Y’all. Let me just tell you. I have been WAITING for a series like this for a long time. Thanks to Freeform, I was able to watch the first few episodes of their newest series, Cruel Summer, and it is my favorite thing to hit my tiny screen since Riverdale! Cruel Summer is a whodunnit psychological thriller that follows two teenage girls. Beautiful and popular Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) who goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), the nerdy girl who dreams of having the life that the popular ones lead. After Kate’s disappearance, Jeanette has a significant glow-up. This allows her to live the life she’s always dreamed of: popular friends, and a super-hot boyfriend. However, a year later Kate is found and starts pointing fingers.
The Rest Of The Story
Kate and Jeanette’s story is told while intertwining the years 1993, 94, and 95 (the year Kate is found). When we first meet Jeanette in 1993, she is a bubbly, goofy young teenager who dreams of how the other half lives. A year later, we see her again on her birthday. However, it seems Jeanette has taken up the mantle and popularity of missing girl Kate Wallis. Not only that, Jeanette is now dating Kate’s boyfriend as well.
When we turn the page into 1995, we see a much darker, depressed, Jeanette who is coping with the long-tail trauma of having been blamed for Kate’s imprisonment. While jumping back in forth into and out of timelines, we’re able to get a glimpse of who each character was, and who they have become. I absolutely loved this gimmick. It felt it kept the pace of the story, I never felt bored or confused, and I felt it fleshed out our characters in a whole new way. I also appreciate that each year is very distinct and easy to understand thanks to costumes, hair, lighting, music, makeup, and clothing. So, I never found myself confused a to where I was within the story.
When Can I Watch It?
Every episode of Cruel Summer does a great job with character development from the leads to the supporting cast; and the actors are ::chefs kiss:: Olivia and Chiara are absolutely incredible as Kate and Jeanette. The storylines they’re given have so many layers and depth, and are so incredibly compelling that sometimes I forgot that I was watching a television show. On top of that, each episode is full of twists and turns, and intrigue that keeps the series compelling. Even after watching a few episodes I still don’t know what to believe!
Cruel Summer premieres on Freeform April 20th at 9 pm and Hulu the next day. Will you be watching? I know I will!