The third season of Amazon's comic book-adaptation just released its fifth episode. this past Friday. The adaptation of Garth Ennis’ and Darick Robertson’s comic series has always been good, but season 3 has pushed that to new highs. Unfortunately, good doesn’t always beat new, and The Summer I Turned Pretty has stolen the top spot for itself (as seen on Prime Video's own top 10 rankings on its homepage (opens in new tab)). And The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2 is in the works!
What is The Summer I Turned Pretty about?
The Summer I Turned Pretty is based on Jenny Han’s young adult romance novel of the same name. It follows Isabel “Belly” Conklin (Lola Tung) on her annual summer vacation to a family friends’ beach house.
Belly is reunited with her friends, brothers Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and Conrad (Christopher Briney), the latter of whom she’s had a crush on for years. However, as Conrad begins to return Belly’s affections, it seems as though Jeremiah is vying for her attention putting Belly in the middle of a love triangle.
In other words, it’s different from The Boys in almost every respect. Even if the show does have its own fake love triangle between Homelander, Starlight and Hughie.
What do critics think of The Summer I Turned Pretty?
The Summer I Turned Pretty seems to be a hit with critics and audiences alike, with Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) reporting an 82% score from critic reviews and 90% from audiences. The show also has a 7.8/10 score on IMDB (opens in new tab).
Abby Cavenaugh (opens in new tab) of Collider noted that while the show isn’t a word-for-word adaptation of the book, the seven-part series is likely to delight fans of Han’s trilogy of novels. AV Club's Lauren Chval (opens in new tab) found that “the characters feel lived in, with warm chemistries and rich histories that suggest they are well known by their creator” with a B+ score.
That’s not to say critics don’t have their issues with it. Angie Han (opens in new tab), of The Hollywood Reporter, said that the show is a “solid coming-of-ager wrapped in a not-so-good romance”. Amy Amatangelo (opens in new tab) of Paste Magazine was less kind, noting that while the show tried to capture the idea of first love, growing up and finding your own way, none of it quite works — giving the show a 5.8/10.
Should you watch The Summer I Turned Pretty?
Yes, but also no. It all depends on where your tastes lie. If you’re a fan of The Boys, then you’ll know that the show is a scathing indictment of multiple aspects of the modern world. Whether that’s superheroes obsessions, corporate power and greed, police brutality, or extremist politics. All with a liberal helping of sex, violence, swearing and gross, irreverent humor.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a serious teenage coming of age drama, with, well, none of that. It all depends on how varied your tastes are, and whether you enjoy this kind of content. We suspect that there are plenty of people out there with room to enjoy both, so don’t let any of that deter you. Just know what you’re getting yourself in for.
The good news is Amazon released all seven The Summer I Turned Pretty episodes at the same time. That means you can watch through the entire first season should it take your fancy. The show has also been renewed for a second season, which will presumably continue to adapt the story from Han’s trilogy. Though how much will come from the second book, It’s Not Summer Without You, is unclear.
Can The Boys reclaim the top spot?
Possibly. The thing to remember here is that The Boys and The Summer I Turned Pretty couldn’t be more different. If you watched the first 15 minutes of The Boys’ third season premiere, you’ll know exactly why. It’s not the kind of subject matter you have in most adult-oriented shows, let alone a young adult romance.
The Summer I Turned Pretty’s first season was released in one go, which may cause its ongoing popularity to decline. Similarly, The Boys' upcoming sixth episode, titled Herogasm, is going to adapt one of the more infamous storylines from the comics.
I won’t spoil any potential plots, but the scale of sex and violence in the show is nothing compared to what Herogasm could have on show.
Plus: We've got the 7 best new movies to stream this week on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus and more. Don't forget to check out some of the best new shows and movies to stream, alongside a classic competitive cooking show that just got a Netflix reboot.