Cover Art by @kidovna on Instagram
By Alena Nguyen
From the beginning angry DM to Simon Spier, I had a good feeling about this show. I had read the book last year and saw the movie the week before watching all 10 episodes “Love, Victor” in a day. The show is a sequel to the hit movie “Love, Simon” where a closeted gay teen named Victor Salazar (played by Michael Cimino) moves into Simon’s old town and attends Simon’s old school, basically following in Simon’s steps. However, Victor’s life isn’t totally a carbon copy of Simon- Victor is in a lower socioeconomic class and has more conservative and religious relatives- not exactly the upper-middle class, Jennifer Garner’s my mom which makes me super cool vibe that Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) had in the original movie. Nonetheless, these differences added more dimensions to the show that allowed for exploration throughout the show that the movie didn’t offer.
Victor Salazar isn’t your typical new kid in town. After moving into a new apartment in Atlanta, Georgia from Texas, Victor meets his first friend Felix (Anthony Turpel), an outgoing but lovable ally. When he gets to school, tensions arise with the basketball cool guy Andrew (Mason Gooding) and feelings(?) arise with popular girl Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson) but also the only present, openly gay student Benji (George Sear). After recreating the iconic Ferris wheel scene with Mia, Victor becomes popular overnight. Throughout the series, Victor keeps in contact with Simon and updates him on exploring his sexuality between Mia and Benji. Like most teen dramas, everything builds up to the big school dance where all the secrets are revealed for Victor- both at school and at home.
While the movie was iconic, the series allowed for more depth and exploration for the characters- there’s finally time to delve into each character’s struggles that a 2 hour movie lacks and more time to love or hate each character for their actions. Victor has a perspective completely different from Simon’s which brings a lot more diversity to the screen, while there is still a lot of progress to be made in terms of representation. At first, I thought a lot of the teen tropes like sharing intimate moments with your crush were a bit cheesy, but the ease of viewing that came with the series allowed for a light-hearted watch. The show seems to be made through a more optimistic, glittery perspective of the world that mirrors the movie’s aesthetic.
Throughout the show, as Victor continuously DMs Simon, it’s nice to see that Simon’s story and Simon himself can be a mentor to Victor throughout the show. Victor goes through phases of thinking that his life is going great to venting to Simon about how his life is in shambles which accurately describes any teen’s emotional rollercoaster. The brief cameos that Simon and Bram made towards the end of the show was pivotal to Victor’s self-discovery that didn’t completely isolate the show from the movie.
While the show had opportunities to contribute to conversations about representation that it didn’t take, “Love, Victor” is nonetheless a must-see show to watch with your friends on a Saturday night.