|The Summer I Turned Pretty|
|Created by||Jenny Han|
|Based on||The Summer I Turned Pretty|
by Jenny Han
|Music by||Zachary Dawes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Running time||39–59 minutes|
|Network||Amazon Prime Video|
|Release||June 17, 2022 –|
The Summer I Turned Pretty is an American coming-of-age romantic drama television series created by author Jenny Han for Amazon Prime Video, and is based on her novel trilogy of the same name. Lola Tung (Belly) stars as a teenager involved in a love triangle with two brothers played by Christopher Briney (Conrad) and Gavin Casalegno (Jeremiah).
Production on the series began in 2021. It premiered on June 17, 2022, with the first season consisting of seven episodes. Ahead of the series premiere, it was renewed for a second season which premiered on July 14, 2023, and consists of eight episodes. In August 2023, the series was renewed for a third season.
The story follows Isabel "Belly" Conklin, who is about to turn sixteen, as she and her family reunite with Susannah Fisher and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad (the latter of which Belly has had a crush on since she was ten).
Events from previous summers have impacted Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher's connection with Belly as Belly navigates the difficulties of growing up and her first love. Belly discovers the importance of taking chances to achieve her goals and that change is inevitable. Every summer Belly and her family stay at her mother's best friend’s home in Cousins Beach. As a child, Belly felt left out because of the four children, she was the youngest and the only girl. However, this summer, both Conrad and Jeremiah have noticed how much she has changed over the last year. Belly gets the impression that this will be an unforgettable summer because of their interest in her.
Cast and characters
- Lola Tung as Isabel "Belly" Conklin
- Jackie Chung as Laurel Park
- Rachel Blanchard as Susannah Fisher
- Christopher Briney as Conrad Fisher
- Gavin Casalegno as Jeremiah Fisher
- Sean Kaufman as Steven Conklin
- Alfredo Narciso as Cleveland Castillo (season 1; recurring season 2)
- Minnie Mills as Shayla (season 1)
- Colin Ferguson as John Conklin
- Tom Everett Scott as Adam Fisher
- Rain Spencer as Taylor Madison Jewel (season 2; recurring season 1)
- Elsie Fisher as Skye (season 2)
- Kyra Sedgwick as Julia (season 2)
- David Iacono as Cam
- Summer Madison as Nicole
|First released||Last released|
|1||7||June 17, 2022|
|2||8||July 14, 2023||August 18, 2023|
Season 1 (2022)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Summer House"||Jesse Peretz||Jenny Han||June 17, 2022|
|Every summer, the Conklins—Belly, her brother Steven, and her mother Laurel—stay in Cousins Beach with Laurel's best friend, Susannah Fisher, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has had a crush on Conrad since she was twelve, but says he only sees her as a little girl. Upon their arrival, Belly and Laurel notice that Conrad is behaving uncharacteristically. Belly tries to confront him about his aloofness, but is interrupted by Jeremiah and Steven, who go with Conrad to a bonfire party on the beach. At the urging of her best friend Taylor, Belly sneaks out to go to the bonfire. She sees Conrad kissing a girl, Nicole, who he escorted to the previous year's debutante ball. After arguing with both Conrad and Steven, Belly sits alone. She is approached by a boy named Cam; they hit it off and end up kissing. Conrad gets into a drunken fight and the police break up the party. Belly decides to accept Susannah's invitation to be a debutante.|
|2||2||"Summer Dress"||Jesse Peretz||Becca Gleason||June 17, 2022|
|Susannah and Laurel take Belly shopping for debutante dresses. Belly attends her first debutante tea and meets her fellow debs, including Shayla, a wealthy socialite. Belly also discovers that Nicole is her big sister for the season. Cam asks Belly on a date to the drive-in movie theater. At Laurel's book signing, Laurel reencounters Cleveland Castillo, a fellow author she accidentally insulted. He tells her his next book is about sailing, about which he knows little, and she recommends he ask Conrad for lessons. Bored of the bookstore party, Conrad has the idea for the boys to crash Belly's date. She furiously sends them away. Cam drives her home and they kiss again. Steven sneaks out to hook up with Shayla on the beach. She asks him to be her date to the deb ball. Belly and Conrad argue about him showing up at the drive-in; he calls her immature and vain, and she accuses him of playing with her feelings.|
|3||3||"Summer Nights"||Jeff Chan||Jenny Zhang||June 17, 2022|
|Belly looks forward to celebrating her 16th birthday. Everyone shares laughs and gifts with her except for Conrad who claims to have forgotten. Belly and Jeremiah pick up Taylor when she arrives in Cousins Beach. Susannah hosts a dinner and the girls end up going to a party at Nicole's. Steven and Taylor kiss but are caught by Belly and that causes a rift between her and Taylor. Cam awaits an invite to the Deb Ball. Belly finds out that Conrad bought her a birthday present but never gave it to her. Belly and Taylor make up when she is leaving town.|
|4||4||"Summer Heat"||Jeff Chan||Speed Weed||June 17, 2022|
|The kids prepare for Susannah's big Fourth of July celebration. Belly and Steven's dad will be attending with his new girlfriend, but the Fisher boys learn their father Adam won't be able to make it. Belly drinks too many margaritas and she tells Shayla about Steven's hook-up with Taylor, causing Shayla to tell Steven that they are not exclusive. However, they get back together. Belly teases Conrad at the shower and tells him that she knows he bought a birthday present for her. Laurel has an argument with Susannah, goes to the bar and has sex with Cleveland. When Belly is sober again, she apologizes to Conrad and they almost kiss but are interrupted by Jeremiah.|
|5||5||"Summer Catch"||Erica Dunton||Marty Scott & Deborah Swisher||June 17, 2022|
|Susannah and Laurel venture to a dive bar where they relive good times and Susannah hooks up with a stranger. Laurel and Cleveland get closer. Belly breaks up with Cam and later wonders if she's chosen the wrong Fisher brother. Conrad rejects Belly and Belly says she is done waiting for him. Sharing a midnight swim with Jeremiah, he reveals his love for Belly, and the two kiss.|
|6||6||"Summer Tides"||Erica Dunton||Bayan Wolcott||June 17, 2022|
|It's the annual beach volleyball fundraiser, and Belly is determined to win. Taylor joins as her partner but fakes an injury to help out Jeremiah. While on the boat with Cleveland, Conrad has a breakdown and opens up about what's been troubling him. Belly and Taylor are invited to hang out with Nicole on her dad's boat. Susannah tells Conrad to escort Belly to the debutante ball. While Belly and Taylor are at the boat, Conrad texts Belly, and Nicole and the other girls see it, so they leave Belly and Taylor, naked at the ocean, taking everything with them. Later, Nicole breaks up with Conrad and tells him about the incident at the boat and gives him Belly and Taylor's clothes. Meanwhile, Belly calls Jeremiah to come and pick them up. So the boys both show up but Belly chooses to go with Jeremiah and they kiss in his car.|
|7||7||"Summer Love"||Erica Dunton||Jenny Han & Gabrielle Stanton||June 17, 2022|
|On the day of the debutante ball, everything looks to be shaping up for the big night. Belly is expected to go to the deb with Jeremiah. Susannah and Laurel got Belly the dress she actually wanted. Steven, having lost his money in the poker game, can no longer afford a tuxedo and has to tell Shayla however, he borrows an old tux from her dad. Jeremiah starts to suspect something about his mom. When the final dance's time arrives, Jeremiah disappears, finding out about Susannah's cancer through her phone. Conrad takes Jeremiah's place and dances with Belly. Susannah agrees to start the treatment. Conrad and Belly kiss by the beach.|
Season 2 (2023)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|8||1||"Love Lost"||Zoe Cassavetes||Jenny Zhang||July 14, 2023|
|Susannah's cancer worsening means her sons coming to terms with her looming death and their conflict over Belly. Belly wants to resolve the conflict as well but also wants to help the two families stand up to an apparent threat against their beloved summer house. Valedictorian Steven seems to act strangely after his high school graduation.|
|9||2||"Love Scene"||Zoe Cassavetes||Jenny Han||July 14, 2023|
|Laurel's book about her friendship with Susannah means an important trip to New York to promote it, which she's reluctant to make. Conrad disappears after Susannah's funeral and an argument with Belly. Belly and Jeremiah search for him and try to resolve the conflict over the triangle involving them and Conrad. The boys learn the threat to the summer home both families loved---their aunt, Julia, who has somehow become its legal owner and intends to sell. Their plan to keep the house in the family faces a disheartening obstacle.|
|10||3||"Love Sick"||Isabel Sandoval||Krystle Drew||July 14, 2023|
|The summer house is up for sale, but Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad will leave no stone unturned to let it slip away so easily. While Conrad works on a secret plan, Belly and Jeremiah try a more direct route. But being back in Cousins with the Fisher brothers means Belly cannot escape painful memories of the past year.|
|11||4||"Love Game"||Isabel Sandoval||Scarlett Curtis||July 21, 2023|
|Conrad runs to the beach where he has another panic attack. Steven comes to his rescue. The next day, Aunt Julia announces that she is adamant to put up the summer house for sale and decides to go ahead with the open house, despite strong opposition from Conrad. To beat the heatwave Belly, Conrad, Jeremiah, Taylor, and their cousin Skye go to the state fair to play boardwalk games and relive old memories. Meanwhile, Laurel is at her book launch, unaware of the family drama happening at Cousins. After a fun-filled day of games and competition, the group get a huge shock when they come home to find Susannah's beloved summer house emptied, affecting them all.|
|12||5||"Love Fool"||Sophia Takal||Sabrina Sherif||July 28, 2023|
|Jeremiah narrates this episode, which begins with the group of kids going to the country club to spend the night. They split up to find food and places to sleep. Steven and Taylor dance together in the ballroom. Jeremiah and Belly go to the movie theater together where they watch an old movie and share a soda with Twizzler straws. Jeremiah's narration reveals how jealous he was of Conrad and how he has been in love with Belly for years. Eventually, the group decides to sleep on the golf course. Skye dares Belly to kiss Jeremiah, who refuses. Belly confronts Jeremiah and he confesses that he can't kiss her because he doesn't think he'd ever be able to stop if he did. They fall asleep next to each other on the green.|
|13||6||"Love Fest"||Sophia Takal||Keith Antone & Cameron J. Ross||August 4, 2023|
|With the house's sale an apparent done deal, Belly convinces the group to throw a blow-out farewell party the night before it must be turned over to the new owners. Before leaving, Aunt Julia collects everyone's keys to the house and confesses to Skye that hard feelings from her youth made her more resolute in selling the house. During the party, disconcerting events include an unwanted intrusion from Taylor's estranged boyfriend, Steven's bold protection of and bolder confession to her, another confrontation between Conrad and Jeremiah in which Jeremiah gives his brother a jarring pronouncement, and Belly's heartache when she learns the truth behind Conrad's funeral behaviour.|
|14||7||"Love Affair"||Megan Griffiths||Vanessa Rojas||August 11, 2023|
After Belly's tearful call for help, Laurel returns from New York hurt and angry over Belly keeping her in the dark over the last few days. They have a confrontation over the funeral resulting in Belly running away to the beach. Afterwards, Laurel apologizes to Belly, confessing her anger over Susannah's death and agrees to help the boys keep the beach house. After which the kids begin the hard cleanup following the "farewell" party. Julia is at first against the idea of keeping the house, but when Laurel expresses empathy towards her, she admits her lack of closure with Susannah and agrees to back out of the sale.Laurel also convinces Adam to let the house stay in the two families. Adam agrees to sell the house in Boston to buy the house back from Julia. Steven goes home to pursue his relationship with Taylor after the kids also help Conrad with an all-night study session to prepare for the Stanford entrance exam. Belly and Jeremiah visit her own prospective college destination, where she thinks about playing championship volleyball again and a college life together with Jeremiah, prompting the two to share a passionate kiss, which is interrupted by Conrad.
|15||8||"Love Triangle"||Megan Griffiths||Sarah Kucserka||August 18, 2023|
Conrad's continuing conflicted feelings about Belly come to a head when he, Belly, and Jeremiah are stranded in a storm and forced to share a motel room for the night. Steven convinces Laurel to attend a writers group meeting she fears, and Laurel seems to make a new friend of a fellow suburbanite writer who also attends. Despite Taylor's ex making a recording that seems to embarrass Steven, he and Taylor admit their feelings for each other and finally get together. Jeremiah tells Conrad that he'll step back if he really still has feelings for Belly and she still loves him too, despite his behavior during the last year, and he asks Conrad to tell Belly how he feels because she deserves to know to make her own decision. Conrad tells Belly he still wants her, but the next morning Belly goes after Jeremiah and the two kiss. Back in the motel room, Belly goes to talk to Conrad, seeing Belly wearing the Finch sweatshirt, takes it all back. He says that he didn't mean it, and they're friends in order to give Belly and Jeremiah a chance to be happy together. Conrad leaves the room and breaks down in tears.Belly and Jeremiah drive back to Philadelphia where Belly goes to volleyball camp and apologizes to her coach. Jeremiah stays to watch volleyball camp. Meanwhile, Conrad returns to Cousins to clean up the house, alone.
On February 8, 2021, Amazon gave the production a series order consisting of eight episodes. The series is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Jenny Han. It is created and executive produced by Han. Also executive producing are Gabrielle Stanton, Karen Rosenfelt, Nne Ebong, and Hope Hartman. On June 8, 2022, ahead of the series premiere, Amazon renewed the series for a second season. On August 3, 2023, ahead of the second season finale, the series was renewed for a third season.
On April 28, 2021, Lola Tung, Rachel Blanchard, Jackie Chung, and Christopher Briney were cast as series regulars. In July 2021, Gavin Casalegno, Sean Kaufman, Minnie Mills and Alfredo Narciso joined the main cast, while Summer Madison, David Iacono, Rain Spencer, and Tom Everett Scott joined the cast in recurring roles. On August 31, 2022, Kyra Sedgwick and Elsie Fisher were cast in recurring capacities for the second season. On April 20, 2023, Mills announced that she exited the series ahead of the second season.
Principal photography for the first season took place in 2021 in Wilmington, North Carolina, locations included Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher, and Wave Transit's Padgett Station on N. 3rd Street. Filming of the second season began in July 2022 and concluded in November 2022.
The series premiered on Prime Video on June 4, 2022. The first three episodes of the second season premiered on July 14, 2023, with the remaining five episodes releasing weekly until the finale on August 18, 2023.
For the first season, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 88% approval rating with an average rating of 7.1/10, based on 24 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Summer I Turned Pretty doesn't need more time to become a swan, coming out of the gate a solidly charming and sweet rom-com with appeal across generations." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 72 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "As a coming-of-age story, Amazon's The Summer I Turned Pretty is a cut above. Tenderly written and endearingly acted, it's sensitive to the subtle but irreversible shifts in self-perception that come with late adolescence — and at the same time clear-eyed enough to understand that teenagers, up to and including its own blushing heroine, sure can act like clueless jerks while they're figuring out how to wield their newfound powers." Delia Cai of Vanity Fair also gave a positive review, commenting that "the specificity of Laurel's fantasy summer is ultimately what rescues The Summer I Turned Pretty from being too sticky sweet."
Writing for The Playlist, Marya E. Gates wrote, "Although the voiceover in which [Belly] shares [her] feelings is unevenly deployed, it's refreshing to see a story that puts the girl in the driver's seat and gives her the room to work through the contradictions of adolescence and sexual coming-of-age on her own terms." Joyce Slaton of Common Sense Media said the series is "as sweet, light, and refreshing as a soda on ice by the swimming pool...[and] tackles the confusion and loveliness of an awkward coming-of-age."
Abby Cavenaugh of Collider noted "though at some points, the love triangle — or quadrangle, with Cam included — can feel a bit forced, overall this story works on many levels. You grow to really care about these characters and want to see them happy," adding "Belly is the star of the show, and Tung sells every moment of it with her luminous performance."
The second season holds an approval rating of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 critic reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. On Metacritic, the second season received a score of 71 based on reviews from 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Some critics welcomed the series' tackling of the heavier themes of grief and loss. Lauren Chval of The A.V. Club said that season 2 raises the stakes of the central love triangle and makes a strong case for a Jeremiah relationship with Belly. Tung's performance received continued praise, with Kayleigh Donaldson of TheWrap writing that "the season is at its best when it focuses on Belly, giving space to her emotional strife and the oft-derided difficulties of being a teenage girl in a world where you're positioned as something between a sex object and a punching bag." The soundtrack also received praise.
Others felt the second season lacks the breeziness and fun of the first season. Though critics noted the narrative stays faithful to the book, some said the integration of flashback scenes was at times confusing and that important storylines were being skipped. Writing for Collider, Therese Lacson gave an overall positive review but noted that the season's addition of new characters meant less time to develop their arcs and the meat of their stories. Nicole Gallucci of Decider wrote season 2's "emotional roller coaster serves as a harsh reminder that life isn't always a beach, but its unique mix of 'miserable and magical' will keep you hooked until the end."
Following the series' debut, all three The Summer I Turned Pretty books entered the top three spots on the Amazon Best Sellers list, with the second book, It's Not Summer Without You, reaching number one. The artists whose music is used in the show have also seen an increase in streams, sales and followers, with some experiencing up to a 6,000% increase in song sales. Taylor Swift's seventh studio album, Lover, resurged in sales and streaming, and re-entered the top 40 region of the Billboard 200 chart as well, after three of its songs—"Cruel Summer", "Lover" and "False God"—were featured in the series. Beyoncé's 2014 single 'XO' tripled in sales units following the use of it in the finale. The series also had a significant social media reach, with the hashtag #TheSummerITurnedPretty accumulating over 13.8 billion views on TikTok. It generated over 107,000 global posts over launch weekend and 725 million potential impressions across platforms, according to social analytics agency DMS.
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