Heartstopper, a buzzy half-hour newbie from See-Saw Films, has been picked up for two seasons by Netflix. Multi-season renewals are uncommon on Netflix, and the one for Heartstopper is proof that the coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama ticks all the boxes as a Netflix success story.
The streamer is well-known for basing renewal decisions on a cost-performance analysis of shows. Heartstopper, developed and produced in the United Kingdom and adapted from Alice Oseman’s graphic novel, has done well, spending three weeks in Netflix’s weekly global Top 10 rankings of English-language series since its April 22 launch, peaking at No. 5. (It has made the Top Ten list on Netflix in 54 countries.)
However, the low-budget British series, which stars a young up-and-coming ensemble as well as Olivia Colman as a guest star and Stephe Fry as a voiceover, has had a lightning-in-a-bottle cultural impact.
It is one of Netflix’s best-reviewed programmes, having a perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has received recognition for its LGBTQ representation. The show has also sparked a social media discourse, with leads Kit Connor and Joe Locke rocketing to top celebrity status, with their Instagram followings ballooning from just over 100K apiece before the series’ premiere to 3.4 million (Connor) and 2.5 million (Locke) (Locke). #heartstopper has received over 4.3 billion views on TikTok.
The series’ impact has quickly expanded beyond television and social media. Heartstopper has dominated Billboard’s Top TV Song list, and weekly US sales of the novel on which the series is based have increased by 1700%. Volume 1 is presently the No. 1 YA fiction book in the United States and is on the New York Times bestseller list.
For Seasons 2 and 3, Oseman returns as writer and creator. When gentle Charlie (Locke) and rugby-loving Nick (Connor) meet at secondary school in Season 1, they rapidly realise that their strange relationship is blossoming into an unexpected romance. Charlie, Nick, and their friends must negotiate the universally familiar journey of self-discovery and acceptance, supporting one another as they learn to be their most true selves.
The programme, which is based on writer Alice Oseman’s (above) graphic novel/online comic of the same name, has been acclaimed for its positive representation of LGBTQ lives and has been a major hit with both fans of the web comic and new fans.
The cast of the show has been raised to the status of pop culture idols, and fans have often inquired about the possibility of a second season.
After his character, Charlie, ended up with Kit Connor’s Nick at the end of the first season, Joe Locke told British GQ what he’d prefer for his character in a second season.