Photo: You will love Victor and Benji in ‘Love, Victor’/Hulu
*This article contains minor spoilers for Love, Victor.
Hulu’s newest teen love story Love, Victor, is the perfect combination of binge-worthy drama and self-discovery. Following up the 2018 box office hit Love, Simon, the new Hulu series is set in the same world of Simon Spier and Creekwood High. When Victor Salazar moves to Atlanta from Texas, he is hoping to have a new start. Victor, much like Simon, is struggling with his sexuality and the idea of coming out. He quickly finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place when he develops feelings for multiple people.
The series is even a step up from the film, as we the audience get to see the LGBTQ+ community from the eyes of Latinx teen Victor and his Catholic conservative family. Nick Robinson acts as a producer, and the show feels balanced by its predecessor while also elevated and full of new life. It’s a combination of all things high school: struggles, struggles, and more struggles. Luckily, there’s an illuminating beauty within the said struggle, and for Victor, it’s all happening at once.
Love, Victor Characters Are Charming And Hopeful makes us Love Victor
Love, Simon had the adorable Nick Robinson who did the role justice, but Simon Spier still had the privilege of having uber-liberal supportive parents and though he was closeted for quite some time, he knew without a doubt he was gay. Victor (Michael Cimino) on the other hand is battling his own internal struggles with sexuality on a much grander scale. In the very first episode, we hear Victor talking about researching and learning about the spectrum that is sexuality. Victor Salazar is not just dealing with his sexuality, but a slew of issues.
His parents are struggling to make ends meet financially while also dealing with infidelity, and Victor does not seem to think they will be accepting in the slightest. Then there’s Victor’s built-in neighbor/bestie Felix, a quirky guy who seems to have the very best heart (and the best jokes on the series). Victor is immediately faced with feelings for Mia, the most beautiful and popular girl at Creekwood, as well as Benji, a gay, extremely handsome and out-and-proud boy from school. We won’t spoil any more of that love triangle for you, but buckle up because it is quite the sweet ride.
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Victor’s cynical little sister Pilar offers great comic relief, and you can see a familiar face in Vice Principal Ms. Albright, who is in the original movie. Overall, the characters are heartfelt and extremely well thought out. They don’t feel too stereotypical or whitewashed, how teen series most often is, but rather authentic and full of life! Props to the casting agents. It’s truly a hard feat to capture the true essence of high school. How are we supposed to somehow have everything figured out by that age? Well, we aren’t. That’s the beauty of a series like Love, Victor.
Nothing is set in stone, it’s all about that self-discovery phase where things will break your heart harder than ever before while you simultaneously experience some of the best, most exciting moments of your life. The show does not try to present LGBTQ struggles in a “shiny” way. Instead, they offer up a story that deals with deep internal homophobia and that projected fear within the family. Victor’s dad makes gay jokes and elder relatives are outwardly against homosexuality. Like we said though, the beauty comes from that struggle. It makes the series real. Does Victor have some things easy? Of course. There are times when things seem a little perfunctory, but overall the series makes a great attempt at facing real issues.
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The Emerging Depiction Of The Gay Teen Love Story that makes us love Victor, Benji and their love story
The series is based on Becky Albertalli’s novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which centers around Simon Spier, a closeted gay kid at Creekwood High caught up in an anonymous email relationship with another closeted boy at school. Love, Victor offers an even newer take, as Victor begins Instagram DMing Simon for advice. To his surprise, Simon answers and offers up his words of wisdom for finding himself. Victor finds solace in the DMs, using it as his own personal diary, much like Simon did with his secretive emails. Victor and Simon exchange messages back and forth about their experiences and what it means to really find yourself in high school (we still aren’t totally sure if we figured that one out). High school is complicated and stressful enough, but add the pressure of figuring out yourself and who it is you love and well, it’s sure to be one big mess.
For far too long Hollywood has offered up a slew of teenage romance stories, riddled with terrible stereotypes (looking at all the ‘nerd’ types forced to wear glasses). Love, Victor gets it right in that their characters are actually self-aware.
They don’t pretend they know everything, yet they have unwavering independence that actually emulates most high school students. Dealing with things like sexuality, infidelity, breakups, hookups, and high school in general, believe it or not, are not far-fetched topics for most teens. Thankfully in 2020, we are seeing more and more stories that deal with the real-world problems of young adults, rather than their not-so-existent fear of being shoved in a locker (that is so early 2000s).
Give Love, Victor a chance, you will be glad you did.
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