Love, Victor is a new Hulu TV show spin-off of the movie Love, Simon. It features a young high school boy, Victor, who moves to a new school in a new town in the midst of navigating his sexuality. The show was originally planned for Disney + but moved over to Hulu in February because Disney claimed the move was because the show wasn’t family-friendly enough for the Disney platform. Some suspected it was because of the heavy LGBTQ+ themes in the show.
A Teen Show
Watching the show, it is immediately apparent that it was originally designed for the Disney audience. The dialogue kind of canned. It sounds like the writer’s room is full of out of touch adults trying to use teen lingo. There are lots of cheesy abbreviations like “supervish” in place of “supervision”. It’s kind of amusing at first but the dialogue and tone do wear on after awhile. The whole vibe very much reminded me of the shows my 9-year-old sister watches religiously.
That being said, the main family characters are all quite loveable. As cheesy as it can be at times, it also has a very heartwarming feel. Victor’s mother and father are good parents that dole out sage advice and genuinely love and care for their children, something that is comforting to see and puts a smile on my face. They are certainly not perfect, as most marriages aren’t, but they seem to be one of the high points of the show. Victor’s friends are all, for the most part, kind and supportive fellow teenagers who you just want to root for.
With A Twist
Through Instagram messages between the main character Victor, and the character the original movie was based on, Simon, we get a glimpse of Victor’s true inner thoughts and feelings as he struggles through finding out who he is in his new home. The show is filled with the exploration and uncertainty that defines the teen years. It’s an open, honest discussion about sexuality, just in time for Pride month.
Love, Victor is a pretty typical teen show in a lot of ways. Although, the formula has been updated for a more progressive audience. There is a classic “walking down the hallway with upbeat music playing because the main character is suddenly popular” scene. This is a thing that only exists in high school dreams. Also, there are plenty of slow-motion sexy young people scenes that have gone cliche and back at least ten times over the course of my lifetime.
At one point, Victor says “Call Me Maybe was my jam when I was little” making me feel about a hundred years old. It’s followed by a cute little late-night coffee shop dancing scene though, so I guess it’s fine.
In All Seriousness
Things are not all sunny and happy in the land of Love, Victor. There is a moment where Victor’s family tries to tell him to stop his two gay friends from being affectionate in front of them. Victor refuses, and his mother stands up for him. It leads to a deeply tense and kind of heartbreaking family moment. The tension is only broken by a zany baby brother’s interference. This, of all things, was the most realistic point in the series. Victor is struggling so deeply with himself and his family. He’s fighting for acceptance within himself and in his world.
This is what makes Love, Victor worth watching. Despite the canned teeny-bopper vibe, the show explores an essential piece of modern youth, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. Victor has this incredible support system, through Simon and his friends, allowing him to find acceptance. They help him through his journey of self-discovery, and it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.
Love, Victor has not only given us more amazing LGBTQ+ characters on screen but watching this show just might provide some solace to an LGBTQ+ kid searching for themselves. Just like Victor.