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Bye, Actually: Olivia Colman Not Returning for Heartstopper Season 3

From the News That’s as Bad as a Bubblegum Milkshake Tastes files comes this: Olivia Colman is not returning for Season 3 of Netflix’s beloved LGBTQ+ coming-of-age dramedy Heartstopper, the actress tells Forbes. “I couldn’t do number three. I couldn’t fit it in.

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“I feel awful about that,” she adds. “I feel like I was part of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of.”

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Series creator Alice Oseman, on whose graphic novels the show is based, has taken to Instagram to address how Colman’s absence as Sarah Nelson has been handled. “We tried absolutely everything we could” to work out the scheduling, Oseman says, “but it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s just the way the TV world works sometimes.”

Expressing her gratitude to Colman, who won an Emmy for her work on Heartstopper, the scribe went on to say, “We did not recast Sarah, and I know many of you — comic fans especially — will be upset and concerned about how we will move forward without Nick’s mum. I know there is one scene in particular that many of you have been looking forward to in Season 3, and you may be feeling disappointed and disheartened with us.”

The scene in question is a biggie. As the struggles Nick’s boyfriend Charlie has experienced resurface and intensify, Sarah discusses with her son the sad fact that love cannot cure mental illness. Oseman feels fans’ pain. “I totally understand,” she says. “I was really worried, too, when I first found out! If there is one thing I could ask of you, it’s to not give up on us quite yet. I have done everything in my power to preserve that scene as written in the comic, and I’ve written in some new elements of the story to ensure that it gives us the emotional punch that it gives in the comic.

“And as for the rest of the season — please have faith!” she goes on. “Nick’s story from the comics is still there, still infinitely important to me, and Sarah’s role as emotional support for Nick will shift to other characters in the story for now.”

Looking beyond Season 3, which drops in October, Oseman hopes Colman will be able to return to her role. “If we get a Season 4,” the EP says, “I would love for Olivia to be a part of it again!” In the meantime, she promises “a few new casting announcements to come in the next few weeks — some you may have heard about already, others that you haven’t yet… “

What say you, Heartstopper fans? Do you trust that Oseman, who has so handily guided us thus far, will continue to manage to, even without Colman on board as Sarah?

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