Novella, webtoon, graphic novel, and now Netflix show


The Netflix adaptation of Heartstopper released on April 22nd 2023. The show has over 23.95 million hours watched on Netflix.

Elsa Webster, Staff Writer

Alice Osman, the author of books such as Solitaire, “I Was Born For This,” “Loveless” and “Radio Silence,” has authored a book that has gained much attention. “Heartstopper,” which first premiered as a Webtoon in September 2016, is based on two characters from Osman’s book “Solitaire.” Heartstopper follows the story of Charlie Spring, a 15-year-old student at Truham Grammar High School as he learns to navigate the difficulties of friendship, being out, and LGBTQIA love.

The first season of the “Heartstopper” show was released on Netflix on April 22, 2022. The show stars Joe Locke as Charlie Spring, Kit Connor as Charlie’s athletic friend, and potential love interest Nick Nelson, Sebastian Croft as Charlie’s secret boyfriend Ben Hope, and Yasmin Finney, William Gao, Kizzy Edgell, Corinna Brown and Tobie Donovan as Charlie’s friends Elle Argent, Tao Xu, Darcy Olsson, Tara Jones and Isaac Henderson (in order of mention). 

Following closely to the plot of the original book is one of the things that makes a movie or TV show adaption suitable. Heartstopper does this successfully. The show’s general plot is relatively the same as the plot of the graphic novel. However, there are some differences. In the graphic novel, Charlie has two siblings, his sister Tori and a younger brother named Oliver. However, in the show, Oliver does not make an appearance. Another difference is the character of Isaac. As anyone who has read the graphic novel or webtoon knows, Charlie’s friends are Elle, Tao and Aled Last. This is not the case in the show. Aled’s character is replaced by the quiet, book-loving Isaac Henderson. This change is due to the fact that Aled is also a character in another one of Osman’s books, Radio Silence. Osman said that “Basically, Aled is a character in one of my other books, who has his whole own separate story and I decided that I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted with this character so it worked to create a new character.”

Despite the differences, “Heartstopper” does many things right. Though the first season of the show combines both the first and second graphic novels, it manages to do so without the show seeming rushed. Though the show deals with some hard topics such as homophobia and bullying it is still a feel-good show that leaves you smiling. Nick’s coming out scene particularly resonates with me because of the love and support shown to Nick by his mother (Olivia Coleman). This moment is nearly identical to the graphic novel and it fills the person watching it with joy. The cast of the show portrays each character true to how they act in the graphic novel. Plus the show is filled with happy moments that make up for the not-so-happy ones. 

Overall, the Netflix adaptation of “Heartstopper” is an excellent show that I could never get tired of watching. Be sure to watch the second season of the show which releases on Netflix on Aug. 3.