It’s been over two years since Love, Simon came out (get it?), a time when adult gay men all cried in the theatre because our collective mom, Jennifer Garner, told us all that we could all exhale. Let’s just re-watch this clip because I think we could all use some Jennifer Garner wisdom right now.
When the movie first premiered, Lainey wrote, “this kind of mainstream release would not have been available to [gay teens] when they were coming out.” Can you believe we’re getting a series too?! Pride 2020 is saved!
Yesterday, Hulu shared the trailer for Love, Victor, a TV show based on the original movie. It follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School who is coming to terms with his sexuality. He seeks the help of Simon as he navigates the challenges and difficulties of self-discovery.
Love, Victor stars a relatively green cast of young actors including Michael Cimino as Victor, Anthony Turpel as Felix, Mason Gooding as Andrew, and George Sear as Benji, Victor’s apparent love interest. It also stars Bebe Wood (The Real O’Neals), Rachel Hilson (This is Us), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) and Nick Robinson as narrator. The show is created and produced by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who both wrote and produced Love, Simon.
Love, Victor essentially resets the story of Love, Simon. Everything is neatly tied up by the end of the movie so there’s not much potential for new plot without seeming convoluted. A few key differences modify the structure slightly. As the trailer mentions, moving to a new school gives Victor the chance to start anew and be his authentic self. There’s also the added relationship between Victor and Simon. Victor doesn’t have to face his problems alone like Simon did, perhaps mirroring the impact that Love, Simon had.
What I’m curious about is how Love, Victor will differentiate itself from the movie. The show must bring a fresh perspective to a familiar setup. We already see hints of this in the trailer as Victor narrates a letter to Simon that says, “you’re very lucky for having the world’s most perfect and accepting parents”. Love, Simon captured the anxiety of coming out, but dissipated the tension with an articulate, well thought out moment from his parents. It’s not always like that, but it fit the romcom genre.
In Love, Victor, there’s potential to dive into more issues given the show’s format and length. They could even have multiple love interests! One of the best parts of the original movie was figuring out who Blue was (and cheering when we found out). With two or more interests, there’s potential to take that idea even further à la To All the Boys I Love Before. The possibilities are endless!
Love, Victor was originally supposed air on Disney+, but was shifted to Hulu earlier this year. Allegedly, there was some drama behind the scenes that Hilary Duff alluded to, and EW reports that the show was moved was because its “depiction of alcohol use, sexual exploration, and marital issues among parents was the main concern for the family-focused Disney+ service.” That’s why all seasons of The Simpsons are available on there right? Because it’s a family friendly show? Or is it just that even after the success of Love, Simon, Disney is still behind the curve? *SIGH* Even though Love, Victor is an exciting and promising show, there’s clearly more work to be done.