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Room for Improvement

“Love, Victor” Is Getting a Third Season. Can It Fix the Show’s Issues?

Spoilers ahead for “Love, Victor” Seasons 1 and 2.

It’s official: “Love, Victor” is returning for Season 3.

The sequel series to the 2018 rom-com “Love, Simon” follows gay teenager Victor Salazar and his friends as they navigate high school. Season 1 saw Victor struggling with his sexuality and coming out to his family, while Season 2 focused on Victor’s relationship with his boyfriend Benji and his mother’s difficulty with acceptance.

In June, when Season 2 dropped on Hulu, I wrote about my mixed feelings toward “Love, Victor.” TLDR: I’m a sucker for all gay media, but the show’s narrow presentation of gay men and its casting of straight actors left a sour taste in my mouth. I said then that I was hopeful for Season 2, that it might be a little gayer and expansive with Victor out of the closet. Did it live up to those expectations?

I’m a sucker for all gay media, but the show’s narrow presentation of gay men and its casting of straight actors left a sour taste in my mouth.

Kinda, yeah! In my opinion, Season 2 was leaps ahead of Season 1 in terms of how it presented life as a gay teen. Victor dealt with homophobia and allyship from his classmates, conflict in his relationships with family and friends — even the lack of education on gay sex. Season 1 was originally produced to stream on Disney+, so the whole thing was pretty sanitized, but with Season 2 being made for Hulu, they could tackle topics like sex head-on. One episode literally revolved around being inconsolably horny. In another, Victor’s mom walked in on him having sex.

The show also has a pretty excellent ensemble cast, which was far more developed in this season than the first. These characters opened up conversations about mental health, body image, addiction — stuff the show largely avoided in Season 1.

With Season 2 being made for Hulu, they could tackle topics like sex head-on. One episode literally revolved around being inconsolably horny. In another, Victor’s mom walked in on him having sex.

My favorite addition to Season 2 is the character Rahim. I’d previously complained that the show’s only two gay main characters, Victor and Benji, were super straight-passing and masc in a way that, while being true to some people’s experience, felt like a missed opportunity to reflect the diversity of gay men. Enter Rahim, who at long last brings some femme energy to the show. One episode sees Rahim get rejected by another guy for being too flamboyant, which, YES, is exactly the kind of storyline I wanted to see in the first season.

Rahim’s actor, Anthony Keyvan, has never publicly confirmed his sexuality. So, yeah, we’re still waiting on “Love, Victor” to actually cast openly queer actors to tell queer stories. But at least they’re diversifying the stories they tell: Rahim’s identity as Iranian-American and Muslim is an awesome step for representation on the small screen, and on the show, it leads to conversations about interracial dating and queerness in relation to race.

So, what do I want to see from Season 3? Some WLW representation would be lovely, and the Season 2 finale seemed to be setting that up. More queer characters are always a plus for me, or at least exploration of more facets of queerness with the characters we already have. I’d love to see someone on the show explore their gender identity.

Of course, I also love the show for what it already is: a teen dramedy with lovable characters and outlandish plotlines. More relationship drama! More budding love connections! More Rahim! (I love Rahim, if that wasn’t clear.)

Season 3 will probably be on Hulu in June of 2022 — that month is when the first two seasons premiered, but nothing’s official yet. Either way, I hope “Love, Victor” can keep up its Season 2 trajectory and deliver that sweet, sweet queer TV we crave.

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