Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger’s Love, Victor focuses on a new student at Creekwood High School, Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino). The series follows his journey of self-discovery: facing challenges at home and struggling with his sexual orientation. He reaches out to Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) when it seems too difficult for him to navigate through high school.
One of the biggest surprise hits of the summer of 2018 was that of Greg Berlanti’s sweet LGBTQ coming-of-age tale, Love, Simon. It was a movie that swept me away and impressed me greatly. It’s a breezy watch but is packed full of tons of emotion and heart that will make even the most hardened of film watchers get teary-eyed during certain scenes.
That’s why I was a little bit curious when it was announced that there would be a spinoff television series in the future that would focus on a new student at Simon’s high school that goes through similar issues that he did. On one hand, I had high expectations since the original film was so good and had faith that the minds behind the show would do a good job. But on the other hand, I recognized that I should keep my expectations in check just in case something went wrong in the script or storytelling department.
Thankfully, I can say that Love, Victor is an exceptionally fun show, although it doesn’t come anywhere near the levels of greatness that the film it’s based on achieved. This series does play things a little bit too safe, and for a little while, the show feels like it loses its focus a little bit. There were some episodes that felt like they really didn’t need to even exist because they felt like filler. The story that they are telling doesn’t warrant a ten-episode series. Although I did have fun along the way for the most part, I have to admit that I think it would have worked better as an actual film.
By far the biggest praise that I can give this show is its character development and its performances. Victor Salazar was a kid that I genuinely felt like I knew by the time not even the fifth episode was over. He obviously gets the most development and it was nice to see how well the screenwriters did with making every single character come alive and feel real.
Something that the creators of this series did excellently though, was make Victor’s family feel grounded and have issues. In Love, Simon, many people pointed out that Simon’s family felt picture-perfect like they didn’t have even the slightest flaw. They heard you loud and clear. Victor’s family goes through quite the rocky relationship throughout the course of ten episodes, and they don’t shy away from getting a little bit dark and depressing at times.
But, to be truthful, this whole thing was not perfect. It has some excellent character development, especially for a show aimed towards teenagers, in particular, it can often be quite funny, but its story was just not as interesting as it could have been.
One last point I want to make is that our lead protagonist Victor goes to the exact same high school that Simon went to in the 2018 film, Creekwood High School. Despite the setting being the same, we practically see none of the same locations from the film in this show, prompting me to think that Love, Victor was shot in an entirely different studio/school. There were some moments where I was questioning how this was the same place that Simon attended. The layout doesn’t look similar at all. It’s a nitpick for sure, but it’s something that I couldn’t help but notice during my binge.
If you’re a fan of the movie, you should give this a shot. It probably won’t blow you away like you may have hoped it would, but it’s still a cute and fun adventure to go on, even if its story isn’t the most interesting.
Love, Victor makes up for its familiar and safe story with cute romantic beats and a fun cast of characters that feel alive and grounded.
Overall Grade: B
Episode Count: 10
Series: Love, Victor