It started as young adult fiction, Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda, then became the surprise 2018 blockbuster “Love, Simon.” Now we have”Love, Victor,” a breezy yet touching extension of that story, with a new teen — having transferred to the same high school — experiencing his own coming-out trails and tribulations.
Originally destined for Disney+, Vic tor is ia well-crafted teen soap, with a few clever wrinkles, a winning cast and great hair. At the daily.LGBT we don’t know why it was ‘too adult’ for Disney’s flagship platform.
Newcomer Victor (Michael Cimino) — the oldest of three kids — has moved to Creekwood High in Georgia, which feels positively progressive compared to his hometown in Texas. He makes contact with Simon (Nick Robinson) via Instagram, using him as a sounding board as he comes to grips with who is — and more to the point, who he loves.
Victor is still figuring that out — sexuality is fluid, it’s noted — torn between his attraction to a pair of new classmates: Mia and an out boy, Benjie (George Sear), with whom he works.
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This show is equally as fun as Simon’s story, and it depicts enough of a twist on the classic coming out story that you’ll want to watch more.
The initial promise that this would somehow add a bit of grit to the Love, Simon universe vanishes quickly with Victor’s strictly religious parents softening within minutes and financial concerns disappearing with a similar speed.
Making Victor a twinky, basketball-playing teen who finds friends instantly sustains the fantasy world of the movie but oddly, the homophobic taunts that Simon and his gay classmate endured have been entirely excised. Benji, Victor’s openly gay object of affection, appears to glide through school and the community at large without resistance from those around him, a utopian ideal that’s sweet but unlikely.
This is as safe as it gets. Safe but fun. Yes give it some time if you can.
The mere existence of a gay-led teen show on a major streaming platform still feels like an encouraging move in the right direction, but this is a baby step at best.
There is still no word yet on which UK platform will screen Love, Victor.