Dusty's Reduced Heartbreak High Season 2 Role Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
Josh Heuston, Heartbreak High poster

Some fans are disappointed that Josh Heuston's Dustin "Dusty" Reid has somewhat of a reduced role in Heartbreak High Season 2 on Netflix

The soft reboot of the beloved Australian teen drama is back for another season on the streaming giant, thrusting fans into the lives of the students and staff of Hartley High. 

One character fans latched onto with a particular fervency during Season 1 was Dustin/Dusty Reid (played by Josh Heuston), a bisexual high schooler who was a major part of the first season.

Why Is Dusty Missing in Heartbreak High Season 2?

Josh Heuston as Dusty in Heartbreak High Season 1

Fans may be wondering why the presence of Josh Heuston's Dusty has been significantly reduced in Heartbreak High Season 2. 

The Season 1 mainstay has been relegated to a guest star in Season 2, no longer being a part of the main cast of teenage characters. 

Story-wise, this is explained in the first episode of Season 2. During the season premiere, it is revealed during a conversation between Brodie Townsend's Anthony "Ant" Vaughn, Asher Yasbincek's Harper McLean, and Bryn Chapman-Parish's Spencer "Spider" White that Dusty "doesn't go" to Hartley High anymore and has moved on to a different school:

Ant: "I'm willing to fill any holes left by Dusty."

Harper: "What do you mean, 'left by Dusty?'"

Spider: "Oh, what, you didn't hear? Dusty doesn't go here anymore. I mean, how could you after you KO'd his reputation in front of the whole school. That's, what, two guys you've gotten kicked out of Hartley now. First Ca$h, and now Dusty."

This conversation is the first indication fans get that things will be different for Heuston's character in Season 2.

He is only credited in one episode of Season 2, (Season 2, Episode 2) where he appears early on, revealing why he broke things off with Ayesha Madon's Amerie between Seasons 1 and 2. 

Josh Heuston as Dusty appearing in a web chat window in Heartbreak High Season 2 Episode 2

Why the character was sidelined for Season 2 might have something to do with circumstances far beyond that of any in-universe narrative motive.

Season 2 was notably filmed during the Summer 2023, also during the time of production for the upcoming Dune: Prophecy Max series, which Heuston is set to feature in. 

While not confirmed to have been the case, Heuston's role in the Dune TV show could have had something to do with his limited involvement in Heartbreak High Season 2, with the Netflix series conflicting with his Dune commitments. 

Fan Reactions to the Lack of Dusty in Heartbreak High

To say fans were upset to see Josh Heuston's lovable teenage heartthrob not back for much of Heartbreak High Season 2 would be an understatement. 

Thanks to his work in Season 1 of the teenage drama, the actor and his Dusty character have become fan favorites. So, it would come as a shock to many to learn that his role will be significantly reduced in Season 2. 

Some particularly passionate members of the Dusty faithful took to social media to express their dismay with the decision, asking, "Where the hell is Dusty?" (via @cosmicxsirens). 

If the actor's involvement in the upcoming Dune spin-off series is the reason he could not have a bigger part in Heartbreak High Season 2, then there is always the chance he could be back in a potential Season 3. 

While no third season has been greenlit, if Netflix were to rubber-stamp it, it seems unlikely that it would film it at the same time as one of Heuston's other projects yet again.

Dusty's appearances in Heartbreak High's second season (as brief as they may be) does not feel like a goodbye for the character. 

It feels like the series' creative team has more narrative meat to chew on with the character should he want to return for any potential future stories in the universe. 

Heartbreak High Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.