Victor Ends His Story After Three Years
In 2018, The movie Love, Simon made news by being a movie about a gay teenager coming out (though not by choice) in high school that was screened in movie theaters along with all the other mainstream films. It’s not often that movies with gay main characters get released with a higher profile. Having that movie spin off into a TV show is something even more rare. That’s what happened in 2020 though when Love, Victor aired on Hulu. No spoiler banner since a lot of this has been on Hulu for a while, but I will be talking about stuff in all three seasons.
The show followed the movie with Victor Salazar starting school at the same high school that Simon went to. For the first season, Victor even talked to Simon online regarding what he was going through. Simon took to helping Victor pretty easily with Nick Robinson (Simon from the movie) being the voice behind Simon’s messages as well as appearing in two episodes. Victor lives with his parents and his younger brother and sister. The actor playing his father, James Martinez, played Carlos, a gay man, in Bear City and Bear City 2. I recognized him right away and found it quite ironic. Early on, the younger brother was given interests and activities that read as gay stereotypes and that his family (especially the extended family) would react negative to due to Hispanic machismo. This was then used to keep Victor in the closet with his family until the end of the first season.
Other major characters were Felix (his neighbor who becomes his best friend), Mia (who becomes his girlfriend through the early parts of the first season), Lake (a wealthy friend of Mia’s who falls for Felix), Andrew (Mia’s ex at the start of the show), and Benji (an openly gay student at the school that Victor is immediately attracted to). Throughout the first couple seasons, you get the normal teenage storylines. Victor dates Mia but falls for Benji. He has to deal with admitting to himself he is gay, approaching Benji regarding his interest, and coming out. Mia catches a kiss between Victor and Benji before Victor comes out and has to deal with that. She ends up back with Andrew who really isn’t as bad of a guy as he initially seems. Lake is embarrassed to be seen with Felix at first because of him being kinda dory and less popular thank her, but she eventually gets over it. Obviously, Victor’s parents don’t take his coming out well, especially with his mother being as religious as she is but his sister and brother don’t have a problem with it.
Time moves on and people and relationships grow as we get into the second season. Armando, Victor’s father. comes around first in accepting Victor. This doesn’t mean that his temper doesn’t make him an ass in other situations though. Victor’s mother, Isabel, on the other hand takes longer but eventually realizes that her religion’s stance on being gay is the real problem causing her to tell off her priest, find a new church, and join PFLAG. Things falter some between Victor and Benji (who is revealed as a recovering alcoholic) which leads Victor to befriend his sister Pilar’s gay friend, Rahim. This also leads up to a season 2 cliffhanger regarding which of the two guys Victor will choose. The same party that causes that also ends with Felix and Pilar together while Lake is talking to Lucy, a girl who is working the party. Mia’s main storyline revolved around issues with her father who is looking at a job in another state, but that part doesn’t compare to the more interesting stories the other teenagers have.
Hulu finally dropped season 3 in June with eight weekly episodes and the news that this would be the final season. For a show like this to last three seasons isn’t really that bad. A lot of shows last less than that without having the topic of homosexuality ingrained in it. I guessed correctly that Victor would be at Benji’s door at the start of the season. Things are a little rocky as Benji’s alcoholism ends up not being as in control as he made it out to be so he ends up going off to rehab. Rahim initially wants nothing to do with Victor (for good reason) but ends up being Benji’s tutor when he gets back to school. Things get better between the three of them for the most part but Benji is told to keep his distance from Victor since he could be a trigger against his recovery. Lake ends up falling for Lucy and coming out to her mother who she also finally confronted about being way too overbearing. The mother’s realization about what she was doing and her explanation why was interesting but a bit abrupt. This wasn’t quite as abrupt as Mia’s turn around though. When her father left town for his job, Mia insisted on staying behind and lived with Lane since they had more than enough room in the house. When her step-mother gives birth and she goes back to visit, she makes a sudden decision to move back in with her father in a whole different state which seemed way too out of the blue. She was so adamant about staying in the town with her friends that the sudden change of heart around the time of the birth wasn’t too believable. Her relationship with Andrew, his almost fanatical devotion to her all of a sudden, and then her dumping him to avoid a long distance relationship was a bit too much to believe. The build up with Pilar and Felix and then break up when her father goes a bit psycho about their relationship was a lot to take in. Armando flies off the handle and won’t even listen to her about anything making him almost unlikable. Then he gives this explanation for his reaction that somehow just makes it alright. Victor wins a newly made “bravery award” for coming out (which means the three seasons have been in one school year) and his speech makes everyone realize how they have to be brave, confront things they have been avoiding, and everything comes together with a happy bow. That is except Pilar and Felix who aren’t together but are still friends. If everyone had gotten back together for a happy ending, it would have been too much. The series ends with Benji meeting Victor at the ferris wheel which seems to be the center for gay relationships in the city. That scene was a little too cheesy of a way to end the series since Love, Simon ended there too.
While I enjoyed the final season of Love, Victor, I think the first two were better. The pace was a lot smoother early on and it seemed like they were trying to rush too much into the story before the series ended. I’d definitely recommend watching the season (or the whole series if you haven’t already) since it’s still a good show. I just think they needed to tone down a few of the characters and maybe have had a few more episodes to give them time to do everything they were trying to do this season.