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Taking a Look at the First Season of The Summer I Turned Pretty

If you’ve been looking for the perfect summertime show to watch, look no further and get your popcorn ready! The Summer I Turned Pretty is a relatable teen TV series based on the novels by author Jenny Han. The thrilling love triangle that sparks between a girl named Isabel “Belly” and two brothers she's known forever, Conrad and Jeremiah, will have you up past midnight binge-watching every episode. I should know, that’s exactly what I did. I'll try not to give away too much but just a warning, there are spoilers ahead!

In the first episode, Belly, her mother Laurel, and her brother Steven make their trip to the Fishers' beach house in Cousins. Before leaving, Belly reveals her crush on Conrad Fisher to her best friend, Taylor. But, when she gets there, he is not his usual self… is he good? Is he really the guy that Belly fell for? That night at a bonfire party (one Steven did not want her going to), she ends up reuniting with a boy she knew from elementary school and they seemed to hit it off. I won’t spoil too much for you, but let’s just say that this summer is going to be a bit different than the rest. This episode was the start of it all and I couldn’t help but keep watching!

Laurel's best friend, Susannah Fisher, is quite wealthy and lives a very high-class lifestyle. A positive detail of the show is how Susannah and her sons are good-willed and selfless people unlike many portrayals of the wealthy in TV and film. Susannah doesn't have any daughters, but she treats Belly as her own. This detail shows the depth of Laurel and Susannah’s long-time friendship. Because Belly knows how much she means to Susannah as a "daughter", Belly agrees to participate in a debutante ball per Susannah's request. The episode progresses with Belly going on a date with bonfire boy, Cam, and her brother. Meanwhile, Steven starts something with Shayla, a popular high-class girl.

In the third episode, Belly’s sixteenth birthday arrives and everyone goes into celebration mode. However, Conrad seems more and more off. Good thing Belly had Taylor and Cam to take her mind off it. At the end of the episode, we find out that despite how things may appear, Susannah's life may not be so perfect after all. This was a shocking plot twist that could turn the entire story around, next season especially.

In the fourth episode, summer seems to be flying by since everyone has already gathered around for the Fourth of July celebration. Some problems seem to arise like an unexpected visit from Adam, Susannah's husband, and the boys' father. Conrad and Susannah, both angry with Adam for reasons I won't spoil here make it a point to avoid him. Meanwhile, Belly gets too drunk on pomegranate margaritas which leads to her accidentally exposing secrets that weren’t meant to be said out loud. This is the episode where lots of issues start surfacing, and it put me on the edge of my seat to see how the characters were going to resolve them.

A lot goes down in the fifth episode, and it all has something to do with people getting together. We see a new side of Jeremiah which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the show. Susannah and Laurel go out and have a girls' day, just like they used to do before they got married and had kids. Belly, on the other hand, is wondering if she should continue her relationship with Cam or go for the guy she has truly loved this whole time-- or maybe the guy she didn't know loved her until now, Jeremiah.

In the sixth episode, there is a volleyball tournament fundraising event for each of the debutants. With the help of both Jeremiah and Conrad, Belly wins the tournament but of course, there has to be some romantic tension floating around. At the end of the episode, Belly hangs out with her debutante friends and best friend Taylor on a yacht. However, after her deb sister Nicole, who also happens to be Conrad's girlfriend, accidentally comes across a shocking text that Conrad sends to Belly, Nicole feels betrayed and the debutants ditch Belly and Taylor while skinny dipping in the cove leaving both Jeremiah and Conrad to come to the rescue.

The final episode of the season revolves entirely around the debutante ball. The evening seems to be going so well until Jeremiah finds out the shocking truth about his mother that was mentioned in the third episode. We also find out that Conrad has known about Susannah’s secret this entire time, which is why he has been gloomy all summer. Eventually, the truth is revealed to everyone and their reactions are heartbreaking.

The season did not end with much of a cliffhanger, but it still keeps the audience waiting to find out what will happen next. Will Belly and Conrad start dating? What about Jeremiah? What will happen to Susannah? All these questions might be answered as we patiently wait for the second season.

The representation in this show was not too bad either, especially when it came to the LGBTQ+ representation. Jeremiah was bisexual and was seen flirting with both male and female characters. As a bisexual person myself, I have been longing for this sort of representation in media. There is also racial diversity to some extent, such as the main character being half Asian as well as supporting characters of various races.

Overall, if you like watching slightly cheesy, romantic, and simplistic shows, then get your TV set up and popcorn popping because it’s time for you to binge-watch a new, fan-favorite series. The setting will make you fall in love almost instantaneously as well, I mean… just look at Susannah’s house! And that summertime beach vibe too, of course.

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