|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Production locations||Sydney, New South Wales|
|Running time||45–52 minutes|
|Production company||Fremantle Australia & NewBe|
|Release||14 September 2022 –|
|Heartbreak High (original 1994 TV series)|
Heartbreak High is an Australian comedy drama streaming 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 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 show premiered on 14 September 2022. A month after it was released, the show was renewed for a second season.
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.
- Ayesha Madon as Amerie Wadia, a brash, working-class Indian-Australian girl who becomes a pariah at Hartley High.
- James Majoos as Darren Rivers, a queer and non-binary student who befriends Amerie.
- Chloé Hayden as Quinn “Quinni” Gallagher-Jones, Darren's lesbian best friend who is autistic.
- Asher Yasbincek as Harper McLean, a punk girl who has had a falling out with Amerie
- Thomas Weatherall as Malakai Mitchell, a bisexual Bundjalung basketball jock new to Hartley.
- Will McDonald as Douglas “Ca$h” Piggott, an asexual eshay, drug dealer and food delivery driver.
- Joshua Heuston as Dustin “Dusty” Reid, a bisexual musician involved with Harper.
- Gemma Chua-Tran as Sasha So, a Chinese-Australian lesbian.
- Bryn Chapman-Parish as Spencer “Spider” White, the class clown.
- Sherry-Lee Watson as Missy Beckett, an Indigenous student involved with Sasha.
- Brodie Townsend as Anthony “Ant” Vaughn, an affable, big-hearted student.
- Chika Ikogwe as Josephine “Jojo” Obah, English and SLT’s teacher at Hartley High.
- Scott Major as Peter Rivers, Darren's father, who reprises his role from the 1994 series.
- Rachel House as Principal Stacy "Woodsy" Woods, the performatively woke school principal at Hartley High.
Recurring and notable guest stars
- Isabella Gutierrez as Chaka Cardenes, who reprises her role as Australian-Salvadoran from the 1994 series.
- Ben Oxenbould as Justin McLean, Harper's dad.
- Justin Smith as Jim the Maintenance Man.
- Sandy Sharma as Huma Wadia, Amerie's mother.
- Tom Wilson, Kye McMaster and Ari McCarthy as Chook, Tilla and Jayden, Ca$h's friends.
- Maggie Dence as Nan, Ca$h's grandmother.
- Stephen Hunter as Coach Arkell.
- Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Kurt Peterson, who reprises his role from the 1994 series.
- Natalie Tran as Rhea Brown, a local author.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Map Bitch"||Gracie Otto||Hannah Carroll Chapman||14 September 2022|
|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.|
|2||"Renaissance Titties"||Gracie Otto||Matthew Whittet & Hannah Carroll Chapman||14 September 2022|
|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 So go on a date, and Quinni tells Sasha that she (Quinni) is autistic. Sasha and Quinni then 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.|
|3||"Eetsway"||Neil Sharma||Marieke Hardy||14 September 2022|
|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$h asks Darren for help, and they hang out together socially. Amerie is still heartbroken, and seeks solace in the arms of Malakai. She and Malakai sleep together, and it is Amerie's first time.|
|4||"Rack Off"||Neil Sharma||Meyne Wyatt||14 September 2022|
|Malakai is teased by his classmates in the locker room about ditching basketball tryouts to spend time with Amerie, and he unwillingly reveals intimate details about their encounter. Many of the students end up attending the same Mardi Gras event. Quinni feels alienated by Sasha spending so much time with Missy Beckett, Sasha's ex-girlfriend. Darren and Ca$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.|
|5||"Bin Chicken"||Adam Murfet & Jessie Oldfield||Thomas Wilson-White||14 September 2022|
|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.|
|6||"Angeline"||Adam Murfet & Jessie Oldfield||Natesha Somasundaram||14 September 2022|
|Quinni is excited to attend a book reading by her favourite author, Rhea Brown (Natalie Tran). She is going to the event with Sasha, and throughout the day together they can no longer ignore their differences and they have a huge argument. 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.|
|7||"The Sheriff"||Gracie Otto||Megan Palinkas & Matthew Whittet||14 September 2022|
|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$h tells Darren that he is asexual. It is revealed that on the night of the music festival Amerie and Spider hooked up, and also that Harper knocked on Amerie’s window while Spider was in her room. Amerie pretends she can’t hear her because she doesn’t want Harper to know who she was with. After the protest, Amerie walks home and sees an ambulance in front of Harper’s house. Harper walks out of her front door covered in blood.|
|8||"Three of Swords"||Gracie Otto||Hannah Carroll Chapman||14 September 2022|
|Harper finally tells Amerie about what happened on the day of the music festival. In the morning, Harper's father, Justin (Ben Oxenbould), is quite agitated and asks her for money (presumably for meth). She leaves her home and meets up with Amerie, and they cross paths with Chook and his crew. Harper and Amerie get split up at the festival, and Harper’s phone runs out of battery. She drinks alcohol and blacks out, and then wakes up in Chook’s car with his crew. Chook implies that he will sexually assault her. They stop at a petrol station, and Ca$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.|
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 review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the series an approval rating of 100%, with an average rating of 7.3 out of 10, based on nine critics. On the review website IMDb, the series holds an average score of 7.7 out of 10, as of October 15, 2022. 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.
|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|
|Audience Choice Award for Best Actress||Chloé Hayden||Won|
|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|
|Most Outstanding Supporting Actor||Thomas Weatherall||Won|
|International Emmy Awards||2023||Kids: Live-Action||Heartbreak High||Won|
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