‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ season 2 review: Lola Tung leads a season defined by friendship, family and heartbreak

The second instalment of the Jenny Han adaptation sails through comfortably by offering relatable moments to the audience but the series does not warrant a third season

Updated - July 17, 2023 12:34 pm IST

Published - July 17, 2023 12:23 pm IST

A still from season 2 of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’

A still from season 2 of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ | Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Do you ever look back on your first love and wonder what you could have done differently? Or why you dated that person at all? Do you look back on your summer holidays spent with friends before it was time to grow up? Do you remember that last glorious summer before everything changed?

Amazon Prime’s The Summer I Turned Pretty is back for a second season and it does everything to make you feel nostalgic about your past and make you cringe. The Team Conrad (Christopher Briney) vs. Team Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) discussion is back (as if it ever left) laced with the music of Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo.

The latest season is bingeable but predictable.

The Summer I Turned Pretty (season 2) (English)
Creator: Jenny Han
Cast: Lola Tung, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno, Sean Kaufman, Jackie Chung, Rain Spencer, Elsie Fisher, Kyra Sedgwick, David Iacono, Rachel Blanchard
Episodes: 8
Runtime: 53-57 minutes 
Storyline: Following Susannah’s death, her half-sister decides to put up the beach house at Cousins for sale which brings the gang back together to save it.

Season one ended with Susannah (Rachel Blanchard) agreeing to take part in the cancer trials but on the love front, viewers knew that season two wasn’t going to be smooth swimming. Belly (Lola Tung) first hooks up with Jeremiah despite having strong feelings for Conrad and after a conversation on the beach, it seems like everything is going to be good for “our special girl”.

Season two begins just a month after Susannah’s death, everyone is grieving in their own ways but something worse is in store for our gang. Susannah’s half-sister Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) suddenly makes an appearance with her non-binary child Skye (Elsie Fisher) with plans to sell the beach house at Cousins. Conrad finds out first and as usual, decides to take matters into his own hands which sets off a series of events that brings the gang back together.

The season is filled with flashbacks as characters remember moments and conversations in the near past and sometimes this back-and-forth can be confusing. Despite the focus on Susannah’s death, expressions of grief and saving the house, the season once again hinges on who Belly chooses and why. With the inclusion of Skye and the return of Cam-Cameron, who isn’t integral to the plotline, the gang has fun, fights and drama. We get to see Steven’s (Sean Kaufman) character develop, Taylor (Rain Spencer) overcome her fear of emotionally investing in a relationship and Laurel (Jackie Chung) push herself out of her comfort zone and be emotional.

The season has its moments of pure friendship and joy, tears and heartbreak and the support of family but at the end, almost everyone find themselves and figure out what makes them happy. Almost. There are moments you can relate to such as calling your parents when you are at your lowest crying violently or the happiness you feel when you’re surrounded by people you love.

The latest season reminds you of the time when endless flirty banter excited you, it reminds you of your first love but most of all it reminds you of the things you could do when you were 18 and free.

And maybe this time, the internet will be happy for Belly and her choice but we do not need another season to see if her choice was right. The next summer should be left to our imagination.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is currently streaming on Prime Video

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