The Summer I Turned Pretty season two
The trailer for season two of The Summer I Turned Pretty has a very ironic quote tacked onto the end of it, in which Belly says: “The future is unclear, but it’s still mine.” It’s ironic because ,even as she says that, throughout the entirety of the Amazon Prime series she never accepts any accountability for her own actions and the consequences that come with them; when she apologises, it’s as if she doesn’t understand the weight of her mistakes. Part of the original book trilogy’s charm is this headstrong main character growing out of her childish ways and navigating through falling in love. This doesn’t work on-screen because there’s very little time for introspection in the characters.
One of the main standouts from the first season was Belly’s older brother, Steven, whose role was significantly larger here than it ever was in the books. His relationship and story arc with Shayla was one of the more interesting elements and they ended on a very pleasant note. This season, however, Steven takes a backseat to the main love triangle of Jeremiah, Belly and Conrad. This abrupt end to the romance is not explored any further, and his chemistry with a new love interest is very lacklustre, falling into yet another love triangle – as if having had one in the first season wasn’t enough, and as if the series needs more than Belly’s already penetrating seesawing between Conrad and Jeremiah.
The Summer I Turned Pretty season two follows the retrospective structure of the novels, with an abundance of flashbacks triggered by specific words or objects in the present. This keeps the suspense and drama alive, even if the plot is clichéd and predictable; the piecing together of details concerning why and how everyone has ended up where they are now is one of the more compelling aspects of the series. It helps that, despite Belly’s frustrating character, Lola Tung manages to endear herself to watchers with a soft naivety and vulnerability. Some of the other actors are a little less convincing.
There’s exaggerated parallelism in the production, especially with sound mixing and editing in the transition from past to present, creating that déjà vu effect Belly has when she sees Jeremiah and is reminded of her relationship with Conrad. This constant exchange between past and present, from one scene to another, ramps up the intensity of the love triangle, lending credence to the young woman falling for the two brothers, regardless of everything that has happened. The heavy weight of that burden is what makes their closing scene and her final choice feel so devastating.
The Summer I Turned Pretty season two is released on Prime Video on 14th July 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Summer I Turned Pretty season two here: