Last June, Love, Victor arrived on Hulu as a fun, fanfic-ready teen drama that was equal parts squee-inducing romance and thoughtful interrogation of queer identity. Though it was technically a spinoff from the 2018 film Love, Simon, Victor’s story as a gay Colombian teen discovering, then struggling with, his sexuality became a springboard for a new cast of lovable characters who brought depth to their individual high school tropes. Season 2 continues the tradition of soapy drama and real-life relatability with its examination of what comes after Victor’s happily ever after in Season 1.
Love, Victor Season 1 ended on the cliffhanger of Victor (Michael Cimino) kissing his crush Benji (George Sear) for the first time, breaking his girlfriend Mia’s (Rachel Hilson) heart, and finally putting his feelings first by coming out to his parents after they announced their world-shattering decision to separate. Season 2 picks up immediately after that cliffhanger to show the aftermath of his revelation.
The show succeeds in showing the nuance in Victor’s parents’ reactions — both of his parents are confused and deal with it in vastly different ways. His father (James Martinez) mostly struggles with how to be a good father to a gay son and seeks advice from a surprising source; his mother (Ana Ortiz) tries to find answers in the Catholic church…which goes about as well as you’d imagine considering that institution’s history.
As for Victor himself, his relationship with Benji is one of the season’s obvious centerpieces, as is his continued dependence on Simon for advice on how to be a gay teen at Creekwood High. Season 2 goes farther than the first season in tackling subjects like teen alcohol abuse, cultural mismatches between white gay men and gay men of color, and Victor’s apprehensions around sex, all of which are taken seriously while staying true to each character’s funny, realistic reactions to growing up. That balance is expertly maintained by Love, Victor‘s remarkable tone, which allows these issues to come up naturally without ever feeling like an after school special.
Season 2 goes farther than the first season in tackling subjects like teen alcohol abuse, cultural mismatches between white gay men and gay men of color, and Victor’s apprehensions around sex.
The strength of Love, Victor‘s supporting cast was apparent in Season 1 and their stories are even more important now that Victor’s a little less self-involved (for good reason). Felix (Anthony Turpel) is once again a series highlight as Victor’s nerdy best friend who defied his stars to date popular girl Lake (Bebe Wood), but this time around his status as the child of a mentally ill parent leads to one of the show’s most compelling and heartbreaking plotlines to date. Similarly upsetting but rife with drama is Mia’s self-loathing in the face of catching Victor with Benji while her father and stepmother kind of forget she’s a person who matters.
This season also elevates Victor’s sister Pilar to a more active role in his social life, giving actor Isabella Ferreira time to shine in her own romantic subplot that has an unexpected and delightful payoff. Joining Pilar as an elevated member of the gang is new character Rahim (Anthony Keyvan), a gay Iranian teen who looks to Victor the same way Victor looks at Simon — the gay Creekwood ideal who appears to have it all. By bringing in another closeted gay high schooler from a religious, minority family, Love, Victor subtly gives its characters the opportunity to discuss the nuances of gay identity in young men of color and widens its horizons beyond the ideal of white queer masculinity.
Love, Victor keeps what made Season 1 great, including its all-encompassing horniness and exploration of fanfic tropes in an original IP. However now that Victor is out and actually exploring what it means to be gay, both the horniness and the tropes have higher stakes and are picked apart more carefully this time around. Like Season 1, Season 2 ends on a cliffhanger, but this one requires a resolution or else its fans will never know peace. Fingers crossed that Hulu continues to tell vital queer stories…and continues to Love, Victor.