2022 Tv Series Heartbreak High

Heartbreak High is an Australian comedy drama television series created for Netflix, by Hannah Carroll Chapman.

It is a soft reboot of the 1994 series first screened on Network Ten. The series follows the students and teachers of Hartley High as they navigate racial tensions in Australia, high school romances, and all sorts of teen angst. It features an ensemble cast including Ayesha Madon, Thomas Weatherall, Bryn Chapman Parish, Asher Yasbincek, James Majoos, Chloé Hayden, Will McDonald, Gemma Chua-Tran, Sherry-Lee Watson, Josh Heuston, Brodie Townsend, Chika Ikogwe, Scott Major and Rachel House. Sam Rechner, Kartanya Maynard and Angus Sampson joined the series in its second season.

Heartbreak High
2022 Tv Series Heartbreak High
Promotional poster
GenreComedy drama
Teen drama
Created by
  • Hannah Carroll Chapman
Starring
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Producers
  • Carly Heaton
  • Sarah Freeman
  • Jeroen Koopman
  • Tarik Traidia
  • Brian Abel
  • Michael Jenkins
  • Megan Palinkas
Production locationsSydney, New South Wales
CinematographySimon Ozolins
Drew English
Running time45–52 minutes
Production companyFremantle Australia & NewBe
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release14 September 2022 (2022-09-14) –
present
Related
Heartbreak High (original 1994 TV series)

Heartbreak High premiered on Netflix on 14 September 2022. The following month, it was renewed for a second season, which premiered on 11 April 2024. In May 2024, the series was renewed for a third and final season. The first season received universal praise from critics, while the second season divided critics and audiences. It has received numerous accolades, including an International Emmy Award and received 15 AACTA Awards nominations, including Best Drama Series, winning six.

Premise

After a map detailing the sexual exploits of Hartley High's students is discovered graffitied on the wall of the school, all of the students whose names were on it are forced to attend a new sexual education course called the Sexual Literacy Tutorial (SLT, pronounced "sluts" by the students). The map's creator, Amerie Wadia (Ayesha Madon), becomes a social outcast after taking the fall for its co-author, Harper McLean (Asher Yasbincek), who has stopped talking to her following a tragedy at a music festival they attended.

Cast

Main

Recurring and notable guest stars

  • Isabella Gutierrez as Chaka Cardenes, who reprises her role from the 1994 series.
  • Ben Oxenbould as Justin McLean, Harper's dad. (series 1)
  • Justin Smith as Jim the Maintenance Man. (series 1)
  • Sandy Sharma as Huma Wadia, Amerie's mother.
  • Tom Wilson as Chook, the leader of the eshays and one of Ca$h's friends.
  • Kye McMaster as Tilla, one of Ca$h's friends.
  • Ari McCarthy as Jayden, one of Ca$h's friends.
  • Maggie Dence as Nan, Ca$h's grandmother.
  • Robyn Malcolm as Cait White, Spider’s Mum. (series 2)
  • Stephen Hunter as Coach Arkell. (series 1)
  • Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Kurt Peterson, who reprises his role from the 1994 series. (series 1)
  • Natalie Tran as Rhea Brown, a local author.(series 1)
  • Jude Hyland as Jett Callaghan, Rowan's younger brother. (series 2)
  • Lara Cox as Anita Scheppers, who reprises her role from the 1994 series. (series 2)

Episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1814 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
2811 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

Season 1 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date 
11"Map B**ch"Gracie OttoHannah Carroll Chapman14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Amerie Wadia becomes a social pariah at Hartley High after the "incest map", a detailed diagram of which students have been sexually involved, is discovered and she is revealed as the culprit. Harper McLean, Amerie's longtime best friend and co-creator of the map, starts ignoring her and punches her when she tries to talk to her, but doesn't explain why. The last time Amerie and Harper were together was at a music festival the week before (which is shown repeatedly throughout the season in flashbacks). The students who appear on the map are placed in a mandatory sex education class headed by Principal Stacy "Woodsy" Woods and English teacher Josephine "JoJo" Obah as a result. Darren Rivers sleeps on the street after clashing with their stepfather over their non-binary identity and eventually seeks refuge at their father Peter's house. Quinn “Quinni” Gallagher-Jones and Darren befriend Amerie and take her to a party, where she kisses her crush, Dustin “Dusty” Reid.
22"Renaissance Titties"Gracie OttoMatthew Whittet & Hannah Carroll Chapman14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Dusty's band Renaissance Titties is having a show at his place, and Amerie is keen to attend. Unfortunately, Spencer "Spider" White, a fellow student who deeply dislikes Amerie, is in charge of ticket sales and he refuses to sell one to her. Amerie gets help sneaking into the party from Malakai Mitchell, but in the process accidentally falls into a swimming pool. At the show, Amerie finds out that Dusty and Harper are seeing each other and she is heartbroken. Quinni and Sasha go on a date, and Quinni becomes overwhelmed, leading Sasha to believe she doesn't like her. Quinni explains she's autistic, then the two have their first kiss. Chook, Douglas "Ca$h" Piggott, Tilla and Jayden steal Dusty’s dad’s car. Chook is the ringleader of the group.
33"Eetsway"Neil SharmaMarieke Hardy14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Chook and his crew, including Ca$h, use Dusty's dad's car to steal goods from a retail store. The police are pursuing them, and the crew have to escape on foot. Chook tells Ca$h to hide the stolen goods. Ca$h asks Darren for help, and they hang out together socially. Amerie is still heartbroken, and seeks solace in the arms of Malakai. She and Malakai sleep together, and it is Amerie's first time.
44"Rack Off"Neil SharmaMeyne Wyatt14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Malakai is teased by his classmates in the locker room about ditching basketball tryouts to spend time with Amerie, and he unwillingly reveals intimate details about their encounter. Many of the students end up attending the same Mardi Gras event. Quinni feels alienated by Sasha spending so much time with Missy Beckett, (Sasha's ex-girlfriend), and making choices on Quinni's behalf to keep her safe, Quinni tells her it's a shitty thing for anyone to be stood up (not just cause she likes schedules) and that she can look after herself. Darren and Ca$h kiss at the event. Malakai is assaulted by a police officer, and Amerie records the incident and accidentally uploads it onto social media. Malakai is extremely distressed and traumatised, and he runs away from Amerie and her friends. Dusty and Harper follow him to offer their support, and they end up having a threesome together.
55"Bin Chicken"Adam Murfet & Jessie OldfieldThomas Wilson-White14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
It’s clean-up day at Hartley High, and there is a prize for the person who picks up the most rubbish. Someone anonymously reveals in SLT's class that Malakai, Dusty and Harper had a threesome together. Darren and Ca$h are supposed to go on a date, but they end up escorting Ca$h’s grandmother to a poker game with her friends. Dusty starts treating Harper differently after the threesome, and she angrily calls him out about it in front of the whole school. Amerie and Malakai also break up, and Malakai is struggling with both the trauma of experiencing police brutality and also feeling embarrassed by the video of him circulating around on social media.
66"Angeline"Adam Murfet & Jessie OldfieldNatesha Somasundaram14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Quinni is excited to attend a book reading by her favourite author, Rhea Brown (Natalie Tran) she's been reading her books for ages. Sasha is going with Quinni to the event, and throughout the day together they (mostly Sasha) can no longer ignore their differences and while arguing Sasha accuses Quinni of pulling the autism card, Quinni leaves and has a meltdown. Amerie is hosting a costume party at her house, and both Dusty and Malakai will be there. Harper finds out that she has chlamydia, and is nervous to tell Dusty and Malakai. She ends up telling Dusty right before he has sex with Amerie, and stops them.
77"The Sheriff"Gracie OttoMegan Palinkas & Matthew Whittet14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Jojo is anonymously accused of having a sexual relationship with Amerie, and the police conduct an investigation. Amerie and Jojo both deny the allegations and Jojo is eventually cleared of the charges, but she is distressed by the situation and decides to quit teaching. The students stage a protest because they want Jojo to return as their teacher. Ca$h tells Darren that he is asexual. It is revealed that on the night of the music festival Amerie and Spider hooked up, and also that Harper knocked on Amerie’s window while Spider was in her room. Amerie pretends she can’t hear her because she doesn’t want Harper to know who she was with. After the protest, Amerie walks home and sees an ambulance in front of Harper’s house. Harper walks out of her front door covered in blood.
88"Three of Swords"Gracie OttoHannah Carroll Chapman14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
Harper finally tells Amerie about what happened on the day of the music festival. In the morning, Harper's father, Justin (Ben Oxenbould), is quite agitated and asks her for money (presumably for meth). She leaves her home and meets up with Amerie, and they cross paths with Chook and his crew. Harper and Amerie get split up at the festival, and Harper’s phone runs out of battery. She drinks alcohol and blacks out, and then wakes up in Chook’s car with his crew. Chook implies that he will sexually assault her. They stop at a petrol station, and Ca$h unlocks the door, quietly urging Harper to leave. After attempting to stay at Amerie’s place, Harper then went home, where her father was experiencing meth-induced psychosis, and he attempts to kill her. She explains that her father experienced meth-induced psychosis yet again, and this time she stabbed him with a knife while defending herself (hence why she is covered in blood). Amerie is stunned at all of this information and apologises to Harper for ignoring her knocks on the window. The two girls make up and become friends again. They get Ca$h to send them footage of Harper in the car (on the night of the festival), and they send it to the police. Chook’s entire crew get arrested, excluding Chook. Ca$h declares his love to Darren before getting taken into custody by the police. Because he avoided arrest, Harper and Amerie vandalise and set fire to Chook’s car.

Season 2 (2024)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date 
91"Bird Psycho"Gracie OttoHannah Carroll Chapman11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

Amerie has become extra protective of Harper. During school photos the students get introduced to a new sports teacher, Timothy Voss, and a new student, Rowan Callaghan. Rowan ends up becoming mates with Malakai and Mr Voss seems unimpressed by the SLT class. During SLTs, Spider voices his hate for the class and convinces all of the cisgender boys to leave. The remaining students end up forming a new group called "The Cumlords" with Mr Voss leading. Amerie turns down Malakai to look after Harper. Later, we see a dead ibis bird on Harper's bag, the first act of the culprit dubbed "Bird Psycho". Amerie convinces Quinni and Darren to come with her to confront Chook at his house to learn it's not him. Chook gets them to leave, except Darren whom he tells that Ca$h was in on Harper's attempted kidnapping as part of his gang, saying 'you don't know him like we do.' Chook's words later cause Darren to not show up to a schedule meeting Ca$h in jail. Harper tells Amerie to stop worrying about her and put your energy into something else. Inspired, Amerie becomes a candidate for school captain along with Sasha and Spider, then tells Malakai that she has more time for their relationship.

Eliminated suspects: Spider, Chook.
102"SLTs vs C**LORDs"Gracie OttoMarieke Hardy11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

Bird Psycho creates an online forum to bully Amerie, causing tension. Quinni suspects Sasha but finds she's innocent. The Cumlords clash with the SLT's over field use, resolved with a rugby game, won by the girls. Harper feels overwhelmed and wants to drop the case, supported by Amerie. Ca$h's grandmother convinces Darren to reconcile with Ca$h. Chook reassures Ca$h of their bond. Malakai's possible bisexuality surfaces, and he and Amerie argue about their relationship pace. Rowan mentions to Malakai his bisexual. Malakai later meets Rowan unexpectedly at his work, signaling potential attraction.

Eliminated suspects: Spider, Chook, Sasha.
113"The Feelings Pit"Gracie OttoJean Tong11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

The Cumlords use a "feelings pit" to bury emotions. Rowan confides in Malakai about feeling confused after spending time together. Malakai admits he may still have feelings for Amerie and discusses his sexuality with Darren, who advises honesty. Quinni continues investigating Bird Psycho, ruling out several suspects. Three groups compete in a fundraising contest, with tensions rising between Spider and Missy as they keep sniping at each other. Amerie suspects Malakai's sexuality and confronts him, leading to Bird Psycho framing her. Malakai eventually opens up and later engages in a sexual encounter with Rowan. Woodsy bars Ca$h from school, prompting Darren's concern. Harper convinces Woodsy to let Ca$h back.

Eliminated suspects: Spider, Chook, Sasha, Anthony.
124"Legs Open Hearts Broken"Neil SharmaThomas Wilson-White11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

The students are going to camp, and Amerie’s only a bit upset with Malakai dating Rowan. At camp Quinni makes a voice recording to discuss Bird Psycho. While the students where playing “Never Have I Ever” Darren finds out of all the sexual exploits Ca$h did and later talks about it. The next day Bird Psycho plays Quinni’s recording to frame Amerie. Mr Voss is annoyed with all the gossip and gets the students to go blind bush walking and expects them to find there way back, they later get high on mushrooms, Except Quinni as she wants to investigate Zoe (She's now more neurotypical then everyone else). While high Spider and Missy kiss and makeout. While high Malakai mistakes Rowan for Amerie,this upsets Rowan and he leaves. Amerie says to Malakai “I think it's a bad idea for me to join”, then also leaves, the next day she talks to Rowan about it and apologizes. Quinni wakes up to hear her phone alarm, then gets bit by a snake, she nearly dies but luckily the other students find her and save her. Unfortunately they forget her phone, Bird Psycho still must have it.

Eliminated suspects: Spider, Chook, Sasha, Anthony, Zoe.
135"The Demon King"Neil SharmaSara Khan11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)
Quinni needs to rest at home after being bitten by the snake, with nothing to do she continues investigating Bird Psycho, Amerie and Darren want her to take a break from her new interest and take her to the zoo which makes her feel worse as they don’t tell her about the new changes she's been missing out on, such as Harper moving in with Ca$h and Darren and Amerie making campaign videos with Rowan. Darren tries to make her feel better, advices her to find new ways of coping, ways that won't get her killed. Quinni mentions she's always playing by everyone else’s rules, and decides to stop, no more masking, no more pretending. Missy goes to Spider’s house but wasn't expecting to see Spider's mum, Cait, the three have lunch. Cait seems to be a man hater and often talks about Spider like he isn't there. In Spider's room Missy learns that Spider can’t get it up. Rowan breaks up with Malakai, and really likes spending time with Amerie, helping her with her video. We see he has Quinni’s phone
146"Just Kid $h*t"Jessie Oldfield & Adam MurfetKeir Wilkins11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)
Amerie and Rowan go on a date to the skate park, but it is cut short when something there triggers Rowan.
157"The Grapes of Voss"Neil SharmaMegan Palinkas11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)
168"Boys Don’t Cry"Jessie Oldfield & Adam MurfetHannah Carroll Chapman11 April 2024 (2024-04-11)

Production

The series is a soft-reboot of the 1994 series first screened on Network Ten. The series follow the students and teachers of Hartley High as they navigate racial tensions in Australia, high school romances, and all sorts of teen angst.

The series was announced in December 2020. The TV series was mostly filmed in the suburbs of Maroubra and Matraville of New South Wales between November 2021 and February 2022.

A second season was announced on 19 October 2022. Production on the second season began on 28 May 2023 and wrapped on 29 August 2023. It was released on the 11th of April 2024.

A third and final season was announced on 9 May 2024.

Release

The first season premiered on 14 September 2022. The second season premiered on 11 April 2024.

Reception

Audience viewership

The first season of Heartbreak High debuted at number six on Netflix's Top 10 TV English titles for the tracking week of 19–25 September 2022 with 18.25 million hours viewed. On the following week, it climbed to number five and garnered 14.88 million viewing hours. The series remained in the top 10 for the third week, placing at number eight with 9.48 million viewing hours.

The second season debuted at number seven on Netflix's Top 10 TV English titles for the tracking week of 8-14 April 2024 with 15.8 million hours viewed. On the following week, it climbed to number five and garnered 20 million viewing hours. On its third week, it ranked at number nine, earning 12 million viewing hours.

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season an approval rating of 100%, based on reviews from ten critics, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The second season has an approval rating of 50%, based on reviews from six critics, with an average rating of 6.4/10.

The show received praise for its racial, sexuality, gender and neurodivergent representation, realism towards modern teenhood, costumes and visuals. It was also positively compared to other popular modern teen dramas (which viewers found it very similar to), including Euphoria, Never Have I Ever and Sex Education. Alex Henderson of The Conversation said that the show addressed serious topics like substance abuse, discrimination or youth crime, but still uses comical moments and avoids cliché moments whilst showing mistakes made by the characters. Mitchell Adams of The Sydney Morning Herald commented on the representation of autism, saying "scenes where Quinni feels overwhelmed just sitting on a bus, or being at a party while forcing herself to mask how she feels in order to better fit in and not upset people, depict a pain neurodivergent people know all too well". Collider named the series as one of the best new TV shows of 2022.

Accolades

Award Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
AACTA Awards 2022 Best Drama Series Heartbreak High Nominated
Best Lead Actor in Drama James Majoos Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in Drama Thomas Weatherall Won
Best Direction in Drama or Comedy Gracie Otto Nominated
Best Screenplay in Television Hannah Carroll Chapman (for "Map Bitch") Won
Best Cinematography in Television Simon Ozolins (for "Map Bitch") Nominated
Best Costume Design in Television Rita Carmody (for "Map Bitch") Won
Best Production Design in Television Marni Kornhauser (for "Map Bitch") Nominated
Best Casting Amanda Mitchell Nominated
Audience Choice Award for Best Television Series Heartbreak High Won
Audience Choice Award for Best Actor Bryn Chapman-Parish Won
Thomas Weatherall Nominated
Audience Choice Award for Best Actress Chloé Hayden Won
Ayesha Madon Nominated
Asher Yasbincek Nominated
AACTA International Awards 2023 Best Drama Series Heartbreak High Nominated
Best Actor in a Series Thomas Weatherall Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards 2023 Outstanding New TV Series Heartbreak High Nominated
Logie Awards 2023 Most Popular Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie Heartbreak High Nominated
Most Popular New Talent Chloé Hayden Nominated
Ayesha Madon Nominated
Most Outstanding Supporting Actor Thomas Weatherall Won
International Emmy Awards 2023 Kids: Live-Action Heartbreak High Won

References

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