‘Heartbreak High’ Recap: Everything To Remember Before Season 2


Heartbreak High was the first teen show to come out of the last few years that had me thinking, “Dang, they know their Gen Z.” It’s over the top, unrealistic, has an obnoxious lead, and yet it sucks you in for all the goss in town. Not to mention, the Australianness of it all is just fantastic. Don’t worry; plenty of heartbreak awaits you, but it’s also a lot of love and fun (and sex positivity). It’s like if Euphoria and Sex Education had to have an Australian baby, this would be it, I guess? However, if you really had to compare, I think it was like Australia’s 90210 or Skins. Bear in mind, I’m only guessing here, though I did watch 90210 as a teen and was deeply invested. Anyway, Heartbreak High was a popular teen dramedy in the 90s that got rebooted by Netflix in 2022. “Queer and Here” is quite the popular topic in these teen shows now, and Heartbreak High does it really well. So, while we wait a few days longer for the highly anticipated second season, let’s quickly go through everything we need to remember from the first season.

Spoiler Alert

What happened between Amerie and Harper? 

Our leading lady doesn’t set the best example. In fact, she’s the opposite of that; she’s a terrible judge of situations and tends to mess things up a lot. However, you know from the start that her intentions are never evil, though the Australians have me thinking I’d never survive Hartley as a sensitive human being. At the start of Heartbreak High season 1, Amerie’s best friend Harper suddenly pulls a “new me” and abandons her best friend, like she did all her hair. Turns out, the reason she did that was that some Eshays (the local drug gangs in Australian speak) abducted her after a concert when Amerie abandoned her for the school prick Spider. Cash, one of the Eshays, unlocked the car and saved Harper from being sexually assaulted, but things got worse when she got home, and her father tried to kill her. On the other hand, before they became Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they used to be tight as sisters and painted a graffiti wall of sexual madness in their school. They call it the “incest wall” because it illustrates all their classmates’ many sexual escapades.

What’s Happening at Hartley High? 

Now, Amerie gets caught for painting the wall, and it becomes a huge deal, getting out of hand and reaching the media. She doesn’t tell the principal that Harper was in on it, too, but eventually, due to an altercation with Harper in the open, the whole school finds out that Amerie is the reason their dating history is on display. The thing is, Amerie doesn’t know what she did wrong, and Harper isn’t willing to tell her, and at some point, this does get on your nerves. Harper’s quite the despicable character; she even ends up hooking up with Amerie’s biggest crush, the school hottie (picture a brown Zac Effron from HSM but with hazel eyes), Dusty, but that doesn’t mean it erases anything she’s been through. She’s just human. On the other hand, because of the wall, the kids now have to attend “Sexual Literacy Tutorials” (SLTs, pronounced the way you think it is) with the best teacher in the school, Jojo. 

So, since Amerie’s all by herself, she gets a new set of friends and other social outcasts, Darren and Quinnie. Darren is non-binary and is dealing with his parent’s separation, while Quinnie is autistic and discovering her identity. Darren and Cash, the school drug dealer, are a couple, but later, we learn that Cash is actually ace, while Darren is demanding in the bedroom. However, at the end of the series, Cash tells Darren that he loves him. A new student named Malakai is in town, and he and Amerie really hit it off because there’s no room for judgment from the new kid, right? However, Malakai gets bullied into insulting Amerie, and she hears about it from Spider, who can’t keep his mouth shut (don’t tell me this was not inspired by High School Musical!). 

After a fun night out, there’s a police brutality episode (yikes), and Malakai gets racially profiled (he’s indigenous) by the police and physically assaulted by the guy. Amerie, trying to do the right thing, takes a video and, despite Malakai’s many protests, accidentally uploads it to the internet. As Malakai had predicted, it’s a mistake because by the time she takes it down, it goes viral, and Malakai is the one who becomes a meme. Hey, but this is a raunchy teen drama, so Harper and Dusty end up taking Malakai in and having a threesome with him (another yikes for Amerie). Things get crazy when Dusty and Amerie get together; the class learns about the three of them, Harper has chlamydia, and Amerie never wants to be friends with her again. 

You thought the drama was done, but no. There’s a rumor spreading that Jojo slept with Amerie (she was counseling her!), and Jojo gets fired. Later, the students stage a very surreal protest to bring Jojo back because they love her. It turns out it was Dusty, who was simply bored and wanted to get out of SLT, so he decided to spread such a terrible rumor. Amerie realizes the hot guys are never good at heart, and he is the real problem, not Harper. At least for that situation, you know? 

What Happens at the End of Season 1? 

When Harper finally tells Amerie the truth, they try to go to the cops, but as we know, that’s always a messy situation. Amerie learns from Cash that he was forced into the situation by Chook, the local Eshay leader. Cash’s really afraid of Chook, who seems to be like his family, though now Cash lives with his Nan, who is a wonderful person. Somehow, Chook gets away, but the rest of the gang, including Cash, get sent to prison for what they did to Harper, thanks to some video footage from the day. At the end of the season, Amerie and Harper are back to being besties, and in a spur-of-the-moment kind of situation, they end up burning Chook’s car and running away. That was a quick recap of Heartbreak High season 1, but we can’t wait to see what Amerie and her gang have waiting for us in season 2. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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