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The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2, Episodes 1-3, brings back this endearing story of summer romance for a sophomore season. If the premiere season was about establishing this sweet summer tale, season 2 is about establishing growth and these characters’ ability to adapt to new and harsher realities. The first three episodes are a compelling way to grow these characters and add emotional depth to this story.
It makes sense to start with Belly (Lola Tung) and how far she’s come since we last met. A single summer has evidently taken its toll. The way she faces her grief and new dynamics in her relationships is incredibly authentic. Watching her slowly withdraw from everything in her life is a powerful and heartbreaking way to illustrate the depth of this character’s pain. Watching her struggle so creates such deep empathy for her.
The fact that the first three episodes also put the love triangle firmly on the back burner doesn’t take away from the romance at all. In fact, it’s easier to invest in these characters as they navigate their immense grief together and apart. These love stories have gotten much more complicated as time’s gone on as everyone has grown up and had to face devastating grief and loss.
Relatedly, The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 Episodes 1-3 marks a turning point from the simple love story that was so beautifully innocent. These episodes are a reflection on how grief touches every single part of life. Each of these characters evidently has a lot of love to give. However, they all need to work through their own feelings of loss before they’re fully able to re-commit to summer loves.
These episodes are a tribute to Susannah (Rachel Blanchard) and everything she has meant to her family and friends. The fact that she’s always present, even after her death, is a poignant way to show how much she continues to mean to her family. The house and summer as a whole represent this character’s spirit and a simpler time when this family was together. This is what makes the impending loss of the Cousins house so devastating.
One of the most dynamic characters who is introduced in these first episodes is Julia (Kyra Sedgwick). It will be interesting to see how her character arc unfolds. Evidently, she is going to become an outlet for Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) to work through their grief. She’s no villain, but she is a symbol of Conrad and Jeremiah’s loss. She may be the key to this family being able to work through their grief and say goodbye to Susannah.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is back, and not a moment too soon. The combination of sweetness and heart continues to serve this story well. Each of these characters is on a new path that they never wanted to be on. Watching their courage makes for compelling viewing, to say the least. This is hopefully the beginning of journey for each of these characters that they need to take, to process their loss and to re-connect with the love they all deserve.
The Summer I Turned Pretty streams Fridays on Prime Video.