Love Victor chronicles figuring it all out
Like most coming of age stories, this one is all about figuring it out.
Hulu debuted Love, Victor earlier this week on Wednesday, releasing all 10 episodes of the first season. The series comes as a spin-off two years after the release of Love, Simon the first major motion romantic comedy to center on a gay couple. While this new series does feature a physical and digital cameo from Simon (Nick Robinson), it is innovative and as Victor (Michael Cimino) himself says at the end of the first episode “My story is nothing like yours.”
There is an immediate contrast drawn between Simon and Victor’s stories — where Simon’s family was immediately accepting, Victor’s isn’t. Simon’s family is sound, respectful, and almost picture-perfect. Meanwhile, Victor’s is falling apart at the seams because of their move from Texas to Atlanta.
More than that — Victor’s journey to figuring out his sexuality isn’t as straight forward as Simon’s. Victor finds himself experimenting early on, quickly falling into a relationship with Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson). He’s also recruited for the basketball team and finds a job at a local coffee shop. By all standards, he’s just a normal high school teenager.
But underlying the picturesque high school experience are stark issues: like the Salazar family’s socioeconomic standing, their religious beliefs, and Victor researching sexuality on the internet as a result of an unstable home situation. Despite the legacy, Simon left at Creekwood after coming out — there are also instances where the supposed acceptance of being gay are reversed. Victor is subject to several experiences where he’s pushed further into the closet because of them. In his family, Victor is known for always fixing things. His mother fondly tells him in an episode, “You’ve always been my strong one.”
When the series first starts, it almost seems like Victor lands on the sexuality spectrum as bisexual. When he shares his first kiss with Mia, the background of the scene filters between blue, purple, and pink — colors of the bisexual pride flag. As the episodes continue on, it’s clear to viewers that Victor genuinely cares for Mia, even if he is a little confused.
This series is light-hearted in presentation, but the deeper issues and stakes are clear. At the heart of the entire show is the importance of having someone to talk to. For Victor, that person is Simon. From the very first episode, the connotations of having a listening ear are introduced: from walkie talkies to actually talking about homophobia and why it’s wrong.
The first season ends on a few major cliffhangers, but overall, it’s a heart-warming and important show. The majority of the cast is comprised of POC, the story is different from its movie predecessor, and most of all — it’s a coming-of-age story told throughout a different, much-needed lens.
Love, Victor not only highlights the story of a POC character, but reminds viewers that sexuality is a complicated matter, and we can all do better by taking the time to listen.