Heartstopper (TV Show), Screenwriter Alice Osemon

Photo Credit: Netflix

Bibliographic Information:

Title of Series: Heartstopper: An Eight Chapter Story

Title of Episode: Episode 1: “Meet”

Release Date of Episode: April 22, 2022

Network: Netflix

Producer: Euros Lin and See Saw Films

Screenplay Writer: Alice Osemon (based on her graphic novel series by the same name)

Running Time: 27 minutes

Genre/Format: TV Series



Realistic Fiction


None at this time

Reading/Interest Level:

TV-14 (Netflix)

(Netflix, 2022)

Plot Summary: In the first episode of the season, we are introduced to Charlie Spring, a year 10 student who was harassed the previous year for coming out as gay, and Nick Nelson, a year 11 rugby athlete who hangs around with the popular (aka mean) crowd. They are given seating assignments in their homeroom next to each other and the friendship is set into motion. The audience is also introduced to Ben Hope, Charlies crush and kissing buddy when it’s convenient for Ben. Ben’s true personality becomes evident quickly. Charlie’s three closest friends are Elle, Tao, and Isaac, and they give each other the support to survive the roller-coaster of high school. Nick asks Charlie to join the rugby team and Charlie does, hoping to spend more time with Nick. The climax of the show happens when Ben forces Charlie into a situation that he does not want. Nick happens to follow Charlie into the building and stops Ben from forcing himself upon Charlie. Nick and Charlie then agonize over their text messages to each other and the last scene is Charlie sending Nick a message that ends with an “X”, the text message equivalent to a hug. Nick smiles and hand drawn birds fly around Nick’s head.

Photo Credit: Alice Oseman

Author Background: Alice Oseman was born in Kent, England. Oseman is an award winning author, illustrator, and screenwriter and is best known for her best-selling graphic novel series Heartstopper (Oseman, n.d.). She later wrote the screenplay adaption of the Heartstopper books and created the Netflix series by the same name. She is also the executive producer of the Heartstopper TV series. According to an interview with Oseman, the Netflix series was made primarily for tweens and teens (Cleal, 2022). Oseman is the author of four Young Adult books: Solitaire, Radio Silence, I Was Born for This, and Loveless.

Critical Evaluation: This show is based on the graphic novel series Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. The TV show follows the storyline of the graphic novel with some changes that just worked better for the show. In an interview with Cleal (2022), Oseman stated that she wanted to expand the role of the supporting characters and allow Nick and Charlie’s relationship to have more room to grow on film. The cast of Heartstopper is a diverse and likable crew. The characters are developed well and the actors seem genuinely invested in their roles. The teenage angst is evident, and the awkward teenage experience is shown in an honest and respectful way. The setting of the show is realistic and the transitions between some scenes using white lines seems contemporary. The artistic extras really add to the overall fun, romantic feel of the show- the addition of hand-drawn flowers and leaves twirling around the characters to depict an emotional connection adds a creative flare to the show. The use of sunlight to signify inner radiance is also a powerful cinematographic tool. The background music between scenes aids in creating a smooth transition and the songs that play a larger role in the scenes fit perfectly into the storyline. They are contemporary and have a teenage feel about them.

(Still Watching Netflix, 2022)

The director chose to show the actors in a very realistic way. They have flaws and insecurities and I think that this portrays the average teenager in real life. This adds to its likeability and relatability for teens. The filming is not always smooth but mimics the movements of the characters and adds to the realism. The influence of the graphic novel is evident in the drawing of the names of each episode and the artistic flare that is added. I haven’s seen this artistic addition to many shows and I think that it adds another layer to the show that makes it more appealing, especially to teens.

Creative Use For a Library Program: Heartstopper is very popular right now. I think that there could be a Heartstopper teen viewing program where all the episodes are streamed onto a screen on a Friday evening. This could be set up in an activity room or community room if possible. It would be chaperoned by a librarian and a library assistant. There could be big chairs set up and snacks available (if Covid restrictions allow). Teens could come and go as they please. The graphic novel series would be available to look at or borrow. This could happen during June for Pride Month.

Speed-Round Book Trailer: The first episode of Heartstopper is the perfect blend of teenage drama and potential romance set in the U.K. with a diverse cast and an artistic flare. Finding first love on the rugby team doesn’t happen every day!

Potential Challenge Issues and Defense Preparation: This show may be challenged for the mention of Elle as a transgender girl who leaves the school to go to an all-girls school. The scene where Ben accosts Charlie can be triggering for some people. It may also be challenged as inappropriate for teens. I would argue that in both cases, these are real-life situations that teens may face and this creates a realistic show that teens can identify with. The sexual assault (in this case, forced kissing) of a male is rarely discussed and it is important for males and females to see that it happens. The show is a very realistic depiction of how a person might react in that situation and this can be helpful for some people to understand that experience. It is also important for trans characters to be in teen TV shows.

Reason for Inclusion: I included this TV episode in my collection because I love it! Also, because I think that teens can relate to Charlie and Nick, and all of their friends, as peers. It is a light and fun show that depicts a relationship between two unlikely teenage boys in a very positive way.

If you liked the TV Show, try reading the Heartsopper graphic novel series by Alice Osman!!!


Cleal, S. (2022, June 8). I Can Barely Contain My Excitement For “Heartstopper”, So I Sat Down With Alice Oseman To Talk About The Series. Buzzfeed. https://www.buzzfeed.com/sam_cleal/heartstopper-netflix-alice-oseman-interview

Oseman, A. (n.d.). Press Kit. Alice Oseman. https://aliceoseman.com/about/press-kit/

Oseman, A. (n.d.) Heartstopper. Alice Oseman. https://aliceoseman.com/heartstopper/graphic-novels/

Netflix. (2022, April 13). Heartstopper: Official Trailer [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrK4xPy4ahg

Still Watching Netflix. (2022, May 10). The making of Heartstopper [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgORMB3_zEk


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