Cruel Summer is a teen drama series created by Bert V. Royal.
Although the plot is complex and somewhat convoluted, the series has received several critical acclamations, mainly for the interesting and reasoned way in which it explores the impact of society's expectations.
What Is Cruel Summer About?
Cruel Summer follows the story of two teenage girls in the small fictional town of Skylin, Texas.
Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) is a beautiful and popular adolescent girl who is kidnapped without a trace. Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) is a shy, nerdy girl who stops being seen as sweet and changes her personality completely.
Slowly, Jeanette takes over everything concerning Kate's life, her friends, her boyfriend, and her social life, becoming the most popular girl in school.
Found alive a year later, Kate accuses Jeanette of witnessing her kidnapping but not telling anybody about it. That results in Jeanette becoming the most despised person in the United States.
Through multiple lawsuits and fractured families, friendships and relationships, everyone struggles to choose a side as the true story unfolds.
With all the rumours and no one knowing who to believe, Jeanette Turner seems to be hiding something, naturally making her the prime suspect in the disappearance case.
Each episode focuses on the same day over three years, 1993, 1994 and 1995, and alternates between Jeanette and Kate's points of view. Disclaimers appear before certain episodes, alerting viewers to issues such as child grooming and domestic abuse.
Shows Like Cruel Summer
If you enjoyed Cruel Summer and are looking for an equally captivating drama, you've reached the right place.
We've prepared for you a list shows like Cruel Summer you won't want to miss. Travel to 1994, where a child disappeared from a small Welsh village, never to be seen again, in Requiem.
Follow a widowed surgeon who, after the disappearance of his eldest daughter, makes terrible discoveries about people very close to him, in Safe.
Or try an enigmatic drama in which two per cent of the population suddenly disappears without explanation.
While the whole world tries to deal with this unlikely situation, keep up with the lives of those who have been left behind, in The Leftovers.
Check out our list of shows like Cruel Summer, and we're sure the most challenging part will be which show to start watching first. Please leave us more suggestions in the comments below!
OUR LIST OF SHOWS LIKE CRUEL SUMMER
How Many Seasons Does Cruel Summer Have?
Cruel Summer premiered in April 2021 with one season of 10 episodes. In June of the same year, the series was renewed for a second season which is planned to begin in the summer of 2023.
Although there is no specific premiere date yet, the show's second season was already filmed between April and September last year.
What Is The Age Rating For Cruel Summer?
Cruel Summer is an intriguing, enigmatic, unpredictable teen series with mature content that is quite interesting for older viewers.
One of the show's central themes is popularity, which shows the pain of exclusion and the things people, particularly teenage girls, do to gain and maintain popularity and power, including gossip and exclusion.
As a result of the kidnapping, you can expect to see some more vital scenes, such as an adolescent girl confined and abused by a grown man. However, the sexual images are less explicit, with some more substantial verbal references.
The suffering of the different families is obvious, with some references also to underage drinking.
The show's overall tone is dark, where families and friends have battles and disagreements, and teenagers are depressed and in need of help.
Although it is up to the parents to decide what kind of content they let their children watch, we recommend this series for mature teens over 14.
Has Cruel Summer Won Any Prestigious Awards?
The critics loved Cruel Summer for its talent and how it dealt with subjects easily portrayed in real life, such as jealousy, teenage angst and the need to seek validation.
Despite being a fictional series, many fans even felt that it could be based on actual events due to its realistic nature.
The show was nominated for several awards at the Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards, including the leading ladies for Best Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series Drama and the series for Best Cable Drama which it went on to win.
Actress Chiara Aurelia, who plays Jeanette Turner, was also nominated last year for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards.