‘Heartstopper’ season two: everything you need to know

Netflix’s LGBTQ+ coming-of-age romance is back this summer

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
Global film editor
Photograph: Netflix

Just your typical story of ‘boy meets boy, boy shyly confesses feelings for boy while boy comes to terms with his sexuality and deals with his annoying, homophobic rugby mates, boys fall hard for each other,’ Heartstopper was as good as its title when it landed on Netflix in 2022. Its sensitive spirit, sly wit and frank worldview stopped us in our tracks and in an instant a million binge telly night 30 percent more soulful.

Set at the fictional Truham Grammar School for Boys, it was a reminder that visions of representation in high-school TV have come a long way since The Inbetweeners.

Heartstopper managed to effortlessly transplant English YA author Alice Oseman’s graphic novel into bite-sized episodes fizzing with feeling and uplifting sex-positive energy. Its female-led soundtrack – Wolf Alice, Frankie Cosmos, Maggie Rogers, beabadoobee, Orla Gartland, et al – wasn’t half bad, either. 

So the news that a second season is landing on the streamer this summer has understandably had social media aflutter with emoji leaves and excitement. Here’s the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘when’ of season 2… 

Photograph: ROB YOUNGSON/NetflixNick Nelson (Kit Connor) and Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) in ‘Heartstopper’

When is Heartstopper season 2’s release date on Netflix?

All eight episodes land on the streamer at 8am BST on Thursday, August 3.

What are reviews saying?

So far, the early word is overwhelmingly positive. Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall writes that season 2 is ‘overflowing with emotions – both joyous and terrifying ones – in a way that’s palpable whether you’re close in age to its main characters or more in the teacher or parent demographic’. Paste Magazine describes it as ‘essential viewing for both the queer community and beyond’, while Variety’s Aramide Tinubu writes that the show ‘continues to impress because of the honesty and earnestness of the characters’.

Who will be returning to the Heartstopper cast?

Kit Connor and Joe Locke are back as Truham’s ‘rugby klng’ Nick Nelson and shy musician Charlie Spring – the two deskmates and friends who fell for each other in season one. Jenny Walser is back as Tori, Charlie's blunt-speaking older sister. 

Charlie’s supportive mates are back, too: Charlie’s best mate Tao (William Gao); Tara (Corinna Brown), a student at nearby Higgs Girls School, and her girlfriend Darcy (Kizzy Edgell); their aromantic, quiet friend Isaac (Tobie Donovan); and transgender Higgs student Elle (Yasmin Finney).

Sebastian Croft’s Ben Hope, Charlie's bitter, closeted first boyfriend, is back too to apply spokes to various romantic wheels, too. Happily, so too is Fisayo Akinade as Mr Ajayi, a kind of emotional support art teacher for Charlie.

There’s Oscar-winning pedigree returning to the cast list, too, with Olivia Colman back to play Nick's supportive mum, Sarah. It’s still unconfirmed but look – or rather, listen – out for Stephen Fry on the school tannoy as Truham’s unseen Headmaster Barnes.

Who is joining the cast for season 2?

While Call My Agent’s Thibault De Montalembert is joining the cast as a character (French teacher?) called Stéphane Nelson and Ash Self plays a student called Felix.

But the biggest new name for Heartstopper stans will probably be trans TikToker Bel Priestley. ‘I play a girl called Naomi, and I have a strong friendship with Elle,’ she’s revealed. ‘I think [it will] be really nice for everyone to see two trans girls conquering the world.’

Photograph: Alice Oseman / Hodder Children’s Books

Is there a trailer yet?

There is! Check it out below.

What is Heartstopper based on? 

The show is adapted from English YA author Alice Oseman’s (so far) four-book series of graphic novels. It pays direct homage to its source with comic-book panels and animated emojis (look out for those autumn leaves and fluttering hearts!).

What has happened in Heartstopper so far?

‘Being a teenager is terrible,’ half-jokes Mr Ajayi (Fisayo Akinade) to Charlie in season 1. And there’s enough agonising attempts to phrase a flirty text message the right way, negotiation of the anxieties of coming out and painful growing pains – not to mention, rugby – to bear that out in the first season of Heartstopper.

It will be really nice for everyone to see two trans girls conquering the world

But there’s a tonne of joy, too, as Charlie discovers that unattainable, jock-like sports hero Nick is not, after all, the most heterosexual boy at school. The season followed the pair’s blossoming love affair and Nick slowly coming to terms with his sexuality, against a backdrop of bullying and homophobic lad bantz.

The show also put metaphorical meat on the bones of Oseman’s supporting characters, especially Elle and Tao.What’s going to happen in season 2?  

Photograph: NetflixNick and Charlie at the season in season 1

What’s going to happen in the plot of season 2?

Expect more of Charlie and Nick's deepening but hardly trouble-free romance, following on from their first date to the seaside, with Ben back to cause more problems.

Runs the official synopsis: ‘Nick and Charlie navigate their new relationship; Tara and Darcy face unforeseen challenges, and Tao and Elle work out if they can ever be more than just friends. With exams on the horizon, a school trip to Paris and a prom to plan, the gang has a lot to juggle as they journey through the next stages of life, love and friendship.

Heartstopper creator Oseman has shared more info on season two with Altitude, revealing that there's a big storyline involving the aromantic, asexual Isaac. ‘Asexuality will be discussed on TV in a big way,’ said Oseman in The Radio Times. ‘I hope when it happens in Heartstopper, it doesn’t feel like a lesson. You know Isaac, you care about him, and now you’re going to learn something new about him.’

Bel Priestley’s new trans character, Naomi, will have a storyline with Elle too. Lots on the cards, in other words. 

Will there be a third season?

Season 3 has already been announced and should be landing sometime in 2024. The series has reached the Netflix top ten list in 54 countries... it’s definitely not stopping just yet.

The 50 best LGBTQ+ movies of all time.

The Heartstopper cast was a major highlight of last year’s Pride march.

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