The Darkest Summers

Hello Lovelies,  I’m excited to welcome you all back to another Thriller review. 

For this post, I wanted to rank and explain the details of a Hulu show that has been trending on most of my TikTok feeds.   Some might have heard of it and if you didn’t it’s okay.  The show did skip two years to introduce a new season after originally running on Freeform.   Meaning, that a lot of people who didn’t have DirectTV, Dish, or any non-streaming channel;  most likely missed this.        I’m going to start off by writing that,  this show has a lot of layers and the first two episodes of each season were boring.  Yes, it was boring and I’m not ashamed to say it because the production team did a whole 360 and left my jaw on the floor.   There were so many plot twists I couldn’t even see all of them properly.   Listen, it wasn’t even the “ too many” plot twists, each curve and Red Herring left me packing my suitcase and saying “Bye Bye” because I couldn’t believe it.  Now, with my quirky intro over, let’s talk about the difference between the two seasons of  Cruel Summer.  

 

Season 1 

Cruel Summer Season 1: New Release, Details, Trailer, and More ...

This one right here will forever be my favorite.   This season was deceiving and confusing.  The way the writers unravel each detail is great, and each new scenario is so intricate that you can barely be mad that we didn’t have a hero.  The only way you can understand what I mean is to watch it yourself.  For some people though, you really just don’t have the time. That’s why I’m going to give you a quick little background information to visualize it yourself. 

Cruel Summer is told in three parts, this is the format for each season.  There’s the two past, and then there’s the present.  The first track of the past is 1993.   This shows the build-up of what’s going to take place, in this case; one of the main character’s disappearance.  The second track is 1994, which explains the aftermath of what already took place.  The last track is 1995, which is the present.   All of these times sew up together just the right way. 

Season 1 gives us an insight into the lives of Kate Wallace and Jeanette Turner.  Kate is made out to be a kind, sweet, cheerful girl.   People say she never lies and that you can get really close to her because her soul is so  beautiful.  Some might say you Hate To Love her, that’s probably why she’s so popular.  Then we have our completely not so completely opposite of  Kate,  her name’s Jeanette.    Jeanette admires the life she wants from afar.  That life is, the perfect boyfriend, all the best-looking friends, and the beauty, she loves the beauty.   Jeanette doesn’t think she has the beauty but she loves her “misfit” group of friends.  She just doesn’t admire her braces or her glasses, she’ll trade her frizzy brown hair for silk blonde hair any day.  This is what we see from the Summer of 1993,  the contrast that both girls share.   How one admires the other one, while that one secretly loathes their expectational life.  This is what the producers want us to see, the difference between the two.   But soon the contrast turns into one defining trait once the other half disappears of all trace. 

We then see the early and late Fall of 1994.  Everything is in chaos, at this point though the chaos is more of a misidentity.   No one knows which role they were supposed to be playing.   After Kate disappeared her friends didn’t know who to follow,   Kate’s boyfriend didn’t know who to be affectionate with,  and the people didn’t know who they were supposed to Hate to Love.   The distress was all over though when Jeannette decided that everyone could follow her lead.  Jeanette planned for that role for about 3 months, she changed her hair to straight and voluminous, she took out her braces, and she started wearing revealing clothes, unlike Kate.  She actually almost had her down to the T, besides the clothes.   The other thing she was bad at was telling the truth or so we think.  The thing we do know for sure is that Jeanette is holding a deep secret behind her new pearly whites.                                                                                       

Next is the introduction of the present, which is the late Winter of 1995.   It’s when we watch all of Jeanette’s hard work blow up in her face.  We also find out what actually happened to Kate Wallace. 

This season blows your mind.  I literally threw my shoe at the TV.   Just like the Perfect Host you don’t recognize the hero or the villain.  You don’t even know if there IS a hero.  Which is personally a good ingredient to a great drama/mystery show.  

 

Season 2 

Cruel Summer Season 2 Release

This season was amazing, but sadly I can only rank one of them on top.  

This part of the series was unexpected because after waiting two years, we got introduced to a whole new cast with a bunch of new complex characters.                  Just like the first season, this one was shown in three timelines.  There is the Summer of 1999, the Winter of 1999, and the Summer of 2000.   This season also follows computer genius and good/shy girl Megan Landy partnered with outgoing/bubbly Isabella LaRue who are all united by Luke Chambers(someone who I now love to hate, but also really love).  

In the Summer of 1999, we got the first peek into Megan’s personality.  She’s hard-working,  smart, and absolutely in love with Luke Chambers.  He doesn’t know that even though they are best friends.   Up next, we come to face the background of  Megan’s family.  They live a middle-class life.  The life with the two-story house that has about five bedrooms inside with a minivan outside.   Megan lives with her sister and her mom, who doesn’t really take care of her like a mom.  The viewers don’t know why she and her mom don’t have that cozy relationship until three episodes later. The only thing we do know so far is that Megan is upset because after her father abandoned them, Megan has to fill the role of everyone’s mom.  This new role brings light to the details of her character.                                                                                                                                      When introduced to Isabella we learn that she’s an exchange student that Megan’s family hosts for the first time ever.  This upsets Megan because her mom is trying to take care of another child when she can’t even care for her own.  That does make a good case until Megan’s mom points out she’s hosting Isabella because she needs friends, Megan can’t argue with that because her Senior Year is coming up and she’s lonely.  So who’s a better friend than bubbly, pretty, sparkly, friendly, and rich Isabella LaRue, whom I’m just going to refer to as Izzy.                                                                                                                                           We meet Izzy, and all we learn is that she’s rich and has been all over the world to different boarding schools.  We also learn that she “has” a best friend named Lisa and Megan reminds Izzy of her.  She says they are the same way.   But that’s not what we are talking about, what we are talking about is half of the first timeline we see how Megan is taking this new girl she has already set-up herself to hate all around her favorite spots of their small town called Richmond.   Richmond is where everyone knows everybody, and everybody knows the Chambers family.  Well, everybody except Izzy.  So when Megan introduces her to older brother Brent Chambers and younger brother Luke Chambers,  she already knows who she’s going to target first.  This very same target leads to someone floating in the Richmond Lake water.   Until we see the end and find out the floating somebody is dead.                                                            The second season to me was too much of a slow-burn.  I did enjoy the build-up though, but I wanted exposed secrets to punch me in the face like the first season, but it was more like meh.   It’s still good though, and each season is stand-alone which is awesome.  So I recommend you to please go watch it.  




Author: Tiara Jones

This is Tiara J and I love reading and writing Mystery and Thriller. "Blood Will Tell" is one of my favorite novels and "Law and Order" is my go to binge. I’m not dark, I just write for the shy little girl years behind me while also obsessing over R.L Stine. Favorite Quote: “ I always wanted to be funny. I never really planned to be scary.” -R.L. Stine

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