact it’s had on their lives.

“We feel proud to have put something out there that can be meaningful to our audiences,” Tanen says. “We’re just honoured to have been part of a project that has had an impact like that.”

PinkNews also spoke to Love, Victor’s George Sears about how he “grieved” the show, and to Ava Capri about how bringing bringing queer, female representation to show felt “therapeutic” to her.

Love, Victor season three is streaming on Disney+ in the UK and on Hulu in the United States.