Sunday, 14, August, 2022

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty – Season 1

Prime Video recently released the first teaser of the series The Summer I Turned Pretty which arrives in June on the platform. For those who don't know, The Summer That Changed My Life addresses a love triangle between a girl and two brothers, the ever-evolving relationship between mothers and children, and the lasting power of a strong female friendship. It's a coming-of-age story about first love, first disappointment, and the magic of that perfect summer.

Read too: For All the Boys I Loved | 11 Differences between the film and the book

The series is based on the novel written by Jenny Han who is responsible for writing the pilot and will be the showrunner of the series marking her first TV work. Joining Han are Gabrielle Stanton, Karen Rosenfelt, Paul Lee, Nne Ebong and Hope Hartman. Remembering that the series is a co-production between Amazon Studios and wiip.

And at the invitation of Amazon, we watched the eight episodes of the series that debuts on the platform in the second half of June and we will share here what we think of The Summer I Turned Pretty.

It is a teen series and addresses those cliché situations of this phase that is not only marked by being a moment of transition, of leaving childhood and entering adolescence and moving towards the young adult moment, but by discoveries, experiences, frustrations, dreams... be a maturing journey.

Crítica: The Summer I Turned Pretty - 1ª Temporada 1
Lola Tung is Belly in The Summer That Changed My Life / Play Amazon Prime Video

The Summer I Turned Pretty has eight episodes that are accompanied by current hits, De cruel summer from Taylor Swift to Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish, the new plot by Amazon Prime Video comes with a very interesting musical repertoire and some of these choices even match the teenage atmosphere that the work conveys.

The announced cast will feature Lola Tung, Gavin Casalegno and Christopher Briney who will give life to the protagonist trio, then Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad respectively. In addition to the names above we have: Jackie Chung, Alfredo Narciso, Summer Madison, David Iacono, Rain Spencer and Tom Everett Scott.

It is a charismatic team and they manage to convey through their performances the emotions and concerns of being a teenager. The main character, Belly, is in that moment of discovery, of crushes, of budding. Maybe that's why we have the issue of the debutante ball, which is a passage for girls who become women. But whoever thinks that the plot only addresses this side is wrong.

Crítica: The Summer I Turned Pretty - 1ª Temporada 2
The book, originally released in 2009, has been published in Brazil by Intrinseca since 2019.

Here we see a lot of the issue of friendships between women. Belly's mothers and brothers Conrad and Jeremiah have been friends for a long time and it's that kind of friendship that we see true in the exchanges, in the affection, in the respect for each other. It is similar with the friendship we witnessed in Friends Forever from Netflix. And just like in the plot adapted by the competitor, one of them also has a disease that could be terminal. And this is the hook for a second season that has already been confirmed even without the premiere of the first.

In the script we don't see big surprises, it's more of the same. With a little twist to the arc of Conrad who seems to know about his mother's illness. Photography could have been more daring, but it doesn't make too many mistakes. The costume – I felt represented by the protagonist, because like her I love a flip-flop -, I knew how to use it according to the environments in which the characters were. Overall, we could feel the summer, but something was missing to make it really magical.

As for the subplots, some have their points closed without leaving loose ends like the brief history between Belly and Cam. But some others ended up open and that we believe will have continuity in the next seasons since there are three books.

The reason for the author's fixation on having love triangles in her books is incomprehensible. And then, unnecessary. The protagonist falls in love with a brother, but the other also has feelings for her. It makes no sense to impose something like that, as it will only bring more frustrations and misunderstandings.

Remembering that the book, originally released in 2009, has been published in Brazil by Intrinseca since 2019. And the adaptation is coming to the big screen soon.

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