Heartstopper's creator Alice Oseman has revealed all about a major storyline which will take place in season two of the hit Netflix show.
Speaking exclusively to HELLO! ahead of our Pride coverage next month, Alice – who is both the writer and a producer of the TV adaptation of her webcomic series – opened up about what the show's second season has in store for one of its main characters: Isaac.
"Isaac is going to have an asexual and aromantic storyline in Heartstopper," Alice, who uses she/they pronouns said. They later elaborated that Isaac's identity focused story would be "introduced in a big way" in season two.
Previously, the graphic novel and show creator told Attitude about her plans to give Charlie's friend an asexual and aromantic coming out story, but now Alice has both confirmed and elaborated on these plans. "We've got a lot of characters in Heartstopper," the Radio Silence author admitted, "So it's not, like, the main focus of the story… but it is a storyline that is built on through the season."
Alice also revealed that they are planning for Isaac's asexual and aromantic coming out story to continue to feature in future seasons of the show – which was renewed by Netflix for two more seasons in May 2022.
"I hope to carry it on in season three, because there's a lot to unpack, there's a lot to explore, and there's a lot to be said… I'm very excited!" the creative, who identifies as both ace and aro herself, continued.
MORE: Heartstopper hints at important season two storyline you might have missed
Discussing the topic of Isaac's story in Heartstopper as well as the lack of asexual and aromantic representation in media and in society, Alice said: "I think we've made so much progress in terms of representation in books… young adult fiction is doing so much, not just for ace and aro rep, but all queer rep."
However, they continued by explaining how sadly, it's unlikely such representation will ever succeed to be quite as impactful in influencing a change in societal understanding as TV and film can be. "For that reason it was very important and I really wanted to have some kind of ace-aro story in Heartstopper, the show," they said.
DISCOVER: Heartstopper creator reveals why major character was left out of Netflix show
"The comics, as of right now, don't have any ace or aro characters in them," the illustrator and author continued. "But with the TV show, I have more space and more scope to do more with other characters and new characters, and one of those new characters is Isaac… I knew I was really excited to do that and determined to [write this storyline]," she finished.
As an asexual and aromantic individual, creating this kind of representation in media is especially important for Alice, whose 2020 novel Loveless also provides some much-needed ace and aro representation through telling the coming out story of Georgia, an ace-aro student who struggles with her identity during her first year at university.
SEE: The cast of Heartstopper on how they created Netflix's most joyous show
Asexuality is defined as experiencing little to no sexual attraction, while aromanticism is defined as feeling little to no romantic interest in others. It should be noted that the labels 'asexual' and 'aromantic' contain with them a huge spectrum of experiences, and are not always shared identities, as it is possible to be one and not the other. However, many like Alice (and her characters) do identify as both ace and aro.
READ: Heartstopper reveals future after season one - and fans have major reaction
Neither asexuality nor aromanticism is particularly well understood by society, so it's hugely exciting news that such a popular show like Heartstopper will be giving screen time to exploring the experience of an ace and aro character. Heartstopper season two will be released on Netflix on 3 August, 2023.
Don't want to miss a story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter and get the heads-up on the shows and films everyone’s talking about.