Amerie, Darren, and Quinni standing at their lockers in Heartbreak High
(Netflix)

So, Is ‘Heartbreak High’ a Remake or a Reboot? It’s So Hard to Keep Track Nowadays

As we all know, the worldwide entertainment industry is currently obsessed with producing reboots, remakes, and legacy sequels, and Netflix is no different. Heartbreak High, the Australian teen drama series that recently premiered with season 2 on the streaming platform—and which has officially been renewed for a third and final season—is one such project.

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Heartbreak High follows the students of Hartley High as they learn about and deal with friendship, romance, sex and sexuality, peer pressure, bullying, assault, consent, prejudice, racial tension, and so much more. Though the second season was a bit more convoluted than the first—I, personally, could have done without the whole “men’s rights” part of the story—it’s still a progressive and compelling show. However, it’s not the first Australian teen drama series to push the boundaries and discuss important and relevant social topics. In fact, it’s not even the first Australian teen drama series to be called Heartbreak High.

Netflix’s version is what one might call a “soft reboot” of the original 1994 series of the same name. The original Heartbreak High ran for seven seasons between Network Ten, ABC, and BBC Two, and followed a different group of students who also attended Hartley High. In fact, the scenes shot at Hartley High in the new series were actually shot at the same school in Sydney, highlighting that Netflix’s Heartbreak High is both a soft reboot and a mini-sequel.

Some of the original show’s characters make significant appearances in the new show, too. Scott Major, for instance, who played the character Rivers in the original series for 65 episodes, returned as the same character and portrayed Darren Rivers’ (James Majoos) dad in Heartbreak High season 1. So, while the stories are new and the themes are contemporary, Netflix’s Heartbreak High certainly carries the spirit of the original show.

All episodes of Heartbreak High are now available to stream on Netflix.


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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.