Warning: Spoilers for season 1 of Love, Victor are ahead.
Within the first two minutes of Hulu's Love, Victor, we get a speedy recap of Love, Simon, the movie the new series is based on. It becomes clear pretty instantly that the show exists in the same world as its movie predecessor, but rather than moving past that connection, Love, Victor continues to draw Simon into this new Creekwood High story. Here are the signs of Love, Simon you can expect see in Love, Victor.
Creekwood High Has Changed Since Love, Simon
Things are a little different at the school since we last visited: Students still have a gossip blog called Creek Secrets, but the drama teacher Ms. Albright (Natasha Rothwell) from the movie is now the vice principal in the Hulu series. And since Simon isn't actually a celebrity in this universe, Creekwood's new VP greets Victor on day one, to catch him (and us) up on all the important school business like how Simon and Bram had an epic love story that culminated in a kiss at the winter carnival.
Yep, Simon Is In Love, Victor
Two years after the events of the 2018 film, Simon (Nick Robinson) is now a recent grad living in New York. He's also still dating Bram (Keiynan Lonsdale) after that romantic ferris wheel kiss at the end of Love, Simon. (In that first episode, Victor rides on the very same ferris wheel at the same carnival, starting his journey where Simon left off.)
Now, Simon has got a new Instagram friend in Victor (Michael Cimino), who just started attending Simon's old school, Creekwood. Their DMs function as a narration tactic much like Simon and Bram's emails did in the film. Victor's first message to Simon is kind of hostile, though, so he's lucky to have received a response at all.
After learning about Simon and Bram's relationship, Victor laments that Simon had it so much easier than Victor does. Victor is the new kid, not 100 percent sure how to label his sexual orientation, and his parents are extremely religious. "Screw you," Victor DMs Simon. "Screw you for having the world’s most perfect, accepting parents. The world's most supportive friends. Because for some of us, it's not that easy … you're very lucky."
Instead of being offended that a stranger was attacking him on Instagram, Simon writes a really nice message back. "Dear Victor, glad you reached out. … I'm sorry that you don't have anyone in your life to open up to," Simon wrote. "I'm here if you need me." This kicks off the conversation that carries through the whole series as Simon listens to all of Victor's struggles and gives advice when he can.
Actor Nick Robinson returned to voice Simon's messages, and he serves as an executive producer on the series.
Do We Ever See Nick Robinson On Love, Victor?
We learn most of this from Simon's voiceover, rather than from seeing him in person, since he is off starting his new life, of course.
But our duo forge such a close friendship that Victor eventually goes to visit Simon in New York in episode 8. Unfortunately, because Victor doesn't tell Simon that he's coming, Simon is busy in New Jersey when Victor arrives. Instead, Simon sends his boyfriend Bram (till played by Keiynan Lonsdale) to entertain Victor for the weekend.
That night, though, Simon finds a way to leave Jersey early to meet them. Robinson reprises the role for the scene, and makes a few references to his iconic jean jacket with the sherpa lining that he's seen wearing throughout Love, Simon — and on the film's poster.
Do You Need To Watch Love, Simon Before Love, Victor?
Viewers don't have to have seen Love, Simon for Love, Victor to make sense, but it definitely helps when it comes to jokes like the one about the jacket. But because Victor learns about Simon's story at the same time new viewers do, it's easy to jump in with zero knowledge of the Simon universe. And for fans of the film, there are tons of fun little winks and nods to the movie throughout the Hulu show.
The result is a series that stands on its own and is made better by its close connection to its source material. And with Robinson as a producer, Simon can stay close as to the Love, Victor for as long as he — and fans — want.