Categories
Film & TV Reviews

TV REVIEW: Love, Victor

This month’s book club pick is Becky Albertalli’s Love, Creekwood. Released in the same month (Pride Month June 2020) was Hulu’s Love, Victor, a 10 episode spin-off series of the film Love, Simon.

The series is created by Love, SimonĀ scriptwriters Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Love, Simon was criticised for its very white and privileged, upper middle-class, coming-out-story. The creators have attempted to correct this with the focus on Latinx teenager with conservative working-class parents.

Michael Cimino stars a Victor Salazar, a half Puerto Rican and half Columbian teenager who moves to Atlanta from Texas with his family.

Victor (Michael Cimino)

Unlike Simon, Victor lives in a modest apartment with his working-class religious parents Isabel and Armando (Ana Oritz and James Martinez), and younger siblings Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) and Adrian (Mateo Fernandez).

Ortiz not surprisingly is the standout of the cast. It is good to see the characters of Victor’s parents more developed than the parents in Love, Simon.

As soon as the Salazar family arrive they meet socially awkward neighbour and fellow Creekwood High student Felix Weston (Anthony Turpel). Felix is definitely my favourite character.

Isabel (Ana Oritz)
Victor (Michael Cimino) and Pilar (Isabella Ferreira)
Felix (Anthony Turpel)

Victor finds himself drawn both to popular Creekwood High student Mia Brooks (Rachel Hilson) and openly gay coffee shop co-worker Benji Campbell (George Sear).

Victor questioning his sexuality reaches out to Simon Spier (from Love, Simon) via Instagram DM. Nick Robinson reprises his role narrating the messages to Victor. He also makes a guest appearance towards the end of the series. Keiynan Lonsdale also reprises his role as Bram.

Mia (Rachel Hilson) and Victor (Michael Cimino)
Victor (Michael Cimino) and Benji (George Sear)

Natasha Rothwell, who played drama teacher Ms. Albright in the film is now Vice Principal, but disappointingly only appears in the first episode. Comedienne Ali Wong fills the comic relief teacher void playing sex education teacher Ms. Thomas.

The core cast is rounded out with Mia’s social media obsessed friend Lake Meriwether (Bebe Wood) and arrogant bully jock Andrew (Mason Gooding).

The series is charming, but unfortunately like Love, Simon it is rather safe in its LGBTQ+ portrayal. It has been renewed for a second season, so hopefully next season it will push the envelope further.

Felix (Anthony Turpel), Victor (Michael Cimino), Mia (Rachel Hilson), Lake (Bebe Wood)
Categories
Book Club Pick

Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli

Book Club Pick: October 2020


Title: Love, Creekwood

Author: Becky Albertalli

Series: Novella in the Simonverse

Country: United States of America

Publisher: Penguin Books

First Published: 2020

Pages: 111

Publisher Description:

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.

Now the Creekwood crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began – by email.

Review:

Love, Creekwood is a novella that serves as an epilogue to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015), The Upside of Unrequited (2017), and Leah on the Offbeat (2018).

It follows Simon, Bram, Leah and Abby during their freshmen year of college.

The novella is epistolary and is told entirely in emails back and forth between the Creekwood gang, which also includes emails from Nick, Garrett and Taylor, but the focus is on the relationships of the core four.

Leah and Abby are college dorm roommates, but Simon and Bram are in a long distance relationship with Simon in Philadelphia and Bram in New York City.

The novella is only 111 pages, so it is a quick read. It is definitely one for fans of the Simonverse series, as it reveals key plot points from the earlier novels, such as the identity of Blue. While it was sweet and nostalgic revisiting these characters I felt that the story was lacking substance.

Albertalli is donating royalty profits from the book to American LGBTQ+ organisation The Trevor Project.

Love, Creekwood was released during Pride Month June 2020 alongside the Hulu series Love, Victor, which is a 10 episode spin-off series of the film adaptation Love, Simon.

Click here to read my review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Click here to read by review of Leah on the Offbeat

Click here to read my review of the film Love, Simon

Links:

Becky Albertalli Official Website

Becky Albertalli on Facebook

Becky Albertalli on Twitter

Becky Albertalli on Instagram

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.