*This story contains spoilers from the first season of Love, Victor.*
When Love, Simon first came out in theaters back in 2018, many praised the movie for being the first major studio film to feature an LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story. The story followed Simon Spier—a young, white, affluent male student—as he went through the trials and tribulations of being a teenager while also coming to terms with being gay. Simon’s coming out story almost seemed easy, gaining support from his loved ones while eventually finding love with a fellow classmate. In fact, his story almost seemed a bit too easy.
As it turned out, with all of its accolades, some criticism arose around how privileged Simon’s coming out was, with his story being the exception and not necessarily the norm in reality. But it was those critiques that led the film’s writers, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, to not only revisit the story, but use it as motivation to create a more inclusive representation of how certain cultures might not react the same way as depicted in the movie.
“The one common refrain we did hear from people after the movie was that Simon’s story was incredibly specific,” Aptaker told Entertainment Tonight in a recent interview about the upcoming series. “He was very privileged, he had these incredibly liberal, supportive parents and these friends who he had grown up with and had his back no matter what.”
“But there are a number of ways that a kid coming out can look,” he continued. “Why not use the success of the movie to tell a very, very different version of a coming out story and increase representation for kids who don’t have an experience all that similar to Simon?”
And what was the result? Enter Love, Victor, the newest television series to drop on Hulu. The story follows Victor, the new kid at Creekwood High School, as he comes to terms with his sexuality while trying to make friends and be a normal teenager.
Although the show’s storyline sounds similar to its film predecessor—even tying the two together through Victor’s Instagram DMs to Simon—their backgrounds are incredibly different. While Simon was from an upper-middle class white family, Victor comes from a proudly Latino, working-class one (his father is an electrician and his mother is a piano teacher) whose values are slightly more conservative than the former.
By centering the story around a non-white character, it responds to the film’s shortcomings and gives Latinx and POC teenagers a more realistic representation of what could happen when they try to come out to their loved ones.
“There was a desire to view this story through a non-white lens,” the show’s executive producer Brian Tanen told Entertainment Tonight, “to try to show the realistic struggles that LGBTQ+ teenagers deal with when their families are loving and well-intentioned, but have their own biases.”
As Victor tells Simon at the end of the show’s first episode: “My story is nothing like yours.” Indeed it isn’t—because it will be its own form of groundbreaking.
Love, Victor premieres on Hulu on June 17.
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