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'Heartbreak High' Season 2 Review: Hartley High’s Teens Continue to Bring the Unexpected

Ayesha Madon as Amerie, Sam Rechner as Rowan, Asher Yasbincek as Harper, and Brodie Townsend as Ant in season two of "Heartbreak High."
Ayesha Madon as Amerie, Sam Rechner as Rowan, Asher Yasbincek as Harper, and Brodie Townsend as Ant in season two of "Heartbreak High." By Courtesy of Netflix
By Ashley Liu, Contributing Writer

Are you ready for more heartbreak? Season two of “Heartbreak High” is now in session.

With a diverse cast of characters, this hit Netflix show explores a wide range of topics including mental health awareness, cultural diversity, and other topics relevant to modern Australia. As the main characters navigate the challenges of adolescence at Hartley High School, they face many battles of self-discovery and heartbreaks. Filled with teenage angst, “Heartbreak High” leaves watchers wanting more.

Through its two seasons, the show consistently breaks viewers’ expectations. From a “sex map” that details all the sexual encounters of the students at the school to “Bird Psycho” — a crazed stalker that left dead birds as warnings — “Heartbreak High” always keeps watchers guessing what might pop up on the screen. The show’s ability to do this ensures there is never a moment of boredom.

In a particularly steamy scene between Missy (played by Sherry Lee Watson) Spider (played by Bryn Chapman Parish) — a newly established couple in season two — things take an unexpected turn when their intimacy is broken by a fart. Spider has been trying to come to terms with his erectile dysfunction or demisexuality throughout the season, so viewers go in expecting this scene to show how Missy understands him and is still willing to be there for him. The couple hold each other while Missy performs an intimate dance, but the moment is comically disturbed by Missy’s fart. That is the last thing viewers expect, especially in a scene with such high sexual tension. This is one of the many times that the show breaks serious moments with humor. Through this, “Heartbreak High” captivates viewers as they are left wondering “what could possibly happen next.” Will another fart joke come when it is least expected? This scene was hilarious and both actors' reactions added a human aspect.

The characters also seem to have a knack for consistently making questionable decisions, often landing themselves in the middle of drama-filled love triangles and awkward situations. During this season, Amerie, a key member of the main cast, finds herself attempting to reconcile with her ex, Maliki. However, Maliki realizes he is bisexual which leads him to pursue a relationship with Rowan, a newcomer to Hartley. Subsequently, Amerie ends up getting involved with Rowan after their breakup. The whole unfolding of their relationships practically gives fans whiplash as each character tries to understand her feelings. Viewers will also always be on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what new developments may happen.

All the characters seemed to embody the “whatever” mentality when it comes to their relationship decisions. When randomly dropped off in the middle of nowhere for a school bonding exercise, most people would not take random wild mushrooms for a high, but that is exactly what the students of Hartley High do. This scene defines the very essence of the show’s focus: the random situations teenagers find themselves in as they make unfiltered and stupid decisions. These topics draw viewers in by highlighting the spirit of teenage rebellion that many know and love, and these wacky scenarios let the audience experience the exaggerated predicaments that high schoolers may go through.

However, these plot points are not the only reason why this show was so captivating. There are so many shows that rely on shock factor, but many productions have not been able to connect with viewers like “Heartbreak High.” Even though “Heartbreak High” is eccentric, it also deals with impactful, real issues. It sparks conversations about the neurodivergent community, sexual assault, exploring one’s sexuality, and more. It shows the harms of hyper-liberalism and hyper-conservatism as well as the dangers of divisiveness between men and women. All the students of Hartley face their own internal and external struggles even as they make stupid, teenage decisions.

“Heartbreak High” shows watchers the good, the bad, the funny, and the difficult. It speaks to audiences so successfully because, ultimately, life includes all of those emotions and moments. “Heartbreak High” is unpredictable, just like the highs and lows of real life, and it reminds fans that every experience — no matter how challenging — can be overcome with the support of close relationships. Its characters embrace life’s unpredictability and face each day with resilience, courage, and a sense of humor. Overall, this season was even more chaotic than the first and strengthened many of the bonds from the last season.

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