It’s a summer that’s all about love! On June 17, Amazon Prime released its TV series adaptation of the popular young adult romance novel The summer I got pretty by Jenny Han, and we’ll eat it up! This novel follows two families who have been going to the same beach house for years. Lead character Belly, played by Lola Tung, is coming back this summer after suffering a “glow-up” for the past year, and let’s just say things are getting really complicated. From relationship drama, chosen families, friendships, and of course love (especially a love triangle), this show ticks off some of the best tropes you could have in a great summer romance.
The success of The summer I got pretty is something that should come as no surprise given what was presented to the expectant audience. However, it’s time for us to dive deep into what makes this show such a hit. The novel was originally released in 2009, so why do both new and old viewers love the series so much? From the stellar cast and soundtrack choices to Jenny Han’s involvement in the making of the series, we’ve detailed exactly why this book-to-series adaptation just works.
The dream cast
Creating a new series or movie is a lot of work. Bringing already established characters to life on a big screen is a huge challenge, so the success of a show depends heavily on casting. did The summer I got pretty miss the target? Absolutely not! A strong start, even though the main character Belly is originally white in the books, the decision to make her character Asian-American took the show to a new level. Starring Belly, Conrad, played by Christopher Briney, and Jeremiah, played by Gavin Casalegno, form a cast any show could dream of. The chemistry between them, with the dynamic of the supporting cast including Sean Kaufman, Rachel Blanchard and Jackie Chung, make this show something to remember. On and off screen, it’s evident that this cast harmonizes perfectly with one another, translating into a show that not only keeps the audience investing in the story and the character, but also holding on for his happy ending.
Jenny Han: The Creator’s Input
The entertainment world is no stranger to the all-important book-to-screen adaptations, which are without a doubt a hit-or-miss. The summer I got pretty is a trending topic that audiences have loved since its premiere, and it would be a shame for us not to give credit to source author Jenny Han. When the creator of the work is so involved, it’s as if her vision comes alive as she intended. Han, in case you didn’t know, was the author of the To all the boys I’ve loved before trilogy which has also been adapted into a very successful film trilogy on Netflix. Ever since the show was announced, Hans’ involvement in the production, from releasing some fun behind-the-scenes content with the cast to her constant presence on set, shows how the success of the series is complemented by the fact that the series creator is an integral… Part of its creation was, practically guaranteed, this mission. Even now that the show is available to audiences, Han continues to bring us social media and showcase the relationships within the cast on and off the big screen.
Benefits of the book
The first book and subsequent sequels came out between 2009 and 2011 and have an already established following. As soon as the show was announced, it became clear that it would attract new and previous generations of fans. People love nostalgia. In fact, many of us thrive on it, and now that fans of the books are older when they first came out, the fan demographics stretch beyond the show’s Young Adult label. Also Hans success with To all the boys I’ve loved before (both the book and the movies) created a momentum that made this show a success. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, the cast also capitalized on the book’s appeal and recorded audiobooks for the entire three-book series, making it that much easier for fans to invest in this bridge between book and show.
A playlist to remember
The soundtrack of a movie or TV show can make all the difference. A modern television show is nothing without a good soundtrack and The summer I got pretty has that in his pocket. Right off the bat it was clear that the soundtrack is very “in step with the times” and uses a wide range of catchy, current and popular music. Music choice can make a scene, and for this show, the perfect summer soundtrack consists of Taylor Swift’s The Way I Loved You, Olivia Rodrigo’s Brutal, and even Caroline Polachek’s So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings. Having the perfect song to accompany a scene sticks in our minds long after the show is over. This really adds to a show’s popularity, especially on social media. From fan edits to reposting the best scenes online, the soundtrack perfectly reflects our feelings and the emotions of the characters. We want you to try and hold back your tears as the opening chords of Phoebe Bridgers’ “Funeral” begin to play.
timing is everything
The show is appropriately named The summer I got pretty, so it’s only fitting that it came out in the middle of summer. To say this is a marketing genius is an understatement. If a show or movie is going to take place in the summer, why not release it in the summer? We all yearn for a summer like the one Belly is having at Cousins Beach, and if any of us are lucky enough to share the story of her summer of love, then we’re fit for that too! Timing is everything in the entertainment industry and in the beach town and vacation home aesthetic The summer I got pretty made it perfect for the audience looking for a summer escape.