Heartstopper TV series: How does it differ from the comic book?

Netflix's Heartstopper: Is it better than the comic books?

Heartstopper TV series and book
Heartstopper Volume 1 and TV series. Photo: Skaiste Urbonaite
A new wave of fans are inding out about Alice Oseman’s comic book “Heartstopper” after Netflix released a series based on the comic characters.
The series follows Charlie who has a big crush on a rugby player, Nick. At first, it might seem just like a one-sided crush, but slowly Nick realises that he also might like boys.
It also tells a story about Charlie’s friend Tao, who is scared about their friend group breaking up and Ellie who just transferred to another school.
It also involves two girls from another school, Tara and Darcy, who appear to be firends at first, but are later revealed as a couple.
However, there are some little differences from the comic book that fans of the series might have not know,  but it’s always nice to consider. Here they are…
This will contain information from the first and second volume books as it is where the TV series stopped.

1. Tao’s hairstyle is way better

Tao Xu from Heartstopper comics
Tao Xu profile from Heartstopper comics book. Photo: Skaiste Urbonaite
This did not make a major difference in the series, but has divided fandom a little bit. You either love it or hate it, there is no in-between.
Tao’s hair in the comics seems normal even when he’s wearing a beanie, so what happened?
In the TV series the hair comes out of the Beanie in waves!
Some people speculate that it’s because he grew it out with Ellie, but curls it up so it doesn’t go against the above the chin hair rule.
As nice as it sounds, let’s hope we get to see the character development of his hair next season.

2. Rugby team is not that awful?

Christian and Sai
Rugby team members, how bad they really are? Photo by: Skaiste Urbonaite
The series mostly focused on Harry and other players. They were there to shout something to agree with him but believe it or not, some of the rugby lads are not that bad.
We did not see a lot of them in the comic book either and sometimes they were awful to Charlie but we can’t deny that three friends of Nick are there for him.
Nick has good friends after all and I hope we will get to see Christian, Otis and Sai in the series with one or two lines instead of “Ohhh” and laughing at anything Harry says.

3. Tao is less annoying

Heartstopper, Tao Nick and Charlie
Tao could be a little stubborn but in the end, he’s Charlie’s friend. Photo: Skaiste Urbonaite
We’re back to Tao again but like his hairstyle, his personality is not that annoying in the books.
In the series, he’s afraid of losing his friend to the point where he pushes Charlie away himself, but in the books, he tries to be more understanding and lets go of things sooner.
Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have as many scenes as in the TV series but this Tao seems more like a friend than just an annoying bestie who wants everyone to spend time with him and only him.

4. Less drama, more communication!

Text messages
Text messages between Charlie and Nick after a movie night. Photo: Skaiste Urbonaite
Do you remember the drama where Nick agreed to go on a date with Imogen? Or after the movie date with Nick’s friends, Charlie stopped talking with everyone?
Well, that did not happen at all. Imogen is not even in the comic book and surprisingly for teenagers Nick and Charlie have quite good communication skills.
Of course, without the drama, it wouldn’t be so fun to watch but sometimes it’s nice to see that the characters are not always surrounded by the dramatic events.

5. Charlie did not tell his friends about Nick

Nick and Charlie Heartstopper
Finally a happy ending for Nick and Charlie… For now. Photo: Skaiste Urbonaite
We have seen Charlie and Nick slowly telling their friends that they are dating and even if Tao got excluded for a bit Charlie got the courage to tell him too.
But in the books that’s not what happened, even after volume two only Darcy and Tara get to know about the beautiful relationship that Nick and Charlie have.
Ellie, Tao and Issac are left in the dark… Just not sure how dark it is when their “secret relationship” is quite obvious.
These changes are quite small and it is very true to the material it was based on, so a lot of fans are happy about the adaptation.
Netflix has n oty revealed if there will be a second series.