The second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty was released on 14th July 2023. Based on the book series of the same name by Jenny Han, the second season has 8 episodes, and all episodes are now available to stream on Amazon Prime.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 Cast
- Lola Tung as Belly
- Gavin Casalegno as Jeremiah Fisher
- Christopher Briney as Conrad Fisher
- Sean Kauffman as Steven
- Rain Spencer as Taylor
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 Plot
Belly finds herself lost and confused as she tries to navigate Susannah’s death and her feelings for the Fisher Brothers. She returns to The Cousins, hoping to help the brothers and find closure.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 Review
We often find ourselves in a situation that feels uncomfortably familiar. When history starts repeating itself, we have zero control over the events of our lives again. When you know that you should not head down this road the familiarity beckons you to fall down this rabbit hole again. Make the same mistake twice. Maybe this time, it will be different.
No one seems to know this better than The Summer I Turned Pretty’s Belly. Lola Tung made an extremely interesting decision when she decided to take on the role of Belly. As much as I dislike the character arc of Belly, she is a fascinating role. Belly is as cliché teenager as a cliché teenager can be. She is an extreme character whose understanding of herself is clouded with righteousness. A selfishness that she can not see because she feels that she is only helping others. I love the way Tung portrayed this character. She ensured that even though the viewers would be aware of how messy Belly is, they would not root against her. Lola was above and beyond in the entire series.
The Ingenious of Jenny Han
I have to say, I found Belly insufferable, and that is because one of my biggest pet peeves in stories is miscommunication. Her entire arc in the series is based on miscommunication, self-pity, and confusion. While the latter I can sympathize with, I have nothing but disdain for the other two. Jenny Han seems well aware of the blood boiling because, compared to the last season, she does not shy away from giving self-pity the limelight. She wants to audience to stay by hating the whining. I wanted to watch the next episode to see what else could Belly think was about her.
There is a scene in the series where Belly raises hell on Conrad in the middle of Susannah’s funeral. While Conrad is mourning his mother’s date, Belly decides to ambush him about their relationship. Why would Jenny Han subject her protagonist to this much hate from the community if she didn’t know that this is exactly what would keep us invested? I love women.
Another due credit to the series is that they have done great research on the audience. Using Taylor Swift songs when Conrad and Belly had a moment to slowly incorporate her tracks into Belly and Jeremiah’s moments is ingenious. She took social media by storm. The number of Team Conrad and Team Jeremiah tweets is concerning. Taylor Swift is selling out stadiums, but Jenny Han is the one cashing in on global obsession with Ms. Swift. She incorporated the famous scene from All Too Well: the golden light and blue light contrast in the relationship scene, to the last episode where Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad share a motel room.
I do believe that the cringe-ness and the over-sappy nature of the series are so intentional. When we are teenagers, the world is a music video. All our relationships seem to be well summarized by the latest trending pop track, so what better way to portray the love triangle?
Gavin was the scene-stealer this season. He gracefully showed growth to Jeremiah and convinced us that till now, everyone was rooting for the wrong Fisher Brother. He stole hearts, and not just by looking like a golden retriever/Greek god. The way he quietly expressed everything Jeremiah was feeling; losing hope, falling for Belly, his respect for Conrad, or just having the time of his life, Gavin ensured that everyone knew exactly what he was feeling.
I did not enjoy Christopher’s performance this season. It could be because he wasn’t given much of a role except for being cranky. There could have been more to Conrad, but in the book, too, he was very two-dimensional. He is always either mysterious or whiny.
Side Characters And Amazing Story Arcs
The best story goes to Steven and Taylor. Steven won the title in the first season too, because he was so heartwarming with Shayla. This season, he was so at ease with Taylor, and their bantering was hilarious. Not always. Sometimes, it was so forced that I could skip ahead and tell you exactly what they might have said. I will never understand why Taylor’s bar for men was someone who would know her middle name. However, they did have a great dance scene before this mockery.
Cam Cameron (David Iacono) should get more screen time. He is the biggest green flag, and I have something for nerds, so it really helped that they did not dial down his love for marine biology. His chemistry with Skye (Elsie Fisher) was not as passionate. It was not believable, and I could honestly have done without it.
In the list of people who should have the screen more is Jackie Chung’s Laurel. She is so engaging on the screen. Her dialogue delivery and her responses are all so natural that I was convinced that she was the mother.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
The Summer I Turned Pretty has been renewed for a third season, though I don’t see the need for it. The ending was great and satisfying, and I have no questions that need to be answered in the next season. I hope they don’t force the story because this is one of the few times when the second season did a better job than the first. While I did enjoy the series, it is not one that I will be overjoyed to recommend. It would also not be a series that I voluntarily rewatch because the sappiness can get a little too much. Overall, it is a good series to binge if you want to revisit your Wattpad days with a Taylor Swift album playing on the background.