Here’s the thing about summer… it can lift you up and it can tear you down. It can start things and end things. It can and does change you. Of course, that can happen at any time of the year, but there is something about summer that is different.
And that’s the thing, Belly’s barely been in cousins and everything has changed drastically for her. She used to be the girl that only had kissed boys playing spin the bottle and here she is, living her life with her crush, finding a boy that likes her, agreeing to become a debutant, and on top of all that she’s going on her first date.
Life is changing drastically for Belly.
It’s the next morning, after the cops brought them home and she’s missed the boat. Cam Cameron is out to sea on a whaling boat and this means that she’s got her whole day set in front of her. Which, is exactly what she needs.
We know that Laurel and Susannah are keeping a big secret, but what that is, we don’t know. We do know that it feels like these two are trying to make sure that the kids don’t find out, but being so overly protective of their secret that it’s obvious that something is up.
Laurel trying to explain to everyone why Susannah wants to paint their portraits, tells me something is really up. It tells me that these kids are supposed to remember this summer in a way they haven’t before.
But the truth is that remembering things won’t mean that you can outrun the pain of when you went through something. But that’s a different story.
Belly may have missed the boat, but the good thing is that she doesn’t miss time with family. It’s the boys first day at work, Conrad’s hungover, and Laurel’s fidgety. But this seems like a normal day for them all.
What I am not understanding is Conrad. Yes, we know that he’s going through something and we know that it is hurting him a lot. He however, doesn’t know how to express it, so he’s doing it through rebellion. He’s doing it through closing down. And if you pay attention, he’s doing it more and more as things change.
Conrad has all of these feeling that he doesn’t want to express, but when things are changing is when he becomes volatile. And then when things stay the same, especially with Belly, he almost cracks a smile. There is a gleam of hope that shines from him.
But when someone proposes anything that will change, he does not react well. Especially when Belly agrees to become a deb.
Susannah is happy, but everyone else keeps commenting that this doesn’t seem like Belly. Conrad especially. He seems angered by the idea and Belly sees it.
Do I think that Conrad doesn’t want Belly to be happy? No, I know that he does. But he won’t show it and that’s really fucking annoying. I admire Belly for not letting it change her, but instead she journeys forward, no matter what he does and how she feels.
I always love a good moment where we’re having a shopping/fashion montage. I know that it signifies change and it looks like most of the time, Belly is enjoying it. In any movie or TV show, this piece of someones life signifies change. And we know that Belly is changing.
But as with any amount of change, holding onto the past is still something we love. So seeing Belly in her debutante dress that Susannah wants, well she’s pretty and all but you can see it’s not her. You see that she’s uncomfortable. The simpler dress that her Mom is holding, when Belly smiles at that, my heart smiles. Because she hasn’t lost who she is.
She’s still Belly.
Steven and Jeremiah are at their first day at work, having a blast. These two come across as horny teenagers, which hey, they are. But who wasn’t. What I love though is the closeness of these two and the way that they are able to talk about everything. In two episodes we’ve seen that these two have a close friendship and I think that is so important to see.
One thing that I love is that Jenny Han has updated the series to make it more in tune with todays world. It’s important that the series was updated and that people get to see themselves represented on the screen. Han made the choice to make Jeremiah sexually fluid. She told TV Line, concerning Jeremiah, “I would say [he’s] sexually fluid. He is a young person who’s figuring out where he falls in all that and hasn’t experienced a lot of of love yet. It’s still kind of early on in that journey.”
Jeremiah, in the series, is confident and full of life. I think that he’s this character that wants to know the truth about things, but would love to do everything to avoid conflict and any bad feelings about anything. Seeing him at work, and then seeing him walk Belly into the first debutante meeting made me think highly of him. He genuinely cares about everyone, but the way that he’s protective of Belly and wants to make sure that she’s confident – you can tell he cares more for her than he wants to say.
Belly is a little late for her first deb meeting and we can see the purpose of that. Her walking in late, all eyes turning to stare at her, she feels judgement and out of place. And as fucked up as that is, we know that means that it is a plot line and a conflict for her to overcome.
Especially with the people at her table.
They are all interested in Jeremiah or Conrad and as they find out more information about Belly, they see it as an opening to get information. That I hate.
But, being at the club means that Belly has the chance to run into Cam, which I do love. He’s not my favorite character, but that’s cause I am so focused on my Belly and Conrad endgame. Yet, I know she has to get there, so seeing him and them making plans warmed my heart.
But I do also hate the fact that Belly went to Susannah first about the date and didn’t talk to her Mom about it. You know that her Mom wouldn’t have taken it great, sure, but it’s such a big moment in Belly’s life, she’d wanna be there.
Belly getting ready for the date and seeing the way that Jeremiah reacts, telling her that she looks hot, was what she needed. But Conrad’s approval – well that comes in the form of awkward stares and we can’t help but love that. We live for that.
Build that angst.
The boys are surprised she’s not going to her Moms book event, but they also are so focused on video games that it doesn’t matter.
Belly’s first date is a big thing and Cam is the most innocent dude, not knowing how to be. He’s taking her to the drive-in. Oh the things that can happen there.
One thing that you have to love about Cam is that he respects Belly. He’s just as awkward as she is. The moments of them trying to get to holding each others hand… well, I smiled. It’s that remembering innocent moments in life, those are core memories.
It’s like this trip down memory lane when you’re seeing Belly on her first date. The fear, the innocence, the want to not do anything stupid and make a good impression. Belly really likes him and she’s forgetting about the Fisher boys. She’s forgetting about Conrad.
Yet Conrad hasn’t forgotten about her.
The boys make the stupid choice to crash her date and as she should be, Belly is pissed. She tells them off and makes them leave. None of them like Belly putting them in their place, but no one asked them to make her.
Belly having a great night, besides them showing up. Great times and defining moments can be a little scary though, because things normally come in threes. When she goes home and has to confront Conrad about why he showed up, what he was thinking, and just wanting to have admit that he was thinking of her.
But he won’t do that.
He will dig in to make sure that he’s not wrong or showing that he’s wrong. He knows that Belly has a crush on him and for him to think that it’s okay to play with that emotion is just wrong.
He did show up for a reason. He wanted her to remember him. He wanted to remind her that he was there.
But that’s the thing, it’s not fair, because he may be there physically, but emotionally, he just seems emotionally dead.
It’s just sad in that he crushed Belly’s crush on him.
- Steven telling Jeremiah to not flirt with his sister is his love language.
- Laurel seems like she’s trying to hold everything together, but I kinda wonder what that all means.
- Laurel’s book event is awkward, but I do love that they’re setting it up for her to have something with author dude.
- Conrad thinking that his Mom set Laurel up to find him a job – don’t like.
- Cam just going to get the cherry coke when Belly tells him to – good guy.
- The girls at Belly’s table – I know we’re gonna see a lot of them, but still, I’m not liking Nicole. Why? Because she’s trying too hard to make it known that Belly isn’t on the Fisher boys radar. Too bad shes wrong.
- Conrad sitting for his portrait. I really wish he would let his Mom in. She deserves that. She looked so heart broken.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is streaming now on Prime Video. Read our review of episode one here.