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Heartbreak High (2022) season 1 review – the new gold standard for teen drama

September 14, 2022

This Netflix Heartbreak High (2022) Season 1 review is spoiler-free.

READ: 5 reasons to watch Heartbreak High.

READ: Everything we know about Heartbreak High.

Let’s put aside the obvious comparisons. Yes, the Netflix reboot in 2022 Raised from heartache it’s a bit like Euphoria and many like Sex education. Overall, neither comparison is likely to be a bad thing – they’re both highly rated and widely watched shows, after all – but both understate what’s really been achieved here. So, yeah, while any show set in high school that primarily revolves around gender and identity will draw comparisons to the most prominent high school shows about gender and identity, don’t let that put you off. Raised from heartache is not a cheap imitation. In fact, it could be the new gold standard of the genre. In a few years, I might open another review on a show that looks suspiciously like Raised from heartache.

You can forget the original. This version of Hartley High is twenty years later, but just in time, a decidedly progressive and undeniably Australian coming-of-age story about awkward teenagers embroiled in a sexy scandal. It’s crude and sometimes explicit, much more than the soapy shenanigans you imagine when you think of the original, which ran for seven seasons in the ’90s and, with Neighbors and At home and away, was part of Australia’s triumvirate of pre-streaming mega-hits. At least everyone still dresses like they did in the 90s, but fashion trends have always been a snake biting its tail. Eventually the cold gets past and then cooler than ever.

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Raised from heartache has a pretty fluid definition of what’s cool. Its students are extremely diverse in appearance, background, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. There are archetypes, but almost all of them are quickly subverted, and the dynamic established across eight episodes frequently defies all genre expectations. No one is quite what they seem, which is intimately tied to the series’ catalyzing incident – the discovery of an “incest card” in a closed stairwell that chronicles in Explicit detail of all relationships, dating, and rumors that the New Year 11 has been involved.

The Incest Map is the work of best friends Amerie (Ayesha Madon) and Harper (Asher Yasbincek), though when the season begins they are no longer best friends for reasons that quickly form some sort of overarching mystery. . Amerie is perplexed when Harper shows up at school with a shaved head and no interest in talking to her. The last time they saw each other was at a festival, but Amerie doesn’t remember what happened there. Either way, it caused Harper to radically reinvent herself and distance herself completely from Amerie.

But while it’s the macro plot, the micro plot is much more centered around a new class of sex education set up for the benefit of everyone who’s been named on the incest map. This includes Amerie and Harper, as well as the peripheral characters who, throughout the season, become their friends, lovers and rivals – famous idol Dusty (Josh Heuston), best friends Darren (James Majoos) and Quinni (Chloe Hayden ), troubled bad boy Ca$h (Will McDonald), new kid Malakai (Thomas Weatherall) and a few more. The class is taught by Jojo (Chika Ikogwe), a hip and understanding new teacher who continually clashes with former principal Woodsy, who prefers to just pretend none of this is happening.

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The breakdown of a friendship is treated very similarly to the breakdown of a relationship here – Amerie claims to have been “dumped” multiple times – and given the seriousness it deserves for the way it upends multiple lives. Driven to move into new crowds, reinvent themselves, and ultimately work through personal issues, Amerie and Harper are our reluctant guides through a social hierarchy that even they are unsure of. They once thought the map they drew could keep everything in order, but we soon learn that drugs, alcohol, consent, identity, sexuality, and social class intertwine in such complicated ways and unexpected that no wall could ever contain the cobweb that would ensue. drama.

It helps that Raised from heartache is so diverse. Most shows are these days, of course, but usually in a symbolic, tokenistic way, so they can uphold the same values ​​without being criticized as easily. This show doesn’t just have a non-binary character, but one that was written for a non-binary actor. It’s the same with Quinni’s autism, which is accurately and sensitively described. These people cannot be reduced to their “thing”; they’re more than that, as they always have been, and it’s a refreshing show that underscores the importance of empathy without also courting pity.

And the young cast of newcomers are all up to the challenge of bringing these characters to life – there’s no doubt in my mind that many careers will come off the back of this show. Madon, who only has one previous credit, is as capable a lead as any I’ve seen recently, and Majoos, who IMDb says has never been on anything before, is an absolute delight. But everyone is fine here; everyone feels like they belong, even if their entire character arc doesn’t match up at all.

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If any show deserves the kind of widespread attention that Netflix can facilitate, it’s this one.

You can stream Heartbreak High (2022) season 1 exclusively on Netflix.

Heartbreak High (2022) season 1 review – the new gold standard for teen drama appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.