Love, Victor, the spiritual successor to Love, Simon was one of the biggest teen dramas in 2020, and season two easily continues that momentum solidifying Victor (and his stellar supporting cast) as a force that is here to stay.
Gone are the days of Victor’s (Michael Cimino) anxiety of coming out, instead season two focuses on Victor learning how to navigate as a young, and out, gay student. Not only does Victor need to transverse the cruel high school world, he also must learn how to deal with a family member that is rooted in culture and tradition.
While Love, Victor is thematically a LGBTQ+ narrative at heart, the show does not shy away from other major issues that non-LGBTQ+ teens can also associate with. In just ten episodes, the season deals with mental health, parental separation, break-ups, and religion just to name a few. While this is very much a teen drama, the writing and cast is strong enough to make for an enjoyable viewing experience.
I thought the supporting cast and their story arcs were the strongest part of season one and I still feel that way in season two. Felix’s (Anthony Turpel) struggle with his mother’s bipolar disorder and the support he receives from his girlfriend Lake (Bebe Wood) really tugs at your heart strings.
Felix is arguably the happiest looking and upbeat character in the entire series and seeing him broken down and vulnerable shows just how strong of an actor Anthony Turpel really is. Throw in Victor dealing with his Catholic mother (Ana Ortiz) being unaccepting of her son and Mia’s (Rachel Hilson) quest to find her place and somebody to love and you have some really compelling television.
Like I mentioned earlier, Love, Victor is a teen drama at heart and sometimes does suffer from many of the same teenage tropes. Can we have one season of one show where every couple that started the season together is still together at the end? Of course not! However, I think the thirty-minute run time and short ten-episode season goes a long way in helping the show’s major storylines move along without becoming too muddied or convoluted.
There is also a sense of maturity and character growth throughout this season that I didn’t necessarily see in the first season, especially in Victor and his mother Isabella. Season one was full of moments where Victor would message (and even visit) Simon Spier (of Love, Simon fame) looking for advice as he struggled with coming to terms of being gay. We see a lot of these same moments in the beginning of season two.
However, by the midpoint of season two, Victor becomes less and less dependent on Simon’s advice and even begins taking on the role of Simon where he becomes a mentor for another student struggling to come out. It is really a cool moment to see the roles switch and Victor become more confident in himself.
Isabella’s growth is much less subtle. Flat out disapproving of Victor coming out as gay, her Catholic upbringing constantly puts her at odds with her son. While Isabella constantly says she is “trying” to understand and be more accepting, her actions say otherwise. It isn’t, again, until about the midseason point where Isabella begins to question whether or not her religious upbringing was right for her and her relationship with her son.
It isn’t until her priest tells her youngest son, Adrien, that Victor would be going to Hell for his choices that Isabella truly begins to accept Victor. Their relationship might never be the same or as strong as it was, but her acceptance of Victor at the end of the season is one of the best moments of the show.
Even though there are plenty of positives in the show, there is one moment in the third episode of the season that is not only one of the coolest moments of my time reviewing shows and movies, but also one of the coolest moments of my teaching career.
I taught Jackson Sheppeard as a freshman and sophomore many years ago and seeing him show up on my television screen, even in a cameo role as Victor’s teammate, is just really cool to see. He’s been getting more and more work in LA and I can’t wait to see him starring in his own Hulu series one day. Keep up the great work Jackson, I’m proud of you dude!
Love, Victor seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Hulu.
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