The ‘Heartstopper’ Gay Love Story Will Make You Feel like a Teen Again

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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

See: Heartstopper Season 2

A still image from Heartstopper of Kit Connor and Joe Locke

Heartstopper Season 2 doubles down on the corniness of the first season of Netflix’s runaway hit. But when this sweet love story extends its scope across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, it finds a way to transcend cheesiness and provide plenty of lovely tenderness.

Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:

“A joyful coming-of-age TV series featuring a handful of love stories, dramatic gossip, and mundane school dilemmas shouldn’t seem all that radical. Derry Girls did it. Sex Education did it. Never Have I Ever did it. Something about Netflix’s Heartstopper, though, feels revolutionary—even though it’s as quirky, as conventional, and as lovable as the other high-school series in the coming-of-age genre.

Heartstopper is a series about queer teens living their lives that is, above all else, cheerful. The first season, which premiered just over a year ago on Netflix, focused primarily on the love story that blooms between Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor). The sophomore season, which debuts on Netflix Thursday, expands its scope to include more storylines about the couple’s friend group, while staying true to Season 1’s youthful spirit of first crushes, heartbreak, and the complicated transition into adulthood. Albeit corny as hell, Heartstopper is the show our younger generation needs.”

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Skip: Meg 2: The Trench

A still image of Jason Stathom in The Meg 2

Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Meg 2: The Trench has all of the right ingredients to surpass its shockingly dull predecessor (giant squids, triple the megs), yet manages to squander them in a plot so preposterous, it makes even a movie about prehistoric sharks nearly unwatchable.

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“It would seem almost impossible to botch a film pitting Jason Statham against a gargantuan prehistoric shark, and yet that was the only feat accomplished by The Meg, director John Turteltaub’s underwhelming 2018 aquatic monster mash. Nonetheless, with a $530 million global box-office haul, a sequel was preordained, and with English auteur Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England, In the Earth) at the helm, Meg 2: The Trench seemed primed to at least surpass its incompetent predecessor, if not finally deliver the B-movie goods promised by its outlandish premise.

Alas, it does neither—and in a mundane fashion that negates even unintentional comedy.”

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Skip: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

A still image of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart of Sigourney Weaver

Hugh Stewart/Amazon Studios

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is one of the best-looking series this year, but all of that beauty is buried beneath overwrought melodrama that not even Sigourney Weaver (and her bad Aussie accent) can save.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“When it comes to imbuing characters with emotional nuance, making fun of your icon status with terrific comedic timing, or gritting your teeth into a patient smile while James Cameron delays Avatar sequels, there is no better actor to call than Sigourney Weaver. She is a Hollywood legend for a reason—able to do just about anything, and capable of turning even the most bland material into admirable work. Weaver is so talented, you might think there is nothing she can’t do. But we all have our shortcomings, and even the sensational Sigourney Weaver can’t perfect a convincing Australian accent.

Unfortunately for Weaver’s new limited series The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart—adapted from Holly Ringland’s 2018 novel and premiering on Prime Video Aug. 4—a believable accent is sort of a requirement. The seven-episode drama series is set in the lush landscapes of the Australian coastlines, where June (Weaver) presides over a flower farm called Thornfield that doubles as a safe haven for abused or orphaned women and girls. When June’s granddaughter, Alice (Alyla Browne as a child and Alycia Debnam-Carey as an adult), survives a horrific fire that kills both of her parents, June welcomes her to Thornfield. There, she teaches her the language of their flowers, which beautifully mask dozens of dark family secrets.”

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See: Cruel Summer Season 2

A still image of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart of Sigourney Weaver

Hugh Stewart/Amazon Studios

Cruel Summer Season 2 is a testament to how difficult it is to pull off a good anthology series, with the hit thriller going from last season’s twisty mystery to a predictable mess. Embarrassing the show’s fans is a cruel way to end summer, indeed.

Here’s Allegra Frank’s take:

Cruel Summer’s first season was a hit for Freeform, the Disney-owned cable channel known for its teen-centric fare. And its record-setting viewership was well-deserved: The show’s central mystery, about several high school friendships gone wayward and leading to one girl’s kidnapping, was thrilling. Season 1 also boasted strong performances that anchored its high-concept storytelling—which followed the same set of characters at three different points of a mystery, slowly revealing key pieces of information—which could have easily flown off the rails.

Unfortunately, Season 2 was a runaway train car almost from the start, one that ultimately careened right off a cliff. Its tenth and final episode aired Monday night, wrapping up a mind-numbingly dull storyline with a disappointingly obvious ‘twist ending.’ Season 2’s failure to capitalize on the show’s early goodwill—bolstered by Season 1’s own finale, which was legitimately shocking—wasn’t just disappointing. It was, at worst, embarrassing.”

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