Movie Soundtrack Wednesday #28 – Heartstopper

Words: Giulia Lombardo

We are back with Movie Soundtrack Wednesday! Yay! And to make this comeback even more exciting, there is no better way to pick up from where we left off and pay tribute to June, Pride Month, by talking about ‘Heartstopper’.

‘Heartstopper’, the new teen series by Netflix, has been on everyone’s lips. Inspired from the graphic novel by Alice Oseman, the series, starring Kit Connor (Rocketman) and newcomer Joe Locke, is a coming-of-age that tells the sweet story of two boys in high school who suddenly fall in love and gradually discover the nature of their relationship.

The two boys in question are Charlie and Nick. Charlie is the first and only boy in school to go through the extremely intimate and personal coming-out phase, but unfortunately not because of his choice but simply because rumours run very fast. You know high schools; every bit of news from the most personal and important to the more futile immediately becomes the centre of attention, frequently resulting in bullying. On the other hand there is Nick, the stereotypical American high-schooler that no one would ever think could be gay: the athlete of the school with dozens of girls at his feet is the emblem of heterosexuality in the eyes of others, whatever that means anyway. But love, you know, is unpredictable, and we can never lie to who we are.

Alice Oseman’s Netflix announcement, ‘Heartstopper’ comic style.

Tender and delicate, the series breaks away from the teen dramas that have recently attracted everyone’s attention. There is no shameless, veiled reality of ‘Sex Education’, just as there are no ‘Elite’ scandals or ‘Euphoria’ dramas. ‘Heartstopper’ is the first original Netflix production in a lon time that impresses with quality and doesn’t use big plot-twists to get the desired results and to stick to people’s hearts. The series, directed by Euros Lyn (Doctor Who, Happy Valley, His Dark Materials), relies on simplicity and a reality that, for once, really can be defined as such.

One reason why everyone (including LDN) liked it so much is that the series is perfectly rooted in reality, the one of everyday life. Without excessive drama, ‘Heartstopper’ shows what adolescence really means for most teenagers, that period of transition in which childhood is just behind you but one is not yet fully adult – contrary to what many other similar titles would like to believe. The fears of Charlie and Nick are those of all the guys who approach a relationship for the first time and slowly discover their sexuality.

British composer Adiescar Chase’s soundtrack reflects the heart of the series. The fully instrumental score is full of uplifting electronic riffs, and after a few seconds of listening, you will imagine delicate leaves and sparks in your own life. The soundtrack contains tracks by Wolf Alice, Girl in Red, Beabadoobee and Baby Queen. Baby Queen even released a new single specifically for the show, the dark but captivating ‘The Colors Of You’. Although homosexuality and coming out are the focus of the series, it is not treated as a political statement or stance. ‘Heartstopper’ is inclusive not just because the protagonists are queer. It is inclusive because it finally shows a slice of reality that happens daily without masks or excessive staging. Besides, the Charlie-Nick thing is so romantic and loving, it’s hard not to get attached. Netflix is probably already thinking about a second season, given the success. Meanwhile, it remains one of something fresh and original that we are really happy to have (and see!).