The following post contains spoilers for Love, Victor‘s entire first season. If you have yet to finish your binge, look away!
Love, Victor‘s first season wrapped with four very big words — small in letter-count, but enormous in significance.
“Mom, Dad… I’m gay,” the titular teen admitted to parents Isabel and Armando, despite Victor’s season-long fears that his family won’t accept his sexuality. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait to see his parents’ response to the news: The Hulu dramedy ended immediately after Victor’s confession, and the show has yet to be formally renewed (though a writers’ room has been opened to begin exploring Season 2 storylines).
Victor’s coming out capped a first season full of adolescent confusion for the character, as he explored a romance with Creekwood High classmate Mia while harboring admittedly more intense feelings for his peer and coworker Benji. (Read our full finale recap here.)
On the heels of Love, Victor‘s full-season release earlier this month, TVLine spoke with co-showrunner Brian Tanen, who explained that finale cliffhanger, teased the future appearances of more Love, Simon characters and hinted at how a potential Season 2 — which, unlike Season 1, will not be produced for Disney+ — will “push the envelope” as Victor explores his sexuality.
TVLINE | First, I’m curious about the decision to end the season with Victor coming out to his family, rather than place that moment a few episodes earlier — or perhaps even hold it until Season 2. Why did this feel like the right time for that milestone?
I’m watching online as the fans react to the finale, and I think it’s this moment of both joy, but also frustration and nervousness, about what happens next for Victor. What that ending does is it really puts the audience in Victor’s shoes. It encapsulates the feeling of nervousness when you come out and you don’t know what the reaction of the person you’re telling is going to be. A number of people were asking, “Why can’t we see what happens next?” And for us, there is a certain amount of bravery in the action that Victor takes at the end of the season. He’s spent the entire season figuring out who he is, and now he has the courage and the confidence to say the words out loud. His journey has largely been within himself, so it felt like the right ending to let that final moment be about him and not the reaction of other people.
TVLINE | There’s also those few seconds when it seems Victor might not come out, now that his parents have announced their separation. Was it important to you and the writers that he fought that urge and followed through with his big news anyway?
Yes. There’s a feeling in that ending that he has to make a choice to tell his family, even though the timing isn’t good. He can decide, in that moment, whether he’s going to continue doing what he’s always done, which is go along to get along and keep the peace and try to hold his family together — or he can start living for himself.
A number of viewers have noted on Twitter that he says the words [“I’m gay”] and then he has this little exhalation. And it’s reflective of a moment in the film when Jennifer Garner’s character tells Simon, “You get to exhale now.” There’s a feeling of immediate release when Victor says the words, and for us to end on that moment felt triumphant.
TVLINE | We do see, throughout Season 1, that Victor’s parents are more conservative than Simon’s were — but there does seem to be a warmth from Isabel and Armando that suggests they could be more accepting of Victor’s big news than he’s expecting them to be. What can you tease about how they might respond in Season 2?
One of the benefits of being able to tell this story on television is that we get to see a full journey; we get to tell a longer story with more nuance and more problems and people changing. That was a real opportunity for us to tell a story that was different than the film. I’m a member of the LGBTQ community, and I had a relatively lovely experience coming out with my family, but I know so many people who had a more complicated journey. To us, it was important to tell a story that honored the difficult experiences that many LGBT youth go through. And we did not want to represent this homophobia as villainous. So many people [who are coming out] have family members who love them and are warm and care deeply about them, but they completely bungle their reaction to the coming out. And it doesn’t negate the love that is actually there, but it does mean the family has to grow and learn and eventually accept and have pride for their family member.
TVLINE | To that end, might we see a more self-assured Victor in Season 2, now that he’s come out to his parents?
I certainly hope so. If Season 1 is the story of a young person figuring out who they are and what they want, Season 2 can be all the exciting things that happen next: first love, first relationship, first sexual experiences. All the rich fabric of the teenage experience, but told through a gay lens.
TVLINE | Of course, the show was originally ordered at Disney+ before it landed at Hulu. Did that move happen after production on Season 1 had wrapped?
That’s right, yes. We made the show for Disney+ and as we were in the final stages of editing, a decision was made to move the show over to Hulu.
TVLINE | But now, you’d go into a potential second season knowing you’re on Hulu. Do you expect to change the tone at all for Season 2? Are you interested in making it edgier moving forward?
I’m hopeful, now that it lives on Hulu, that some of the same audiences that might have seen it on Disney+ will still get to see it on Hulu. I think it’s an important and helpful thing for families to be able to watch together. In my mind, there’s no reason why a family — even with younger teens — wouldn’t be able to watch this together. It’s mostly wholesome and a really sweet and sincere message of inclusion and love.
But, for me, it’s a gigantic win that we are on Hulu moving forward. It opens our ability to tell more adult stories. One of the biggest critiques of representation of gay people in media is that we are sometimes neutered, which is to say we can be the funny sidekick, we can be a sassy best friend, but you rarely see a drama centered on a gay protagonist who has sexual feelings and experiences and gets to be the romantic lead. And here we have that opportunity, and we’d love to tell sexier stories. That’s going to be so much more exciting on a network like Hulu, which, since they’ve adopted us, have been so supportive of the show and incredible partners.
I think it’s OK to say that right now, the writers’ room is discussing a storyline where a straight character and an LGBT character are anxious about possibly losing their virginity over the same weekend. It’s a storyline, to me, that feels very much like we’re able to tell it because we’re on Hulu, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to see a story through a gay lens that you would never see anywhere else. I really do think Season 2 will allow us to push the envelope.
TVLINE | Are you hoping to keep Nick Robinson involved as Simon in Season 2? Are there other characters from the film you’d like to bring back?
For us, involving characters from the film is always on our wish list. They are such an incredibly talented and busy group of actors, so we say it with a grain of salt, hoping we can get people to participate. We do have plans in the works to include more characters from the film, and not just the ones you’ve seen already, for Season 2. I think I can say that much.
As far as Nick Robinson, for all of us, it was an incredibly amazing way to have this connection to the film. And as you can see by the fans’ reactions, everyone is so excited just to even hear his voice. So when he shows up in Episode 8, fans are absolutely losing their minds. [Laughs] We’re definitely excited to keep having that connective tissue to the film and have that be part of our world.