Heartstopper has returned for its second season, one as highly rated as the first, and as I just noted yesterday, with combined critic and audience scores that have it tied as Netflix’s best-reviewed show…ever. Seriously.
The second season has more viewership than the first, which seemed like it was possibly going to be cancelled initially. But now that season 2 appears to be a hit, what about season 3?
This is a unique, very rare situation where Netflix surprised everyone. There’s no waiting around, biting your nails that Netflix will do the right thing. Rather, when Heartstopper was renewed for season 2, Netflix renewed it for season 3 at the same time. So it’s a guarantee.
Many people may not know this, but Heartstopper is not an original series. It actually started as a webcomic in 2016 and evolved into a series of graphic novels by 2019, all written and illustrated by Alice Oseman. As such, there is plenty of source material to draw from, making it an adaptation with a clear direction, not something that has to invent new storylines. At least not for a while. I think that may have played a part in the reason it was double-renewed for a second and third season.
As for a release date? That’s where things get tricky.
Season 1 of the show released in April of 2022, post-pandemic. Season 2 released in August of 2023, so that’s about a 15 month gap between them. Not bad for a Netflix show, as it’s not uncommon to wait two years at time between releases.
While 15 months from now would be around November 2024, the wrench in the works here is the Writers and Actors Strikes. Even if scripts have already been worked on or written, based on the early season 3 renewal, the show could not film until at least the Actors Strike is resolved. With studios being intransigent about properly paying writers and actors in the new streaming era, the strike has no real end in sight right now. As such, it’s delaying essentially every TV and movie production, and Heartstopper will not be immune to this. As such, I think it may be at least 18 months or two full years until Heartstopper season 3 returns, even if there’s no waiting around for a Netflix renewal, unlike other shows.
As for what actually happens, author Alice Oseman has already talked about it a bit, based on the end of season 2:
“People who have read the comics will know what is going to happen but I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t been reading the comics,” Oseman said. “I think [Season 2’s ending] just sets up that conversation for next season. We know that Charlie loves Nick, and I think we know that Nick loves Charlie as well. It’s just about when and how they’re going to say that to each other.”
We are still within the source material, as she says, but again, we may be waiting a while to see it unfold onscreen.
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