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Michael Cimino in Love, Victor and Nick Robinson in Love, Simon

2018’s Love, Simon was one of the most talked-about romantic comedies of the last decade. It was the first major studio flick focused on a teen, gay love story and an incredibly adorable entry for the genre just ahead of the official rom-com comeback that summer. In response to the film’s success, the once highly-anticipated Disney+ release Love, Victor has now found a place among Hulu’s many new releases this month. Fans of the film, in particular, shouldn’t miss out on this one but, if you never joined the Love, Simon hype train there’s no reason you can’t enjoy Love, Victor on its own, either.

Before pressing play on Love, Victor, I’ll admit I was confused as to the intentions of the series. I’m invested in the cast of characters from the movie Love, Simon, which included Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson, 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford, The Flash’s Keiynan Lonsdale and Jennifer Garner. Why start over? On the surface, the new Hulu series could feel like a shoe-in to expand the idea of Love, Simon with TV actors. Well, I’m happy to report I was completely wrong and pleasantly surprised about what the series has to offer. Let’s dig into what you need to know about Love, Victor:

Michael Cimino in Love, Victor

Wait.. I’m Confused. Who The Heck Is Victor?

As the title implies, the new series focuses on Michael Cimino’s Victor Salazar, a high school student who has recently moved to Atlanta from a Texas town with his family, who are looking for a fresh start. His sister Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) is less than pleased to be leaving her friends back home, but Victor is excited to be among a more accepting region of America to the LGBTQ community. Just like Simon, Victor is a high school student at Creekwood High who has yet to tell anyone of his sexuality.

In Love, Victor, Simon is somewhat of a legend at the school Victor is new to since his cute love story with Keiynan Lonsdale’s Bram unfolded into their ferris wheel kiss at the end. In Love, Simon, Simon opens up to Bram’s online identity of “Blue” before coming out to his peers and forming a romance with him. In the Hulu TV show, Victor direct messages Nick Robinson’s Simon on Instagram in an effort to receive advice about how to come out on his own, and the Jurassic World actor’s voiceover is present throughout the series.

Michael Cimino and Isabella Ferreira in Love, Victor

How Love, Victor Uniquely Expands The Legacy Of Love, Simon

When Love, Simon hit theaters a couple years ago, the existence of the film, its critical acclaim (91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and $66 million box office haul on a small $17 million production budget created positive strides for more studio romantic comedies to tell more diverse stories beyond the typical Hollywood fare. At the same time, it creates a mainstream story and, with that, there’s a danger in a movie like Love, Simon needing to represent the LGBTQ community that is vastly more complex than the story being told. Love, Simon focused on a gay, white male character, who represents the most privileged sector of the community and was quite easily accepted by his parents and friends once he came out.

Right off the bat, Love, Victor rejects Love, Simon’s story. When Victor first writes to Simon, he tells him this in his first direct message:

Screw you for having the world’s most perfect, accepting parents, the world’s most supportive friends… My story is nothing like yours.

It’s a set-up that promises a much more intricate look at a gay teen’s experience, and the series delivers this in a lot of ways Love, Simon could not. Victor has a Colombian-Puerto Rican background, hailing from the Catholic religion and, throughout the run of the series, Victor’s experiences in discovering his identity discuss the gray areas of the sexuality spectrum while remaining family and teen friendly.

Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale in Love, Victor

How Love, Victor Continues The Specific Love, Simon Storyline

Part of Love, Victor’s beautiful execution is it leaves room to expand the love story of Simon and Bram specifically without needing to lean on it for too long. As mentioned prior, Nick Robinson gets to provide Victor with some great advice via DM and voiceover throughout the series as a college student living in New York with Bram. What’s great about this long-distance friendship Victor and Simon form during the experience is Victor still makes mistakes even with the benefit of Simon’s experiences at his disposal. And Victor struggles with completely new issues in his journey to come out that Simon cannot understand or figure out for him.

The rest of this story contains SPOILERS for Season One of Love, Victor. If you have not yet watched make your way to the poll at the bottom of the story and return here later for more discussion.

One way the series is particularly clever here is when Victor decides to take a trip to New York to see Simon in person under short notice. Once he gets there, he finds out Simon is out of town and is instead paired with Bram and their roommates. It’s there that Victor learns that there is no one way to be gay and gets to benefit from the many ways the LGBTQ community expresses their identities and struggles with coming out. It’s not until the end of the episode that Simon makes an appearance to tell Victor how he had to lean on these roommates to help him give out advice to him. The show cleverly uses its movie characters for the purpose of instilling its message while still giving fans of Love, Simon a moment to return to the movie’s roots.

Michael Cimino and George Sear in Love, Victor

Will Love, Victor Return For Season Two On Hulu?

The finale of Love, Victor left a number of loose ends, leading us to believe the show’s creators have the intention to continue the show’s storyline into Season Two – namely with the cliffhanger moment that had Victor coming out to his parents right after they announced they’d decided to split up. The show’s future is currently up in the air but, if the show gets renewed, Love, Victor’s co-showrunner Brian Tanen is hoping to tell “more adult stories” about Victor’s first love, relationship and sexual experiences, per TV Line.

Ultimately, as a fan of Love, Simon, I thoroughly enjoyed Love, Victor, and the show’s decision to connect the stories and bring a new perspective to the YA franchise’s legacy. Have you binged Love, Victor yet and what did you think about the decision to expand the story in this fashion? Vote in our poll below and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more streaming coverage.

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