I spent all weekend binging Heartstopper, an adorable new Netflix show about two kids at an all-boys school falling in love. It made me cry multiple times because it so brilliantly captured all of those intense teenage feelings about whether or not you can touch someone’s hand and the fear that making a move on your best friend could possibly end in disaster. Though they are grown adults and only playing at prom, I got the same exact feelings from Carl and Lindsay in this episode, and it made me want to snuggle up in a blanket of hugs and just roll around in warmth. It was really the best thing about the episode.
There isn’t much of anything happening until we get to the prom. Everyone in their beige knits tries to calm Kyle down and get him back to the table after he started freaking out on everyone at the end of last episode. Instead, they agree to get to-go bags and just call it a night and head home. How embarrassing that your friends can’t even make it through a whole meal and you have to go home and nuke the pasta you were looking to enjoy at a nice restaurant. I will give my adorable Kyle (who is totally wrong in this fight) some points for sitting on a wooden carousel pony in some random person’s front yard just for a few yuks.
The next morning, everyone plays a game of Fuck, Marry, Kill, and the options are French toast, waffles, and pancakes. The only correct answer is to fuck waffles, especially if they are under fried chicken, marry pancakes, and kill French Toast. Je suis désolé if you disagree, but you should just go read another recap at peoplehappytobewrong.com. Then everyone goes to the beach, where the boys play shirtless football, and I placed the Sean Cody logo in the bottom right-hand corner so everyone on Twitter could save themselves some time.
Carl and Lindsay are already cheesing that they’re going to the prom-themed party together and keep greeting each other as “prom date.” Lindsay even says to Carl that she loves being around him and hates when he’s not there. It’s like you can see it turning. You can see something clicking in her head that this is the right choice. She says she learned this summer how to cut off a guy sooner if she knows it’s not going to work, but I think she also learned that opposite, which is the guy who has always stuck around is the one for her. We know the only thing Lindsay fears more than irrelevance is abandonment.
This is why Carl is perfect for Lindsay. He knows she is always all in. He knows how much attention she demands. He knows the crazy shit she is going to pull in a relationship, and he’s still there. He’s not afraid to activate her or make her sandwiches. He might be a little afraid of finger-banging her again since that is all anyone can talk about when the couple comes up, but otherwise, this is great for them.
Lindsay writing Carl a note in multicolored pens is the most adorable and high-school thing we’ve ever seen Lindsay do. Her go-to is usually sexy, wrapping her legs around some dude like she’s in Greenpeace and the guy is a 1,000-year-old tree a developer is trying to cut down. Adorable is a cute look for her. It’s so much more joyful and pure. I don’t know if this is all inspired by prom, but the giddiness in her eyes when Carl writes back (complete with a finger-bang joke) is inescapable. When I got the real Heartstopper vibes, though, is when the two of them are sitting next to each other outside and Lindsay tells Carl she can’t imagine her life without him and how nervous he’s making her in his adorable outfit. I was ready for some animated butterflies to circle both of their heart-shaped eyes.
Carlito also wins best dressed for the boys in his white dinner jacket with “Hampton’s Prom” airbrushed on the back of it like it’s a novelty shirt he bought from Snooki on the New Jersey boardwalk. I loved Alex’s “studs on studs” look, where he cut the arms off a shirt and a blazer, but he loses points for waiting for the last possible second to ask Ciara to be his date and also pronouncing boutonnière like it’s as French as the toast he ate that morning. Andrea barely puts in any effort for his first prom, and Danielle’s BF, Robert, looks like he is an olde-tyme barber in a shirt, bow tie, and suspenders. I love that my man Kyle takes his shirt off so he can wear a collar and cuffs under a jacquard blazer, but what is up with that collar? It is like creeping up his neck like a bougainvillea. It looks more like a Victorian ruff than a Chippendales collar.
For the girls, I think Amanda looks quite fetching in her shirtless tuxedo, but the prize has to go to Lindsay for wearing her actual prom dress, which still fits 20 years later. (Yes, Lindsay. We all fucking hate you.) When she first walked down the stairs, I was like, “Yaaaassss, Halle Berry,” and then she says her prom was the same year Halle won her Oscar and she had to have that dress, and I fell in love with Linds just a little bit more. Maya’s coral rag dress is a “boot” for me, and I have no idea how Ciara wears a dress that looks like a sofa. Is that a Zara X Jennifer’s Convertibles collab? I am baffled by the asymmetrical collars on both Danielle’s daffodil number and Luke’s GF’s black-and-gold thingamajig. At least that latest dress will burn up when Luke makes her sit by the fire later that night.
I don’t love either of Paige’s prom looks, either her tuxedo-shirt dickey with slacks or her blue column dress with a little nodule hanging out by her armpit. The second one she puts on when pillow baron Craig Conover arrives to surprise her, which is very adorable. Craig may be slower than a slug on Ambien, but he is really handsome and charming when he’s not, you know, gaslighting the ladies in the house about some bullshit.
The outfits are great and all, but it’s not as if a lot happens at the party. Andrea gets messed up, Carl and Lindsay rub pinkies together like this is an old episode of Moonlighting, Mya’s man shows up without even a whiff of prom about him. (P.S. Prom smells like spilled Zima, gravity bongs, and A&F Fierce.) Alex — I don’t know — did some curls in the background or something. OMG, remember missing Alex?
The one event is Amanda and Kyle get into a fight about the prenup. I hate when my imaginary lover Kyle J. Cooke is wrong, but he has no business bringing this shit up at the party. They’re both already 19 Loverboys deep; this will not end well. Then he’s amazed when Amanda doesn’t want to talk about it, and he doesn’t want to explain to her what a prenup is, telling her to Google it. Amanda thinks the prenup means she gets nothing when they break up. No, that’s not it. You two decide the terms of the prenup, and your lawyers will explain that to you. That they don’t even have lawyers at this point is more baffling than how these people drink as much as they do and still have visible abdominal muscles. As this party draws summer to a close, and the fireflies blink one last night before their lights go dim and they fall, dead, into the hedges of the Hamptons, the annual sounds of Amanda and Kyle shouting at a party carry across the tip of Long Island for one last time, and nature knows that it has fully healed.