The Summer I Turned Pretty is a cute coming-of-age story but a let-down in the romance department. Check out the details in my parents guide review.
Amazon Prime Video’s The Summer I Turned Pretty dropped on the streaming service today, June 17th. The series is based on the popular novel of the same name by Jenny Han, who is best known for her trilogy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This isn’t Han’s first book turned into a series, yet does this new series stand up to her previous work? Check out the details in my parents guide review.
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The Summer I Turned Pretty Parents Guide
On an annual summer vacation to their family friends’ beach house, Belly reunites with her friends who are brothers, Jeremiah and Conrad, and she finds herself in a love triangle with the brothers.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch The Summer I Turned Pretty.
Language: The Summer I Turned Pretty contains strong language, with profanity used throughout. Lookout words include: f*ck, b*tch, sh*t, a**, sl*t, d*ck, d*mn, hell, and phrases such as “screw it.”
Mature Content: The series contains many adult themes that parents need to be made aware of, many of which are of a sexual nature. Characters are shown having sex, thrusting in a car. Teenagers are shown about to have sex, removing their tops and passionately kissing. There is also a scene in which teens go skinny dipping and are left naked after their clothes are stolen. The series shows underage drinking and the characters smoke pot and eat edibles.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is exactly what the title suggests. Isabella, AKA Belly, goes to the town of Cousins every summer since she was born. This blossoming has created quite a love triangle, or square, between the two Fisher boys she spends every summer with and another suitor named Cam. While a love square may seem like a big ole juicy soapy drama, the boys, for the most part, are drama-less, making the romantic part of the story a bit of a let down. The lack of drama in the series is rescued by Belly‘s narration of her thoughts, feelings, and emotions voiced over throughout the series. This is where most of the coming-of-age portion is mostly played out, as audiences witness much of Belly’s emotional growth through her internal dialogue.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is not totally devoid of drama. In fact, in the series, it is with the adults that viewers see the most conflicts and spectacles, as they touch on adultery, divorce, sex after divorce, and even cancer. Susannah and Laurel, played by Rachel Blanchard and Jackie Chung, are best friends and the mothers of Conrad, Jeremiah, and Belly. The two actresses have terrific chemistry onscreen and their friendship seems genuine and authentic, almost as if they were really best friends in real life. The conflicts they struggle with in the series may not interest the young adult audience, towards which the show is geared towards, but the older crowd will definitely find their interest in the show revolving around them.
The casting and performances by the entire cast of The Summer I Turned Pretty were solid. All the teens look the part and also have good chemistry together, particularly the female friends in the show. While the male characters in the series have their moments to shine, it is the females who are the driving force and focus of the story.
As a fan of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I was looking forward to this new series, which is also the brainchild of writer Jenny Han. Unfortunately, The Summer I Turned Pretty doesn’t stack up to it due to a lack of investment in the characters and love interest. I found myself not rooting for any of the possible suitors to win over Belly. This may not be the case for a young viewer, as the characters seem relatable enough and, of course, extremely good-looking. But the older viewers will find their personalities a bit vapid, and focus more on the adults relationships and even Belly’s ultimate maturity instead. There is then something for all ages to benefit in watching this series, just don’t expect to be blown away at any time.