I wish some shows had been available when I was growing up, and Hulu’s coming-of-age romantic YA series Love, Victor, is one of them.
This tender 10-episode heart-warming show is a TV adaptation of the 2018 film Love, Simon, which earned a massive $66 million at the worldwide box office. In the age of remakes and reinterpretations, Love, Victor confidently allows Victor, a high school basketball player, to understand what it means to come out and reconcile with the responses to his sexual identity.
In its second season, Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) has just come out to his parents Isabella (the brilliant Ana Ortiz) and Armando (James Martinez), and are coming to terms with Victor’s admission amidst their separation. Meanwhile, Victor struggles with his burgeoning relationship with Benji (George Sear) as his friends Felix (Anthony Turpel), Lake (Bebe Wood), and ex-girlfriend Mia (Rachel Hilson) face life-changing decisions.
Rachel Hilson, who plays young Beth in NBC’s This Is Us, is phenomenal. Though her character feels extraneous in the second season, Hilson commands every scene and is one to watch.
Love, Victor season two explores sexuality in ways that feel monumental. Episode 4, for example, sees Felix and Victor struggling to get down and dirty with their respective partners. Their honest conversation about the physicality of sex is a beautiful departure from other teen shows that get straight to it. Likewise, Victor’s relationship with Benji feels lived in yet destructible as Victor goes through the beginning stages of coming out.
The theme of acceptance stems outward in deliberately messy ways. Isabella’s storyline about overcoming her religious upbringing to accept Victor fully might feel dated, but it pays off in a beautiful conversation later in the season. Additionally, the introduction of Rahim (Anthony Keyvan), a student who seeks coming-out advice from Victor, propels a truly adorable friendship that may potentially harm the central couple.
Every episode made me wonder how my closeted 15-year-old self would have consumed Love, Victor. The answer is easy. Accepting and interpreting your own sexuality takes time, and that is okay. You are not alone.
Everything else will follow.