Heartbreak High: Interview with Maleeka Gazula and Kenny Murphy
September 16th 2022
Up For It!’s Maleeka and Kenny sat down with the cast of Netflix’s new coming-of-age drama Heartbreak High to chat about how the reboot retains the groundbreaking diversity of the original series whilst updating it for a new generation.
The first work commissioned by Netflix’s Australian studios, Heartbreak High is a reboot of the internationally successful 1994 TV series of the same name. The show introduces a fresh cast, including Asher Yasbincek, Josh Heuston, Thomas Weatherall and Will McDonald. They told Maleeka and Kenny about how, like the original, Heartbreak High connects and celebrates a range of diverse yet distinctly Aussie perspectives, including that of queer, First Nations, and neurodivergent folks.
“We’ve kind of been able to bring together a lot of stories that all resonate with each other and connect but are offering really different and detailed [points of view].”
The show tells the story of Amerie as she struggles to repair her reputation after her secret map of all the hook-ups in the school is discovered. With the principal forcing students into a Sexual Literacy Program, Amerie and her friends come face to face with all the love, sex, and heartbreak of Australian teenhood. Original series creators Michael Jenkins and Ben Gannon both return as part of the new writing team headed up by showrunner Hannah Carroll Chapman, and the reboot features the return of legacy characters and callbacks for fans of the 90s original, while still telling its own uniquely contemporary story. The cast explains how the new show retains the aspirational yet authentic tone of the original (while also carrying through those sick 90s fits).
“Truly I think everyone is going to find something of themselves in the show, which is what made it really beautiful to be a part of for me.”
All eight episodes of Heartbreak High are available to stream now on Netflix.
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