“Young Royals” Series Review

With realistic LGBTQ representation and complex character relationships, “Young Royals” is a dramatic treasure.


Photo via tunefind.com

“Young Royals” is dramatic, compelling and handles deep topics. Even though it felt drawn out at times, it is ultimately amazing.

The drama was astounding. It was an emotional rollercoaster. The twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat constantly.  The second season was similar to that of the first season but became more intense because more secrets and drama built up from previous ones. 

With complex characters, an extremely investing plot and queer main characters, “Young Royals” delivered in a way a lot of shows can’t or are afraid to. Other shows claim to have LGBTQ representation yet only feature this representation through the side or background characters. 

The series starts when a young Swedish prince, Wilhelm, has been goofing off, getting into fights and failing to conform to the regal image the royal family wants. So, his parents do the only logical thing and send their misbehaving son to a fancy prep school, Hilerska, in hopes of fixing his rebellious behavior. Despite their hopes, his life ends up becoming more distasteful as well as interesting when he is drawn to another student, Simon. Controversy swarms their relationship when a sex tape of the two is released and they are slowly separated by pressures Wilhelm faces from the royal family and his journey of self-discovery.

The constant twists and turns move the story along. The dramatic ties between all of the characters can give one whiplash but in the best way. You just can’t predict what’s going to happen next and the plot can change in the most amazing yet unexpected ways. This fast-paced, complex show embraces the drama genre, creating a masterpiece. 

“Young Royals” is excellent, as it embraces complex issues and has amazing representation of queer characters. Countless shows and movies have faced their downfall because of the horrible, barely-existent, and downright crappy LGBTQ representation, yet this show takes an unexpected step as it thoroughly embraces the queer characters while having an enticing plot that goes far beyond just the main character coming to terms with their sexuality. 

Unfortunately, certain tropes in shows with LGBTQ representation can make finding a good show difficult. Whether its the trope where the plot only focuses on the fact the main character is queer or the classic “only-the-side-and-background-characters-are-ever-queer” trope, what they both have in common is their annoying nature which can be hard to sit through. So after scouring Netflix, “Young Royals” was a godsend. The issues dealt with in the show were not only ones regarding homophobia and finding one’s sexuality but about other deep topics from substance abuse to handling the loss of a loved one.

Beyond the general representation, there were the characters themselves. A way most shows fall short is with their antagonist. Quite often the whole black and white, hero and bad-guy concept can come into play with protagonists who never make mistakes and antagonists who are irredeemable, so seeing morally gray characters who broke these stereotypes was refreshing. An unrealistic portrayal of characters always makes a story feel more like a nursery rhyme than anything of value, but “Young Royals,” however, does not fall into this cliche. 

The characters are never black and white, they are all humanly complex. They make mistakes and in turn this makes them feel real, and the actors do a great job of expressing this through their characters’ emotions. I liked that the writers tried to make August experience guilt and woe, even though he was the antagonist, as this made him seem more realistic and ultimately made the story more powerful and profound.

“Young Royals,” was amazing, yet I can’t help but be annoyed by how drawn out some plot lines were, such as the love triangles in season two. I may be biased because I wanted Simon and Wilhelm to get together, but nonetheless, it hurt having them apart and in love with different people. There was a weird unnecessary love triangle that we did not need, as it had no lasting impacts on the characters and things simply went to the way they were beforehand anyways. Although the drama did intensify due to the new relationships, they mostly felt unnecessary and forced throughout the story which just led to parts feeling unfortunately slow. 

While some aspects of the plot could have been more fleshed out, season two of “Young Royals” gave the audience the drama they were looking for and left them with a thrilling series for the ages.