Sometimes Rushed, The Final Season Bows On A Positive Note


It’s no accident that the third and final season of Love Victor, Hulu’s hit coming-of-age LGBTQ series, is being released in June. It’s Pride month after all, and it’s nice to see familiar LGBTQ characters and allies whom audiences have grown to love. There’s plenty to savor from the get-go at the beginning of Season 3 (dropping June 15 on Hulu and Disney +) with Victor (Michael Cimino), coming off of last season’s “gosh, golly, who’s Victor going to choose as his dreamboat — Benji or Rahim?” That dilemma gets handled immediately, with a few creative twists tossed into the mix before the first episode fades to black. Meanwhile, other characters are seemingly besieged with major life changes, too. High school. What can you do?


Overall, the entire season finds Victor (Michael Cimino) going on another journey of self-discovery. There’s this business of him deciding who he wants to be with — and why — but even more importantly, who he really wants to be as a person. Basically, who is Victor without all that fuss of dating and romance? The series, based on the movie Love Simon (which was based on the young adult novel “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda”), brought along the film’s original writers, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, for the ride in what, thus far, has been an enjoyable romp through two seasons. It’s been sweet. Occasionally too sweet for its own good. So, what’s the verdict on Season 3?

Growing Pains

There’s a moment in the latter half of the season’s eight-episode run where one character sums up everything about Season 3: “Sometimes we think we know what we want with every fiber of our being — and then life happens.” That’s a big lesson for all the characters here. For starters, post-high-school plans beckon for Victor and his posse. They must determine their best choices moving forward. As a result, there are times this go around where things feel a bit rushed in an attempt to quickly wrap things up and tie them up in a pretty creative bow. What occasionally gets lost in the mix are storylines that could have lingered a bit longer and characters we could have witnessed diving deeper into some of the complex issues they’re facing. After all, it takes a while to move through sexual identity, restoring trust of an unstable parent, or even coming to terms with the fact that you’ll be living away from both of your parents. Teens are mighty resilient in the 21st century, but they’re also human. Several more episodes could have smoothed out a few things, but here we are.

Related: The Janes Review: Fighting for Abortion Rights Before Roe v. Wade

Still, these characters have an infectiously addictive quality to them. It’s hard not to enjoy them as they handle their individual crises. Or, for that matter, some of their hair product. (Ahem, we’re looking at you, Felix, played by an expertly coiffed Anthony Turpel). Cimino once again infuses Victor with charm and likeability. You root for him even though you can see where his questionable actions will lead him. And, at times, predict where the writers will take Victor next as he wrestles with his relationship choices. Could fate be nudging him down other paths? Maybe it’s time for him to fully come into his own and not be defined by his relationships. Kudos to the writers who deliver a clever twist to that love triangle established between Victor, Benji (George Sear), and Rahim (Anthony Keyvan), forcing the latter two characters to learn more about each other — whether they want to or not. What a refreshing surprise. In fact, Keyvan stands out among the cast this season and as we learn more about his backstory, you could easily see an entirely new series being developed, centering around him, a confident gay Muslim youth taking on the world. Meanwhile, the writers give Sear plenty of opportunities to explore different layers of Benji, who’s grappling with addiction and understanding true intimacy. We haven’t delved that deeply into Benji other than how Victor experiences him, so it’s refreshing to see another aspect of this character.

Other interesting developments arrive via Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson), who, if you recall, was heartbroken about her breakup with Victor… so many episodes ago. She wound up with hunk Andrew (Mason Gooding) and the two proved to be a good emotional fit. Actually they’re the most grounded couple of the Creekwood High School bunch and the actors portraying them offer new levels of depth into who they really are. Most at stake this season is how Mia surfs through a series of unexpected emotional twists revolving around her parents and her new stepmother.

The Love Victor Effect


Love Victor started out strong and over the course of two seasons, the writers had a tendency to create contrived scenarios, most of which fell upon Victor’s parents (Ana Ortiz, James Martinez). I never found either character that believable and Season 3, which the introduction of PFLAG meetings and daughter Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) coming of age, there are some missed opportunities in parent-child dynamics that could have played out longer, having a greater impact. The creative team tends to keep things sweet even as their plots come to a slow boil. But that’s why we dig Love Victor, after all. Eventually, you can’t escape its charm.

What begins as a season front-loaded with far too many twists manages, in fact, to surprise us over the last four episodes. Mia, Rahim, and Benji emerge as the strongest characters on this ride. True, Victor contends with his own dilemmas and comes to terms with a great deal, but it doesn’t always have the same kind of impact as the other troika’s story arcs. There’s a nice wink in the script to the character of Simon, who began our TV coming-of-age tale. Like the film, the series, fittingly, wraps up nicely — with far too many moving pieces no less — coming full circle in the final episode. We’re reminded of how far Victor has come and — this is nice — something to ponder: that life itself keeps going ’round and ’round. At times, it may feel as if we’re just going along for the ride, but somewhere underneath it all, there’s a deeper purpose. Hang on tight or just go with the flow. Either way, the series seems to tell us that we eventually end up right where we belong.

Season 3 of Love Victor hits Hulu and Disney+ on June 15.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *