The Summer I Turned Pretty TV Series
On Prime Video
Warning! This blog contains spoilers
As I said earlier, I have a 6 year old and a 20 month old and as soon as they are in bed so am I. However, sometimes when my head hits the pillow my insomnia kicks in. Well on one such occasion I was scrolling Netflix and Prime Video for something to watch and The Summer I Turned Pretty caught my eye. I knew very little about it except that it was new to Prime Video and Taylor Swift had reimagined some of her songs for it. I went into it thinking it was a movie. Upon realising it was a series, I um’d and ah’d about starting a series not knowing when my schedule or insomnia would let me finish it, but I thought why not. From the first episode I was hooked. I watched 3 episodes that first night, 2 the following night and the final 2 the night after.
What I now know is that Season One is based off book 1 in the series, with some differences.
It is still told from Belly’s point of view and still flashes between present day summer and past summers however we don’t get the perspective of other characters like we do in the book.
The series starts with Belly getting ready to spend her summer in Cousins at her mum’s best friend’s summer beach house. Just like she does every year. The beach house is her special place, her happy place. She has been coming here her whole life. Its her sacred place. But this year is different. This year she turns 16 and as the title suggests this summer is different. This summer is about Belly finding out who she is and her friends and family discovering the real Belly.
And this leads to the biggest change from the books. In the TV Series Belly partakes in the Cousins annual debutante ball. For those that don’t know, a debutante is a young woman who has reached maturity (and back in the olden days this meant ready for marriage) and is presented to society through a formal event usually a ball. This is a great way to represent Belly’s coming of age and of finding herself. It’s a running theme as many of the things Belly does this summer, someone comments ‘This isn’t you Belly’. From her mum, her best friend and Conrad, her unrequited love interest (or is he?). They struggle with the idea of Belly finding who she really is by trying all these ‘new’ things for her.
Belly has had a crush on Conrad since she was 10. There is no other boy for her but him. But in her mission to make this summer different , this will be the summer of he first kiss, her first date but it is not with Conrad. While gate crashing a beach party the boys didn’t take her to and making a fool of herself she bumps into someone she knows from 7th grade Latin Convention. He sits with her and provides her company, even offering his jacket when she gets cold. He is sweet and becomes Belly’s summer boyfriend. It is through her relationship with Cam that we start to see the starts of the green eye monster in Conrad and his younger brother Jeremiah. Thus starts the love triangle.
There series also delves into the lives of the parentals more than the books. We get to see love Laurel (Belly’s mum) and Susannah (Conrad & Jeremiah’s mum) have for each other in their friendship and alludes to what this summer is really all about for them. Susannah is sick. The kids do not know. This is about her having one last perfect summer with her summer family. And in a way her entering Belly into the debutante ball was she could see her girl in a white dress (alluding to not being around for Belly’s wedding). This all comes out in the final episode of the season. Where we find out Conrad has known all summer and it is one of the reasons he has been so moody and we see the utter devastation this has on all characters. At the end of the book Susannah dies. At the end of the TV Series Susannah agrees to try some experimental treatment. I told you this blog had spoilers.
However, we already know that we will get to see how this tweak plays out in Season 2 as it was renewed for a new season before the first season dropped on the streaming service. Which is good, There is nothing like starting a series, getting invested and living on tender hooks to find out if the story will get continued or not. I am still bitter after the Shadowhunters cancellation.
Book one ends with Belly sneaking out to get in Conrad’s car to drive off somewhere. The season ends with Belly and Conrad kissing, and no explanation on how this affects her new relationship with Jeremiah. But thing is for sure I cannot wait for season 2. With The Summer I Turned Pretty Twitter and Instagram accounts posting that its already in production, hopefully we don’t have to wait long.
Jeremiah – Gavin Casalegno
Youngest son to Rachel “Beck’, younger brother to Conrad and Belly’s best friend. He is a bit of a flirt and doesn’t mind which gender he flirts with. Described as the golden boy or ‘golden retriever’ for his loyalty and always bubbly out look in life. Puts his feelings for Belly aside for Conrad, but later pursues them after getting the ok from Conrad to do so.
Belly – Lola Tung
Daughter of Laurel, sister of Steven and the only girl amongst the kids. She is our narrator and protagonist of the series. Has had a crush on Conrad since she was 10. To Belly, Conrad is the sum and the moon. However, she grows tired waiting for Conrad and as part of her coming of age starts to explore relationships with other people. Including his brother Jeremiah.
Conrad – Christopher Briney
Oldest son to Rachel ‘Beck’ and older brother to Jeremiah. Quits the football team and spends the summer drinking and smoking. Keeps his emotions inside and pushes his loved ones away. Develops feelings for Belly and shows this by being over protective and jealous when other boys talk to her.