Heartstopper adaptation stays true to the graphic novel
The following contains spoilers for Heartstopper Season 1, available now on Netflix.
The first season of Heart stroke, based on the graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, is now streaming on Netflix. Originally released as a webcomic, Heart stroke follows Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson as they meet, become friends and fall in love. the Heart stroke the adaptation is incredibly accurate for graphic novels and stays true to its source material in both content and themes.
Alice Oseman, author and illustrator of Heart stroke graphic novels, is heavily involved in the television series. They wrote every episode and their artwork is regularly integrated throughout the show as animations. The first three episodes of Season 1 cover Volume 1 of the graphic novel, while Episodes 4-8 cover a significant portion of Volume 2. Although the pacing has changed and new characters have been added, the adaptation follows very closely to graphic novels. and remain faithful to them.
In the Heart stroke TV series, Nick and Charlie meet in the first episode, when they are assigned to sit next to each other during fitness class. As in the graphic novel, Charlie secretly sees Ben in the pilot. In the TV series, Elle has just changed schools from Truham to Higgs. In the graphic novel, however, she’s been at Higgs for a little while. The TV format gives more attention to Elle, Tao, Tara, and Darcy as they all navigate their lives and relationships. With eight half-hour episodes, the series is able to pay more attention to each character’s individual story.
She is busy starting a new school and making new friends. She is the first of the group to befriend Tara and Darcy, and she brings them into the friend group. It’s a change from the graphic novels, where Tara and Darcy join the group after befriending Nick. This change allows Tara and Darcy to enter the series earlier than they do in the graphic novel, thus making Tara and Darcy a part of every episode. The TV series, like the graphic novel, is a sweet coming-of-age love story that focuses primarily on Nick and Charlie. The television medium pays more attention to the other characters in the friend group. While the individual stories of Tara, Elle, and Tao are hinted at more in the graphic novel, they are heavily explored in the series.
The show stays true to the graphic novel’s themes of identity, love, acceptance, and found family. Charlie learns to value and stand up for himself, while Nick begins to understand his sexuality and comes out as bisexual. Tara and Darcy tell everyone about their relationship, and Tara deals with people who treat her differently after she comes out. She is adjusting to life in Higgs. Viewers can also see a new side to Tao. In the graphic novel and in the series, Tao is very protective of Charlie and sometimes hostile towards Nick. Now, however, the audience learns that Tao is afraid of being alone and being abandoned by his friends. Tao and Elle’s relationship is also coming together, and the show will likely see them reunite in season 2 if renewed.
Heart stroke uses animations to give it a graphic novel feel, with Alice Oseman’s cartoons floating around to indicate the characters’ emotions. Animations are used to emphasize the romantic feelings between Nick and Charlie, Tara and Darcy, and Tao and Elle. Alice Oseman even makes an appearance near the end of the season finale. While Nick and Charlie are on the train to the beach, Oseman is sitting in the seat across from them. The adaptation remains very faithful to the graphic novel, but also manages to breathe new life into it.
All eight episodes of Heartstopper are now streaming on Netflix.
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