The trailer for Heartbreak High is finally here, setting the scene for the highly anticipated reboot of a show that became a household name in Australia in the 90's. A first look at the eight-episode Netflix series introduces us to a new generation of teens at Hartley High as they navigate love, sex and heartbreak in the current day.
From the get go, we can tell that the show pulls no punches in delivering a raw account of adolescence filled with rage and joy. With fights in the school hallways, dildos flying across the quad and a character shouting about their vagina from a rooftop, it's already rather reminiscent of Sex Education — though the accents, beaches and police cars make it distinctly and unapologetically Aussie.
We're quick to learn that the central character, Amerie (Ayesha Madon) creates a stir at school when a secret map charting all of her classmates' hook-ups is discovered. In an attempt to then address what they see as a cohort of hyper-sexual students, the school forces them into a sexual literacy program which the teens describe as "sex jail".
The discovery of the sex map also leads to a mysterious and very public rift with her ride-or-die Harper (Asher Yasbincek) and it's up to Amerie, along with the help of her new friends — outsiders Quinni (Chloe Hayden) and Darren (James Majoos) — to repair her reputation.
The airing of Heartbreak High's first season marked a cultural moment when it dropped back in Australia in 1994. It was celebrated as being groundbreaking for its time as one of the first shows to feature a culturally diverse cast.
Similarly, the reboot strives to embrace multiculturalism but also attempts to go deeper with representation from LGBTQIA+ and First Nations communities to allow for more nuanced storylines around topics like racism, transphobia and same-sex relationships that Australian TV is still rather inexperienced in portraying authentically.
Amerie's pal Darren is played by South African Australian actor James Majoos (They/Them), the character Malakai is a Bundjalung boy at Hartley High portrayed by All My Friends Are Racist star Thomas Weatherall, and Sasha is described as the "coolest, sexiest and chicest lesbian at the school", played by Gemma Chua-Tran (She/Her/They/Them).
Other characters include Quinni (autism advocate Chloe Hayden), Harper (Asher Yasbincek), Dusty (Josh Heuston), Ca$h (Will McDonald), Woodsy (Rachel House), Jojo (Chika Ikogwe), Missy (Sherry-Lee Watson), Spider (Bryn Chapman-Parish) and Ant (Brodie Townsend).
Heartbreak High will premiere globally on Netflix on September 14.