'Heartstopper' Leads Streaming’s British-Based Queer Teen Romance Slate

Kit Connor and Joe Locke as Nick and Charlie in Heartstopper

Kit Connor and Joe Locke as Nick and Charlie in Heartstopper


For anyone who missed the Heartstopper train when the show swept the internet last spring, now is the time to hop on board. Heartstopper’s second season will be released this summer, followed by Red, White & Royal Blue, another queer rom-com page-to-screen adaptation that is sure to capture the hearts of the Heartstopper audience.

The first season of Heartstopper debuted on Netflix in April 2022. Season 1 followed Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor), two boys who form an unlikely friendship (Charlie is shy and has been bullied for being openly gay, Nick is the outgoing and presumed-straight captain of the rugby team) that soon turns to romance. The story also centers Charlie’s group of friends, who each have coming-of-age struggles and love stories of their own. The series was met with immediate acclaim by dedicated fans of the web comic and new viewers alike. Just a month after it premiered on Netflix, it was renewed for a second and third season.

In Season 1, Joe Locke and Kit Connor were joined by William Gao, Yasmin Finney, Corrina Brown, Kizzy Edgell, and Olivia Colman as Nick’s mom. These cast members will reprise their roles in Season 2, along with several new additions. Alice Oseman, the creator of the original webcomic, will continue as writer of the show. Euros Lyn, the director of Season 1, will also return to direct Season 2.

Season 2 will see the addition of several characters from the graphic novel, including Nick’s father (Stephane De Montalembert) and brother David (Jack Barton), Elle’s friend Sahar (Leila Khan), and teacher Mr. Farouk (Nima Taleghani). Bel Priestley, Ash Self, and Bradley Riches will also join the cast.

Heartstopper has proved to be a fertile training ground for young actors, with Yasmin Finney to appear in Doctor Who later this year and Kit Connor starring in the upcoming horror film One of Us. The new faces joining in Season 2 could be ones to watch as well.

Along with announcing its release date this week, Heartstopper dropped a behind-the-scenes teaser featuring the actors on set talking about what audiences can expect from Season 2, from character growth for Imogen (Rhea Norwood) and Elle (Yasmin Finney), exciting new scripts, and a story that is “a bit more mature” than the previous season.

Season 1 adhered closely to the plot of the webcomic on which the show is based. If Season 2 follows suit, we may see a school trip to Paris, a growing tension as Charlie and Nick decide whether or not to make their relationship public, and a gaggle of new friends joining the Heartstopper gang.

British and American flag socks representing the couple in Red White And Royal Blue's Key Art

Red White And Royal Blue's Key Art

Amazon Studios

Following on the heels of Heartstopper will be the transatlantic Red, White & Royal Blue, an adaptation of the 2019 novel of the same name by American author Casey McQuiston. This queer romance follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, the charming son of the President of the United States and his British nemesis Prince Henry. The two form a fake friendship for publicity, which soon leads to love, but they have to conceal their relationship for fear that it would impact Alex’s mother’s reelection campaign.

Alex and Prince Henry are played by American actor Taylor Zakhar Perez and British actor Nicholas Galitizine respectively. The ensemble cast includes American Uma Thurman as the President, along with American cast Rachel Hilson, Sarah Shahai, Clifton Collins Jr., Aneesh Sheth, Polo Morin, and Thomas Flynn. From the other side of the pond, the cast will include Stephen Fry, Ellie Bamber, Ahmed Elhaj, Akshay Khanna, Sharon D. Clarke, and Malcolm Atobrah.

Though queer stories still often feel few and far between, film and TV have come a long way in recent years, so much so that now there are not one but two queer rom-com adaptations slated for release within less than two weeks of each other. Season 2 of Heartstopper will stream on August 3 on Netflix, with Red, White & Royal Blue following close behind on August 11, 2023, on Prime Video.

Author Emma O’Neill-Dietel

Emma O’Neill-Dietel is a writer, educator, and history nerd from Philadelphia, PA. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Doctor Who but has been known to enjoy other British TV and movies too. She may love British media but don’t get it twisted; she’s Irish through and through. Follow her on Threads: @emmaod22.

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