Love, Victor Season 1 Reviews
Updated: 5 days ago
Rather than writing individual reviews for the Disney Plus STAR Originals, Mo and I have decided that we wanted to do a mega-post that will be constantly updated with our thoughts on each episode as and when the embargo lifts.
This mega-thread will be dedicated to Love, Victor.
From the creators of Love, Simon and inspired by the hit film, the series follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery: facing challenges at home in a traditional Latinx family environment, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.
Episode 1 – Welcome to Creekwood
In the opener to this sequel series, we are introduced to Victor Salazar, our titular character who has just moved from Texas to Creekwood, Atlanta with his family. Victor shortly meets the unpopular Felix, who lives in the same building as him, and the two soon form a friendship. At school, Victor meets the well-liked Mia and her best friend Lake and develops a crush on openly gay student Benji – whilst Mia is very obviously seen to take a liking to Victor, we weren’t even an episode in and we have ourselves a cute love triangle!
Victor is soon invited to join the basketball team after impressing the coach during class and soon clashes with a member of the basketball team, Andrew – who sets up a GoFundMe to raise the $500 for Victor to join the team, this ridicules Victor for being seemingly poor, leading to the two squaring off during lunch at the school. This is obviously setting up Andrew to be the series’ “antagonist” – I hope they don’t create Andrew to be this completely huge bully, but we shall see what direction the showrunners decide to take with Andrew’s story.
Victor soon finds out about Simon Spier (the titular character of Love Simon) and the story of his coming out, which leads Victor to make contact with him via social media who lets him know that he’ll always be there to support Victor if he ever needs someone to talk to – this is something I really liked about the series opener, it’s telling us that obviously there will be some similarities and maybe some repeated themes, but this is Victor’s story – and I’m looking forward to seeing this unfold. Victor finds difficulty with his situation, asking himself why Simon had it so easy – which at first if you’ve seen the original film, wasn’t the easiest of situations for Simon.
During the final act of the episode, Victor and Felix head to the Winter Carnival, the annual event where Simon Spier famously got onto the Ferris Wheel with Bram, and the two shared their first kiss. This time around, Victor sees both Mia and Benji at the carnival, but pressured into wanting to fit in – Victor makes the decision to ask Mia to ride the Ferris Wheel with him instead.
Something we will see progress in is Victor coming to terms with his sexuality. Victor’s family are Colombian-Puerto Rican, and it appears the family feature two religious parents, who don’t think kindly of gay people. We get this idea planted from the get-go at a family wedding where Victor’s Dad, asks his wife if a friend they know from church is “a little flojito” – which I googled and came back as being the Spanish meaning for loose or weak. In Hispanic/Latinx communities this is a word used to refer to people in the LBTQ+ community, mostly gay men.
Overall, the episode is a great opener – we get good introductions to the main characters of the series, and it begins to establish itself by making it Victor’s story as well as everyone else’s in his life. I didn’t really have a favourite moment as most of the episode was the intro to all the characters… but we shall see what the series holds.
★ ★★ ★ ½
Episode 2 – Stoplight Party
The series continues with Episode 2, following on directly from the one prior to it. In this episode, we get to learn more about Victor as he starts to form friendships and potential relationships in his new home.
Following on from his Ferris Wheel adventure with Mia, Victor is catapulted into popularity after going on the Ferris Wheel with Mia, who is starting to have feelings for him. Mia and Lake plan a "stoplight" party, where students wear colours according to their relationship status. Victor begins working at a local coffee shop where Benji also works, Brasstown, in order to make money to join the basketball team – also can it be pointed out that Benji is the ASSISTANT MANAGER, he is a teenager, probably 16/17, do not think the kid's ages are mentioned but basing it off the film – how is a 16-year-old the assistant manager of a coffee shop...
At the party, Victor struggles to fit in. Felix pines for Lake, who instead likes Andrew. Whilst Victor for the majority of the party hangs out with the basketball dude. Andrew tells Victor to take off his yellow shirt, but instead put on a green jacket, this way would make him look cooler (or it's so Andrew can pine for Mia instead, which is what I reckon it is all about…) This obviously ends up with Mia spotting Victor at one point, and when she realizes he is wearing green and not yellow, she decides to take it off upset.
During this episode, Pilar is still struggling from being separated from her boyfriend back in Texas and decides to take some explicit photos in an attempt to make sure that he still loves her after finding out he has been seeing another girl. Luckily for her, her mum finds out and speaks with her about the whole situation, and soon Pilar breaks up with her boyfriend and decides to move on.
There’s a funny sub subplot with Lake, who is obviously interested in Andrew, so she wears red and tells everyone she has a “college boyfriend” to try and impress Andrew. How she thought it would work… who knows. But there’s a really funny bit where there’s a group of people and Lake makes a b thing about receiving a text message of her boyfriend, however, Andrew responds with “you're not even holding your phone” – and I don’t know if it was because I was watching at 2 am, but that was hilarious.
One thing that should be noted, all the young actors have great chemistry with each other, especially Victor and Mia who end up talking towards the end of the party, when it's revealed to Mia that he was wearing yellow all along during the party…
Overall, another strong episode with some great funny moments whilst also dealing with sensitive subjects too.
Episode 3 - Battle of the Bands
During Episode 3, we get the chance to dive even deeper into Victor's sexuality as he begins to start a relationship with Mia as the pair go on their first date to an art exhibition, shortly followed by a trip to the Battle of the Bands!
Interestingly as I have previously suggested, Andrew is definitely interested in Mia, after confirming it to Lake after deciding to ask Lake to join him to the Battle of the Bands in hopes of getting closer to Mia. I would say I'm great at reading people, however, I believe it's down to a few predictable character storylines...
Once again Mia and Victor have great chemistry as they explore the very humorous animal exhibition, and even share their first kiss - but all goes to pot later on in the episode as Benji is discovered to have a significant other, which leaves Victor in shock, me too.
Another subplot continues this week, with Pilar helping her mother Isabel by setting up a Facebook account for her and is shocked when a man named Roger R. sends a friend request to the new profile and starts flirting with her. Isabel spends some well needed time with Armando as they go on a dinner date, however, Isabel does slip up at one point, mentioning a time the two went to a restaurant she liked but Armando shows no clue of remembering going...
The episode was standard, nothing of huge importance happened but its great to see Victor exploring who he is and trying to find him
Episode 4 - The Truth Hurts
The episode begins with Victor and Benji in a short cold open getting along like clockwork at the coffee shop, it's a fun playful scene showing the two have great chemistry together... if only Benji didn't have a boyfriend! The cold open also confirms Victor is settling in with his new friend group - Lake, Mia and Felix, which is nice to see compared to the start of the season where Victor was virtually a nobody.
We get a lovely, happy family meal with Pilar confronting Isabel during Pizza Night, when she starts by giving an unpleasant grace at the meal. This is obviously down to her being suspicious about the messages her Mum has been receiving from Roger. Once sent to her room. Victor goes to check on her, who soon tells him the news... something more for Victor to worry about on top of his sexuality - we're 4 minutes in and you can tell we're in for a treat with Episode 4
We finally meet Mia's absent father from the first few episodes, who returns from a trip to Paris, with his new beau Veronica... Mia doesn't warm to Veronica at first and requires Lake to accompany her to dinner with Veronica and her father. This episode is very mother-centric as we deep into the backstories of Mia's mother whilst the drama with Isabel also escalates. We find out at first that Mia's mother was an addict whom checked into rehab at the age of 20, leading to Mia struggling to deal with all of her father's partners whom have come and gone over the years.
Dinner is a disaster as Mia becomes very short and challenges Veronic as she is determined to cause trouble and find some dirt on her. It is later revealed to Victor, that Mia's mother wasn't an addict, but a student of her Dad's when he was a college professor. who left after struggling to cope by herself during the days whilst Mia's dad was working. Mia admits that she tells people her mum was an addict as it hurts less than admitting she wasn't enough to keep her around. It's quite a sad moment, and even know it is a teen drama, Rachel Hilson really stands out this episode with a great performance
Whilst this is all unfolding with Mia's mom, Victor struggles to come to terms with the fact that Isabel had an affair with Roger. Pilar and Victor set him up so they can meet him, but they soon discover that Roger is in fact Armando's old boss. This ultimately has an effect on Victor during his basketball game causing him to have a blank, and ultimately lash out at the coach. This is why I find the title of this episode "The Truth Hurts" so fitting, ultimately in this episode we see how the truth hurts for two of our protagonists, and how they deal with it in two different ways. Enraged about the whole situation, Victor confronts his parents in the car park about the affair. It's soon revealed that Armando knows of the affair, and it is the main reason the family moved to Creekwood... Pilar didn't seem too happy about that detail
What I like about the affair storyline, is it isn't a typical dramatic one, and there's more than meets the eye with it, meaning I'm definitely excited to see where it goes in future episodes. Armando reveals that the parents aren't letting on to his side of the story, and I'm curious to soon find out about what his side entails... we'll just have to wait and see
Overall, another fun episode with some new interesting developments with our favourite half Puerto Rican, half Colombian-American family - roll on next week's episode!
Episode 5 - Sweet Sixteen
Review Releasing: Thursday 11th March
Episode 6 - Creekwood Nights
Review Releasing: Thursday 18th March
Episode 7 - What Happens in Willachoochee
Review Releasing: Thursday 25th March
Episode 8 - Boys' Trip
Review Releasing: Thursday 1st April
Episode 9 - Who the Hell is B?
Review Releasing: Thursday 8th April
Episode 10 - Spring Fling
Review Releasing: Thursday 15th April
Love, Victor is now available to stream on STAR on Disney+. The first two episodes premiering with the launch, with Episode 3 releasing on Friday 26 February 2021 and each episode releasing every Friday after that.