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Cruel Summer Review – A Brilliant 90’s Nostalgic TV Series To Binge Watch

Friday, 3rd September, 2021

A while ago I saw there was a new show on Amazon Prime Video called Cruel Summer. It didn’t look good, but then I read some reviews of it and saw some clips, so I sat down and watched the first episode.

I’m glad I did, because it was brilliant! It’s one of the best things I have watched in 2021.

Here’s what it’s all about.

It’s a box set series on Amazon Prime (originally in the USA on Freeform) and set in the summers of 1993, 1994 and 1995. The essence of the story is quite a stereotypical one from the outset. A teen drama that has the popular girl (Kate) and the geeky less popular girl (Jeanette), with the latter wanting to become the popular girl in school.

Things get dark and take a turn for the worse. Over the course of 3 summers, Jeanette goes from dorky girl to an attractive popular girl, and then the most hated girl in the small town in Texas which they live in.

Kate falls for the new headmaster of their school (Martin Harris), where she is groomed and kidnapped by him. In the meantime Jeanette who was the unpopular girl becomes more popular, getting Kate’s now ex-boyfriend as her boyfriend.

When Kate finally gets out from her kidnapping, the first twist is that Kate alleges that Jeanette knew all about it, and says this live on TV. This makes Jeanette the most hated person in the small town they live in.

I won’t give too much more away than that, because it is a bit of a mystery drama, and won’t want to spoil the twists and turns of the show.

But I can tell you it’s amazing, and if you like coming of age drama TV box sets, this is worth watching.

I love the way that it’s shot. Every episode keeps going back and forth from 1993 to 94 and 95, showing what’s happened at a specific point in the summer in each year.

You can tell the different years by the characters and their look, and they have changed the colour grading too. 1993 has lots of colour, whereas the darker years of 1996 has the scenes in a much more blue and colder tones.

There’s plenty of 90’s nostalgia too. The music tracks, and there’s other 90’s memorabilia too such as old computers and chatrooms being used, and a general 90’s style wardrobe which you’d expect.

Kate and Jeanette are the main characters, but there’s lots of supporting ones too. Jeanette has her two best friends, Mallory and Vince, with Kate having her two friends too. The families are also heavily involved too.

It’s definitely got it’s dark and bleak moments, which is what makes the show so tense and edgy.

If you’re looking for good tv shows to binge watch, Cruel Summer is definitely one of them.

Good news too! There’s going to be a second series of Cruel Summer scheduled for 2022.

I have just watched Cruel Summer Season 2 and it’s brilliant. Check out what I thought about it, if you enjoyed the first you have to see the second.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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