After 2018’s coming-of-age dramedy film “Love, Simon” received no love at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards — including for leading man Nick Robinson, who was expected to make the cut in Best Film Comedy Actor — its Hulu spinoff series “Love, Victor” is now hoping to win over the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s heart and snag a Best Comedy Series nom.
Released in its entirety on June 17, the 10-episode debut installment chronicles 16-year-old Victor Salazar’s (Michael Cimino) journey toward self-discovery after he and his family move from Texas to Shady Creek, Atlanta. Getting a taste of the legacy Simon Spier (Robinson) — who is out of the closet and in a happy relationship by the end of the movie — left behind at Creekwood High, Victor begins to reach out to him via social media when he finds himself conflicted about his own sexual orientation. Meanwhile, he faces a number of additional challenges at home, most prominently his parents’ slowly unraveling marriage.
“Love, Victor” benefits greatly from its longer, episodic format in that it can, and does, take the time to develop its characters more gingerly. Coming out is often portrayed as being a fast, simple process when, more often than not, it’s a long, complicated one. And it is no less the case for Victor, who, for most of the season, is torn between his relationship with the well-liked Mia (Rachel Hilson) and simultaneous crush on the openly gay, handsome Benji (George Sear).
The show brings it home in its eighth episode, “Boy’s Trip,” in which Victor travels to New York to visit Simon and his friends, who offer the sense of comfort and community he needs to finally come to terms with his sexual orientation. But, as the show then accurately depicts, even when you’re ready to officially come out, it isn’t always the smoothest of processes: For Victor, it comes just moments after his parents announce that they’re separating for the time being, and, at least for now, at the expense of his friendship with Mia, who catches him and Benji locking lips in the finale. Neither complication takes away from Victor’s triumph; instead, the former makes his strength and courage shine brighter, while the latter serves as a reminder that coming out isn’t a permission slip for dishonesty, thus accentuating that queer characters are allowed to be just as humanly imperfect as their straight counterparts.
Despite “Love, Simon’s” omission in 2019, the HFPA has been quite welcoming of LGBTQ+ storylines, with recent recognized projects including “Rocketman” (three bids, two wins for Best Original Song and Taron Egerton in Best Comedy/Musical Actor, 2019), “Bohemian Rhapsody” (two wins for Best Drama Film and Rami Malek in Best Drama Actor), “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (two bids, 2018), “The Favourite” (five bids, win for Olivia Colman in Best Comedy Actress, 2019), “Call Me By Your Name” (three bids, 2017), “Moonlight” (six bids, win for Best Drama Film, 2016) on the film side; “Killing Eve” (four bids, one win, 2019-present), “Pose” (three bids, 2019-present), “The Politician” (two bids, 2019-present), “Will & Grace” (30 bids, 1998-present) and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (four bids, two wins, 2019) on the TV side.
“Love, Victor” would be Hulu’s second series to break through in the Golden Globes’ Best Comedy Series category, the first being “Casual” in 2016. But it isn’t the only Hulu show gunning to pull off this same feat next year, with “The Great,” “Ramy” and “Pen15” also in the mix. That being said, the HFPA has an affinity for first-season shows, all the more so if they can be the first group to plant their flag in them, both criteria of which only “Love, Victor” meets. “The Great” is also competing for its maiden outing but, like both “Ramy” and “Pen15,” is already Emmy-nominated. Racking up a Best TV Comedy Actor victory for its lead Ramy Youssef earlier this year, “Ramy” is the only one in the bunch to have already been acknowledged by the HFPA.
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