TV series that spin off from movies can be hit or miss.
Hits include, of course, Bates Motel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fargo.
As for misses, they’re all so bad and lasted such a short time they’re not even worth mentioning. (But on a “misses” side note, is Miz Cracker really turning out to be the villain of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 5?)
Fortunately, there’s a new TV comedy debuting today on Hulu that fits squarely in the hits category: Love, Victor. This spin-off of the charming Love, Simon captures all the same John Hughes-esque storytelling with a mix-tape-worthy soundtrack, but tweaks the story enough to feel fresh but familiar.
Centered around Latinx high schooler Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino), the 10-episode season finds the handsome, young gay man and his family moving from Texas to Atlanta where he and his younger sister transfer to Creekwood High, the setting for Love, Simon.
Where Love, Simon featured a picture-perfect, affluent family that was so supportive of their son/brother coming out that it seemed like pure fantasy to many, Love, Victor makes it clear from the beginning that things won’t be quite so easy for him. And that’s definitely a plus when filling up five hours of plot.
Many familiar faces return for this small-screen sequel, including Simon himself (Nick Robinson) in voice only, vice principal Mr. Worth (Tony Hale) in a hilarious and very 2020-style cameo, and drama teacher Ms. Albright (Natasha Rothwell) who now has an upgraded and recurring role.
You’ll also find familiar faces in the new cast, including Victor’s mom (Ana Ortiz) from Ugly Betty and Devious Maids, as well as the ever-talented Bebe Wood, a young woman we’ve watched grow up on one gay show after another (The New Normal, The Real O’Neals).
The whole thing feels like a big comforting bowl of soup (or lobster mac and cheese if that’s more your thing). It’s definitely exploring a different coming-out process than what we went through and that’s really fun to watch, even if we’re a bit jealous of the kids who walk around their 100% true selves through the high school hallways.
If you loved Love, Simon, you’re going to love Love, Victor, too. And even if you didn’t see the movie, it won’t affect your enjoyment of this sweet, sometimes messy tale of embracing one’s LGBTQ identity amid all the requisite teen drama.
Love, VictorPhoto courtesy of Hulu