Arguably three episodes are not enough to determine the quality of the remaining season of a television show. The three episodes merely serve as a potential hook to get you in. The burden then falls to everyone involved in the show to make sure you stick with them through the end of the season and hopefully into the next, assuming the series receives a renewal.
The first three episodes of Love, Victor did an outstanding job at introducing a new slate of characters in this same universe as the movie Love, Simon, and yet give them enough familiarity so that we don’t feel like we’re watching something entirely different. This series maintained the creative direction established early on and developed each of the characters in a highly believable manner given the number of episodes the creative team was dealing with.
Probably the biggest surprise, in terms of character arc, came from the parents, Armando and Isabel Salazar. The series saw their marriage go through some very difficult challenges, and I applaud the fact that instead of taking the easy way out by having them either separate very early on or simply fake it for the sake of the children, there was plenty of storytelling time that allowed the viewer to see the difficulties as well as address the very problems that brought those difficulties out. Their marriage difficulties were handled with incredible sensitivity and honesty. It’s very possible by doing this they were communicating to young viewers that while some marriages don’t work out (and hopefully we’ll see a reconciliation next season) that the one simple truth is the love that both parents still have for their children.
The young members of the cast also had some wonderful moments that gave added depth to their characters, including one very uncomfortable scene with Lake while her mother does nothing but berate her. This provided the final pieces to the puzzle as to why Lake behaves in the manner that she does, turning her from a shallow and unlikable character to one who has a great deal of strength while trying to handle her own insecurities. Even Felix, with all of his goofy goodness, has his private hell he must live with in addition to a certain amount of shame. However, the heart of this series is about Victor as he tries to come to a certain level of understanding. The writers did not give some pollyanna storyline but instead showed him making some poor choices (he is a teenager after all) regarding himself and those he interacts with. He nearly bungles a surprise trip to New York, but an equally surprise encounter with Simon (the very Simon from Love, Simon), along with Simon’s boyfriend Bram (both actors Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale reprise their movie roles) help to show Victor some of the errors in his thinking. Lastly, there is the relationship that Victor has with girlfriend Mia. Instead of putting the entire focus of the story on Victor, the series takes the time to show how dating partners of the opposite sex might be negatively affected when learning that the person of their affection doesn’t share or fully reciprocate those feelings. The writers were terribly clever by introducing a new “element” to Mia’s life that she had difficulty reconciling with, but they were able to find a very touching way for Mia to handle that family problem because of her unfortunate breakup with Victor.
If there is one cliché it is how Victor finally made his grand announcement. It was very easy to guess how this would play out, and yet the scene had just the right amount of tension so that when Victor finally does say “I am gay“ the abrupt ending of the season finale ended up leaving me holding my breath.
Love, Victor’s first season is unquestionably a success. Everything about this series was done right. The casting for this series is perfect, the direction is excellent, the storytelling is perfectly paced and distributed among all of the primary and even secondary characters, and the acting is unbelievably solid. Love, Victor is an outstanding series and treats those in the LGBTQ community with dignity and class. Regardless of who you are, if you are a part of the LGBTQ community, or if you simply know someone who is in the LGBTQ community, you should take it upon yourself to watch what is not only a highly entertaining series but a truthfully informative one as well.
Season 1 of Love, Victor receives 5 out of 5 espressos!