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Previously On… ‘Love, Victor’

What is Previously On…?

Awards Radar obviously loves film, but we also love our television and streaming series, too. The challenge is that once a series has a couple seasons behind it, jumping in can be intimidating. That is why we created “Previously On…” The column will provide full-series recaps of the most buzz-worthy shows by an Awards Radar writer who is also a super fan.

Our goal is to help create new fans who may have felt left out and also build excitement upon established fans. Use it as you may; as a way to catch up, a refresher, or just a fun way to revisit the characters and storylines you love. The column will cover each series’ best episodes and music, and moreWe proudly continue Previously On… with the Hulu Series, ‘Love, Victor.’ Let’s watch together.


‘Love, Victor’ Spoiler Free Series Summary

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203 — As summer break comes to an end, Victor grapples with his family’s reaction to his coming out. Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Inspired by the 2018 coming-of-age romantic dramedy Love, Simon, the Hulu series Love, Victor stars up-and-coming actor Michael Cimino as the titular character of a high school teenager struggling to come out as gay to his family and peers at Creekwood High School. Throughout the series, we follow Victor on his journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Serving as a common thread between the series and the film from which it’s based upon, Victor finds himself confiding much of his difficulties in coming out with recent Creekwood High alum Simon, who provides words of wisdom and guidance from someone who went through the exact anxieties and situations that Victor is finding himself in.

Love, Victor is created and executive produced by the television writing/producing duo Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. This 3-time Emmy nominated pairing of TV showrunners, known for critically-lauded This Is Us, brings comfort to the viewers that Love, Victor is in good hands as the series seeks to represent an accurate portrayal of friendships, relationships, sexuality, internal family struggle and divorce for a younger audience through the lense of teenagers.

As season one ends, Victor finally announces to his family that he is gay. The frame immediately cuts to black, depriving us of the long-awaited reaction that his parents may have to Victor’s coming out. The second season sets up for a family journey toward accepting Victor for who he is, with Victor still facing pressure toward coming out to the school after initially just telling his close friends. The second season is also set to tackle more serious issues, such as alcoholism, mental health, being involved in a love triangle and losing one’s virginity. With coming out of the closet beginning to be in his rear-view mirror, Victor is now under even more pressure as season two premieres this Friday, June 11, 2021.

Main Characters 

Courtesy of Hulu

Victor Salazar
(Michael Cimino)
A new student at Creekwood High School struggling with his identity surrounding his sexual orientation and adjusting to life in a new city.

Mia Brooks
(Rachel Hilson)
Victor’s intelligent, quick-witted friend and once-girlfriend while he was exploring his true identity. 

Courtesy of Hulu

Felix Winston
(Anthony Turpel) 
Victor’s quirky new neighbor and closest friend at Creekwood who demonstrates an eagerness to befriend him as he moves into town.

Lake Meriwether
(Bebe Wood)
Mia’s social media-obsessed best friend with a long-term goal of pursuing a career in public relations and a love interest of Felix.

Courtesy of Hulu
Courtesy of Hulu

Andrew
(Mason Gooding)
Student and arrogant basketball jock at Creekwood. Was romantically interested in Mia while she was dating Victor.

Benji Campbell
(George Sear)
Openly gay and charming student at Creekwood that Victor develops a crush on, and eventually begins a relationship with.

Courtesy of Hulu
Courtesy of Hulu

Pilar Salazar
(Isabella Ferreira)
Victor’s younger sister who is resentful of moving to a new city. 

Adrian Salazar
(Mateo Fernandez)
Victor and Pilar’s little brother.

Courtesy of Hulu
Courtesy of Hulu

Armando Salazar
(James Martinez)
Victor’s father.

Isabel Salazar
(Ana Ortiz)
Victor’s mother 

Courtesy of Hulu

Been avoiding watching Love, Victor?
Here’s why you should give it a chance. 

Love, Victor is a trailblazing series in representing the LGBTQ+ community for a younger audience to understand and relate to. The themes that “Love, Victor” highlights such as coming out, sex, infidelity, and divorce epitimoizes the high degree of confidence that the series has in its’ adolescent audience in being exposed to these real-world issues on the small screen. While staying away from typical “coming out” tropes of the past on-screen, “Love, Victor” brings an added level of nuance to the familiar story. Friendships are put to the test; a family is in jeopardy of being divided; and a significant other in a relationship is being unfairly led on. Victor must face all of these social dichotomies while hoping a loving and supportive environment will be there for him on the other side of all of the drama that is about to ensue.

Our 5 Favorite Episodes

(We do not recommend skimming through. the series, but if you want to revisit the very best episodes, here are our favorites).

  1. “Welcome to Creekwood” Season 1, episode 1
    Directed by Amy York Rubin; written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger
  2. “Boys’ Trip” Season 1, episode 8
    Directed by Todd Holland; written by Brian Tanen
  3. “Spotlight Party” Season 1, episode 2
    Directed by Jason Ensler; written by Brian Tenen 
  4. “Spring Fling” Season 1, episode 10
    Directed by Jason Ensler; written by Jillian Moreno
  5. “What Happens in Willacoochee” Season 1, episode 7
    Directed by Jay Karas; written by Danny Fernandez
Love, Victor — The popular teen dramedy returns as season two finds a newly out-of-the-closet Victor entering his junior year at Creekwood High. But being out brings with it new challenges as Victor faces a family struggling with his revelation, a heartbroken ex-girlfriend in Mia, and the difficulties of being an openly gay star athlete — all while navigating the excitement of his relationship with Benji. Victor (Michael Cimino) and Benji (George Sear), shown. (Photo Courtesy of Hulu)

PREVIOUSLY ON… SEASON ONE

Season One recap (***spoilers included***) 

Victor Salazar is a teenager who moves with his half Puero Rican, half Colombian-American family from a very conservative area of Texas to Atlanta, Georgia. Victor attends the same high school that Simon did in Love, Simon, the film the series is based upon. While Victor is hopeful that moving to a more progressive-minded city may allow him to easily be who he is, he is still faced with the struggle of coming out.

Soon after moving, Victor meets Felix, an awkward new neighbor who attends school with Victor. Felix, while occasionally being a slight annoyance to Victor, is quickly eager to befriend him to avoid feeling alone in a new community and a new school. Accompanying Victor to school, Felix introduces him to Mia and Lake. Mia immediately takes a liking to Victor, in which they subsequently begin to date. While Mia’s feelings for Victor as a boyfriend are genuine, Victor is still unsure of his true sexual identity and uses Mia to try convincing himself that he is “normal”. Soon, Victor gets a job working at a local coffee shop, a hotspot for students at the high school, where he gets closer with co-worker and fellow student Benji, an openly gay, confident, and charming student. Victor, upon first glance at Benji, immediately develops a liking toward – further complicating trying to come to the realization of his true identity.

As the season progresses, Victor realizes that his sexual attraction toward Mia is nonexistent and accumulates guilt for leading her on for a while. At the same time, he’s dealing with the difficulty of expressing his affection for Benji while still in the closet. It all reaches a bubbling point as the season comes to a close when Victor, after taking a much-needed trip to New York to visit Simon, finally realizes exactly who he is. Upon his return to Atlanta, Victor feels confident beginning to come out to those important to him, starting with Felix and culminating with Mia and, most importantly, his family. 

SEASON MVP:  Felix, the best friend that anyone would love to have. He was a reliable, trusted, and humorous confidant of Victor who provided much needed comfort and comic relief in moments of difficulty.

UNSUNG HERO:  Benji, acting as the emotional catalyst for Victor’s coming out by being the source of his first real crush.

KEY MOMENT: Victor’s first coming out to Felix. Felix, someone who doesn’t usually take himself seriously, reacts to Victor’s confession with the utmost of honor and grace.

Season One Review:

Love, Victor does a masterful job showcasing the anxieties and fears of being true to one’s identity for a largely younger audience. While the series may feel familiar to others that are also geared toward the teenage demographic, Love, Victor is blazing a trail by allowing the opportunity for LGBT kids to see themselves on screen in a mainstream series about love, relationships, and embarking on a journey of personal discovery. Love, Victor succeeds in avoiding a simply re-hash of the same story told in Love, Simon by delivering a more nuanced, complicating coming out challenge. While Simon wasn’t hesitant about coming out due to a potential lack of acceptance from his family and peers, this was a fear on Victor’s mind constantly. Coming from a religiously conservatives family that is half Puerto Rican and half Colombian, this particular coming out story aims, and succeeds in, speaking and relating to young viewers who are going through similar circumstances. And now, with Victor finally beginning to be open about his sexual identity, season two is looking to delve into more substantive issues facing adolescents with Victor finally being allowed to love.

Season 1 must-watch Episodes:

“Welcome to Creekwood” Season 1, episode 1
Directed by Amy York Rubin; written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger

“Boys’ Trip” Season 1, episode 8
Directed by Todd Holland; written by Brian Tanen

“Spring Fling” Season 1, episode 10
Directed by Jason Ensler; written by Jillian Moreno

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Written by Max Geschwind

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