Hulu’s Love Victor May Be Nice If It Prioritized Substance Over Schmaltz

In 2018, as harrowing accounts of anti-gay purges in Chechnya continued to make headlines, American tv produced a sleeper hit of a romantic comedy a couple of closeted teen. Love, Simon follows a white boy (Nick Robinson) dwelling in a rich, numerous suburb. Simon’s dad and mom are liberal. He has nice mates. But he can’t carry himself to come back out. The film crescendos to the highest of a Ferris wheel, the place two boys kiss as their classmates cheer.

The movie was candy however weirdly frictionless—a postscript to a historical past of battle that wasn’t over for everybody, a breezy teen romance framed as a profile in braveness. Love, Victor, a spin-off sequence developed for Disney+, then moved to Hulu amid eyebrow-raising considerations over mature themes, tries so as to add battle with out dropping Simon’s innocence. Sophomore Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) relocates to Simon’s hometown from Texas along with his spiritual Colombian-American household. Nonetheless questioning his sexuality and not sure how his loving but casually homophobic dad and mom would possibly react if he seems to be queer, Victor has actual issues. If solely the writers had additionally given him an actual character.

Although Simon has moved on to varsity, his legend persists at Creekwood Excessive, prompting Victor to achieve out to him by way of social media for recommendation. (Robinson, a producer, seems principally in encouraging voice-overs.) An instantaneous basketball star who unwittingly attracts essentially the most eligible lady at school (Rachel Naomi Hilson’s Mia), Victor ought to be thrilled along with his new life. He simply can’t cease fascinated with his coffee-shop coworker Benji (George Sear), an overtly homosexual dreamer with wonderful hair.

Victor has a lot going for it: the push-pull relationship between smart Mia and her status-obsessed bestie Lake (Bebe Wooden); humorous visitor stars like Ali Wong and Andy Richter; jokes assured to make adults chuckle. It will be irresistible if it performed up that wit, fleshed out its protagonist and explored the deeper implications of the Salazars’ religion, as a substitute of packing in schmaltzy moral-of-the-story moments. The present has already been renewed for a second season, and I’m hopeful it might get again on monitor. However first it has to determine whether or not to be blandly common or culturally particular, Full Home or Intercourse Schooling, Disney+ or Hulu.

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