Love, Victor Season 2 is tough. Not quality-wise, by no means. Season 2 is sweeter, richer, and soapier than Season 1; Love, Victor actually comes into its personal this yr with a batch of episodes that explores this lovable forged—and has them play romantic musical chairs, main to binge-worthy drama. What’s tough about Season 2, although, is how visceral Ana Ortiz’s storyline is. In the center of a enjoyable and intensely flirty highschool romcom melodrama is Victor’s mom Isabel, a deeply devoted Catholic going by means of an existential disaster of religion and household that feels too actual—and that’s why it really works.
Season 1 confirmed that Victor (Michael Cimino) had it method rougher than his predecessor Simon, a conventionally engaging excessive schooler with tremendous liberal dad and mom and a brilliant future with a facet gig as an Insta-gay influencer forward of him. I liked Love, Simon and I liked that it gave us a popping out story that didn’t focus a lot on ache and angst because it did on, y’know, crushes and kissing. The gays want their enjoyable tales, too. Love, Victor established itself as its personal factor proper from the beginning, giving us a lead who’s Latinx, new on the town, and in low-key denial of his sexuality. Victor unquestionably had it rougher than Simon… however he did nonetheless find yourself with Benji (George Sear), the highschool’s most beautiful and assured homosexual.
After a season finale that ended with Victor popping out to his dad and mom after they revealed that they’re separating, Season 2 comes out swinging. The present tackles a storyline that, to be sincere, feels not possible to get proper.
Isabel is just not cool together with her son being homosexual.
This is tough to watch, as a result of that is nonetheless the expertise of too many queer folks—and it’s an expertise that TV has, for higher and for worse, moved previous. In depicting popping out tales on display screen, a lot of current ones function dad and mom who’re instantly accepting of their anxious baby—Love, Simon and Schitt’s Creek being two huge examples. That is nice, don’t get me improper. It’s great that popular culture, which may be a barometer of both the place our tradition is or the place the tradition is instantly headed, showcases dad and mom offering the unconditional help and love and understanding that comes with the gig. And if these depictions present actual dad and mom of questioning children how to act, or makes these questioning children really feel a little higher about themselves, then sure. Werk. Great! But the flip facet is, these simple popping out tales may be salt within the wounds of viewers whose private popping out experiences didn’t go so nicely.
To be clear—that doesn’t make what Love, Victor places mom and son by means of any simpler to look ahead to these of us whose outings didn’t have a fortunately ever after! It is hard to reside by means of that have after which watch it play out in entrance of you—however no less than it makes you and your expertise really feel seen. That’s one thing.
So yeah, Isabel’s journey is tough—and Love, Victor actually commits to displaying a beforehand likable character performed by the incredible Ana Ortiz doing one thing very improper. The one factor a guardian has to do—the one factor!—is love their child. Big “you had one job” power right here. And Isabel, as a result of of her religious Catholic upbringing, simply can’t wrap her head round this twist. And to make it even rougher for her and us, she is aware of she’s improper. She is aware of that is non secular propaganda, however we watch Isabel time and time once more unable to shake free from it. She agrees together with her religion in each different method, so how does she reconcile this? And whereas she’s grappling with this, her estranged husband Armando (James Martinez, doing a whole 180 from his homophobic dad on One Day at a Time) is bringing snacks to PFLAG conferences!
Isabel’s storyarc is probably going to alienate a lot of viewers as a result of, once more, one job. Season 2 exhibits Isabel making all of the very worst, and really correct, choices that a scared guardian makes. She is chilly in the direction of Benji, she runs to faith for solutions, she tells Victor that he can’t come out to his little brother as a result of he’s too younger to perceive—simply typing the phrases makes my blood sizzle. But all of that is very true to life, and the present correctly depicts Isabel battling each one of her steps down this improper path.
And then—SPOILERS for those who haven’t completed Season 2—the present pulls off what I absolutely believed to be not possible for 90% of the season. They… convey Isabel Salazar again to the sunshine, and so they really earn it. They really make her coming round really feel earned, and Ortiz—once more, incredible—performs Isabel’s ache and acceptance and disgrace and love suddenly. She sees that Victor’s little brother is sufficiently old to perceive—so why can’t she? The very church that she’s been turning to for steering damns her son—so why does she pay attention to them? Her son has his coronary heart damaged into items—so why is she prioritizing her confusion over his ache? After a season getting all the things improper, she lastly comes up with the proper solutions.
The turnaround Isabel does within the closing episodes of the season isn’t one thing I noticed coming, as a result of TV exhibits hardly ever commit to doing this a lot work over this many episodes for a predominant character. Shows usually don’t need to make characters you’re keen on unlikable, and actors in all probability don’t need to play them. That means we have a tendency to get the “everything is awesome!” dad and mom of Love, Simon, or the principally off-screen disapproving dad and mom whose arcs simply don’t occur.
Love, Victor, a TV romcom for teenagers, did the arduous work of displaying a lead character actually going by means of it for a very long time. It was arduous to watch, but it surely proved that these sorts of robust tales have to be advised too. If the dad and mom of Love, Simon present dad and mom of queer children how to be supportive, then Isabel Salazar on Love, Victor exhibits the dad and mom who’ve royally tousled how they’ll begin to make amends.