“I come from a world that didn’t tell me about me,” said actor and director Tucké Royale in a recent interview with SZ Magazin. Royale was one of 185 signatories who called for more visibility from queer actors and roles in the German cinema and TV landscape under the keyword “ actout”. Generations of gay and lesbian Germans know what Royale is talking about: their stories are simply not told in film and television in this country. A 2017 study by the University of Rostock found that this is not just a purely subjective feeling. According to this, 60 percent of the protagonists on German television can be clearly identified as heterosexual; in 40 percent, sexuality is not an issue. Or, to put it another way: there are hardly any clearly homosexual characters.
Not much has changed since then, apart from a few laudable exceptions. Gays and lesbians appear on German television, if at all, mostly marginally – in small roles, as the brother of the main character, as a sidekick. Independent stories that deal with their experiences are rarely told. It’s different with Netflix and Co .: In streaming services, there is hardly a series that can do without gay and lesbian characters – sometimes without heterosexual ones.
At Disney +, however, the mouse company’s very good streaming portal, diversity has not necessarily been a top priority so far. But that is also slowly changing now. From February 23, the service will be offering its users dozens of films and series for older viewers under the “Star” label, including many classics such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “
The X Files”. And – as one of four so-called “Star Originals” – also the enchanting series “Love, Victor” about a young man in search of himself.
“Love, Victor” sees itself as a kind of continuation of the box office hit “Love, Simon” from 2018. In the film adaptation of the novel “Just Three Words” by Becky Albertalli, Nick Robinson played a high school student who turned himself into a boy from his online School in love – but doesn’t know who the stranger is. “Love, Simon” was typical Hollywood fare, but also something special because never before had a big studio dared to do a gay teen comedy. This courage was rewarded with an overwhelming success at the US box office.
Simon is the narrator
Simon, played by Robinson, now appears in “Love, Victor”, but only virtually, as the chat partner of the main character Victor (Michael Cimino). He has just moved from Texas to Atlanta with his family and is now supposed to attend Simon’s former high school. And because he is of course nervous about what to expect there, and he is also not sure whether he is into girls or boys, he turns to Simon, who from now on accompanies him as the narrator of the series. This is a nice trick of the series makers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who already wrote the script for “Love, Simon” and are now taking the viewer back into the world of film that they have come to love.
The re are the annoying and embarrassing teachers, the nerdy but sincere classmates, the stupid thugs who secretly long for love. And of course the girl with the cute smile that everyone likes – including Victor. But there is also Benji (George Sear), the openly gay guy with the tight T-shirt who turns Victor’s head just as much as Mia (Rachel Hilson), the cute girl from his class …
All of this is told sensitively, very humorous and never too politically correct. Often, “Love, Victor” misses the kitsch, but at the last second it becomes so wonderfully sincere and disarmingly honest that it makes your heart warm. And with Michael Cimino, the series, which can be seen in the US on streaming service Hulu, also has an incredibly charming leading actor.
“Everyone deserves a great love,” read the movie posters for “Love, Simon” two years ago. You could also say: everyone deserves their own teen series, including gay and lesbian teenagers and all those who don’t yet know what they’re into. “Love, Victor” now fulfills this promise wonderfully. It will be interesting to see when something like this will also be possible on German television.
Source: teleschau – der mediendienst GmbH