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Looking for Alaska's Gay Storyline Is a Powerful Change from the Novel

Looking for Alaska's Gay Storyline Is a Powerful Change from the Novel

Looking for Alaska's Gay Storyline Is a Powerful Change from the Novel

Dr. Hyde gets a heartbreaking backstory and new emotional depth. 

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If I had to describe Hulu's new teen drama Looking For Alaska in one word, it'd be "nostalgic."

Based on The Fault In Our Stars author John Green's first novel, the beautifully crafted mini-series transports us back to 2005. Remarkably true to Green's prose, we relive the magic that made me fall in love with Green way back in 9th grade when I first picked up the book—but one notable difference brought a new emotional depth to the story. 

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Dr. Hyde teaches religion at Georgia boarding school Culver Creek Academy, and though he can be a bit strict and even kicks our hero Miles "Pudge" Halter out of class one day, Pudge fawns over his brilliance. Over the course of the semester, he challenges his students to contemplate the meaning of life, mortality, and the "labyrinth of suffering."

In episode four, Alaska and Miles stay at Culver Creek over Thanksgiving break and visit the old man at his cabin. The topic of love comes up and Alaska, who notices a picture of a man on Dr. Hyde's mantle, asks about his partner. That's how we get the story of Diego, the love of his life who died of AIDS during the height of the crises. He details their romance, his slow agonizing death, and how he would do anything to be with him again. "I poured my soul into the dust by loving a man who was soon to die, as if he would live forever," Hyde laments with a St. Augustine quote.

In the book, Hyde's character isn't very fleshed out; he only briefly mentions that he has a late wife. Editing Hyde to give us this powerful moment is a very inclusive stray from the novel, one that underlines Dr. Hyde's search for the meaning of life. He even says that after Diego died, he quit political science to study religion, the class he teaches at Culver Creek Academy. It's also so sweet to see his students be so accepting and loving of their teacher, which certainly can't be expected in small-town Georgia circa 2005.

Alaska and Miles invite Hyde to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. He declines and at first, it's kind of sad to watch him prepare a turkey on his lonesome. That feeling swells when we see him dancing with his partner Diego, a quiet dream that brings a smile to this face—and tears to ours.

The full season of Looking For Alaska is on Hulu now. Watch the trailer below.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!