Video: Love, Victor (2020)

Love, Victor is a 10 episode series that will be dropping on Hulu June 17th. The show takes place after the events and in the same world as Fox Studio’s 2018 film Love, Simon, which was based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The series is quite enjoyable, as it explores more LGBTQ themes and from a different perspective than what was seen in Love, Simon. The creators of Love, Victor Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who also wrote the screenplay for Love, Simon, do a fantastic job at creating fleshed out characters that offer effective comedy and (despite oftentimes being predictable) offer heartfelt drama.

Victor (Michael Cimino) and his family have just moved to Atlanta from Texas. The show begins with our lead emailing Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), frustrated after the first day at Creekwood High School and lamenting about how lucky Simon was to have accepting parents and friends. We are quickly and quite interestingly introduced to Victor’s world; from protective conservative parents Isabel (Ana Ortiz) and Armando (James Martinez) to his heartbroken sister Pilar (Isabella Ferreira), who is concerned after her boyfriend from Texas has ghosted her. The show follows Victor's love life and high school drama with family, friends, crushes, and the conflicts that arise from Victor discovering who he is within the world. The film highlights frequent emails between him and Simon, who acts as a distant pen pal and mentor to Victor throughout the show.

Love, Simon was the first LGBTQ film to be released by a major studio (Fox) and not surprisingly its themes were fairly safe, simply exploring the fear of coming out whilst integrating black mail drama (nonetheless, it was a sweet fantastic heartfelt film that I adored!). Love, Victor plays the safe route as well but it’s a bit different than Love, Simon. While some critics complained that it was too convenient that Simon was well off, had a nice house, and several supportive friends and family I can see some complaining that Victor has an outdated conservative family that does not reflect our changing culture. I think both Simon and Victor are both lovely and insightful, reflecting two contrasting cultures that are both very real. To those who think that the old-fashioned rigid parents seem artificial, there are in fact some parents who are this way. This conservative representation will resonate well with audiences who recognize the culture that is seen in Love, Victor, as well as show open-minded families a portrayal of sexuality exploration for kids who grew up in a conservative household. For those that have seen this portrayal in film/television before it could be argued that it's “overdone” but I argue that this is well-executed in its own unique way with characters that resonated well with me.

Additionally, Victor isn’t sure if he’s attracted to guys or girls, which I found the way this is explored to be charmingly relatable to many teenagers confused or unsure of their sexuality. Unlike Simon Spier who knew he was gay but was scared to come out of the closet, Victor is not sure what he wants (and he’s a growing teenager- who can blame him?). In fact he spends a large part of the show dating a girl named Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson) while having a crush on the only out-kid at school named Benji (George Sear) who, unfortunately for Victor, already has a boyfriend. Love, Victor is about discovery and you will be disappointed if you expect Victor to be confident in his pursuit of love, but will smile if you can understand or relate to his struggle of figuring out who he is. Being curious or bisexual is not something often portrayed in a show so boldly as it is in Love, Victor and I believe that is one intriguing facet of the story.

If you love pop music, you’re going to love the score for Love, Victor which is modern 2020 underplayed artists that were very catchy (you may find yourself Shazaming many of the tracks as I found myself doing). Several of the artists self-identify as LGBTQ or are LGBTQ friendly. Particularly, the theme song written for the show “Somebody to Tell Me” was composed by Tyler Glenn, who has a moving coming-out story after being raised in a Morman household. I like that someone whose own struggles largely reflect some of the issues in the show was asked to write the theme as that heart is inherently within the track. Other artists I really enjoyed and heard throughout the show included FINNEAS, Colouring, Jai Wolf, LANKS, Dua Lipa, and ARIZONA.

The pacing is upbeat, as there’s always some intriguing drama unfolding and the 30 minute episodes are easy to binge through. I was able to binge all 10 of them in a single night! The ending (which I will not spoil) is a bit rushed. After pushing Play on episode 10 I did have the thought, “How are they going to resolve all these plot points within 30 minutes?” The answer to my question is with season two. While no season has been confirmed, the show ends hinting at a continuation, which I am very excited to see! While it was nice to see Victor discover who he is in regard to his sexual orientation, I would like to see where this goes after he has become comfortable in his own skin and how all our characters evolve. I hope to see more mature themes play out and can see the fruit of character’s growth from season one.

I highly recommend you all see this! I through enjoyed it! 

Final Verdict:Love, Victor is about discovery and you will smile if you can understand or relate to Victor's uncertainty and struggle of figuring out who he is.