The first Heartstopper season 2 reviews are out, and it’s a big win for queer TV: ‘Breathtaking’

Will Gao and Yasmin Finney in Heartstopper season 2 (Netflix)

The first reviews of Heartstopper’s second season make it clear that the series is set to be everything fans hoped for and more.

In the new season of the teen hit, based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series, a lot of questions seem likely to be be answered.

For months, Oseman and the show’s cast have hinted at a “darker” second season, with Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) having to navigate coming out as bisexual, while his boyfriend Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) is beginning to show signs of an eating disorder.

Besties Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) and Tao Xu (William Goa) are also back, and working out whether their friendship could ever succeed as something less platonic

Heartstopper Season 2
Tao and Elle have questions to answer. (Netflix)

Meanwhile, Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell) are bringing back lesbian representation, although this season sees them navigate a new challenge in their relationship – one of them appears a little less interested than the other. 

Heartstopper Season 2
Tara (L) may not feel the same way as Darcy. (Netflix)

Considering there are only eight episodes in season two, each running at only 30-minutes long, there is a lot to unpack. Plus, there’s a school trip to Paris to get through.

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But, despite the number of loose ends that need tying up, the latest series manages to pull it off, if the reviewers are to be believed.

In a glowing five-star review for Hearstopper season two, Metro’s TV editor Adam Miller praised the eagerly anticipated second season for digging a little deeper into the complexities of being a young, queer person in a less-than-accepting world.

“Season two feels bolder and braver. The characters are all richer with complexities and torment but each is explored with the same tenderness and charm,” he wrote, praising the second outing as “breath-taking and enriching” television.

Kit Connor talks queer representation in Heartstopper. (Netflix)
Charlie (L) and Nick face problems in the second season of Heartstopper. (Netflix)

Digital Spy’s TV editor, Laura Jane Turner, felt much the same way, writing in a five-star review that Heartstopper season two is “just as good, if not better” than the first, and, while all the characters have rough patches to navigate, Oseman remains intent on “prioritising the queer joy”.

Turner also commended Oscar-winning The Crown actress Olivia Coleman, who plays Nick’s mum, for being a “complete scene stealer” as she helps him through the decision to come out as bisexual to his homophobic brother.

While season one focused almost exclusively on Charlie and Nick’s budding romance, reviewers were thrilled to see that the second gave a lot more space for the supporting actors to thrive.

“Everyone’s in love or afraid to say so this season, and it’s pure, sweet gold,” wrote Mashable’s UK editor Shannon Connellan, adding that the supporting cast are no longer outsiders – they’re very much part of the story.

Radio Times’ senior drama writer David Craig agreed that the supporting cast take more prominence in the second season, and although he felt they were “a mixed bag”, the season overall was “more confident, complex, considered and better-paced” than the first, he said. 

Giving Heartstopper season two four stars in a review for The Telegraph, Marianka Swain said that run of episodes felt largely about the concept of coming out – from Nick being told that he “doesn’t owe” doing so to anyone, to fellow student Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan) coming to terms with his asexuality.

“This second season makes it abundantly clear what not to do, or say,” Swain wrote, explaining that, at times, the series felt like “a step-by-step guide” to being a queer teen or ally, with dialogue condemning subtle and not-so-subtle homophobia and bisexual erasure.

Connellan agreed, writing that “the show effectively shows that for LGBTQ people, coming out is an ongoing, life-long process”. It seems like another natural step for Heartstopper which, in its first season, dug into the tribulations of people understanding their own sexuality, let alone sharing it with someone else.

Overall, fans can rest assured that Heartstopper remains a vital, joyous, light-hearted drama, with Charlie and Nick at its core.

In a four-star review, the Evening Standard’s culture writer El Hunt praised Connor and Locke for creating Charlie and Nick’s chemistry, which makes for “sweet and incredibly wholesome viewing”, while the pair offer a “cuteness overload”.

Heartstopper season two drops on Netflix on 3 August.