When I saw “Love, Simon” in 2018, I wanted to wrap my arms around the movie and give it a great big hug. This was a sweet, knowing, funny and emotionally involving 21st century take on a John Hughes high school movie – only this time the romantic lead was a closeted gay teen searching for his soul mate, known only as Blue to him online.
Yes, Simon was living in upper-middle-class comfort, and he had the most understanding parents in the world and eventually the support of pretty much the entire school when he set up a meeting with Blue at the Ferris wheel, but it’s not as if “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or “Mean Girls” or any other beloved favorites of the genre were any grittier, right? “Love, Simon” was still a groundbreaking and lovely gem.
Now comes the Hulu series “Love, Victor,” a spiritual sequel featuring a whole new cast of characters, although Simon remains in the picture, sort of. We pick up the story with Creekwood High School still buzzing about the magical night when Simon learned Blue was in fact a classmate named Bram whom he had a crush on. They’re still a couple, but they’ve moved on to college in New York City.
Enter Latino high school sophomore Victor (Michael Cimino), who has just moved from Texas with his parents, Isabel (Ana Ortiz) and Armando (James Martinez), his younger sister, Pilar (Isabella Ferreira), and little brother, Adrian (Mateo Fernandez). Victor is unsure of his sexuality (or at least he tells himself that), but he knows that if and when he does come out, it will come as a shock to his religious parents and even more religious grandparents. He connects with Simon on Instagram, saying: “Dear Simon … I just want to say, screw you. Screw you for having the world’s most perfect, accepting parents, the world’s most supportive friends. Because for some of us, it’s not that easy.”