“The Summer I Turned Pretty: Season 2 Takes Swift-Infused Love Story to New Heights”


August slipped away faster than any of the characters in the Prime Video series “The Summer I Turned Pretty” could have prepared for in the teaser trailer for its second season.

Premiering with two episodes on July 14, followed by weekly releases, the show’s return finds Taylor Swift soundtracking another nearly perfect summer at Cousins Beach, having used its season one trailer to debut “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” from her re-recording of 1989. For season two, the emotions that give way to unraveled first loves and foreshadowed final goodbyes mark Folklore deep cut “August” as the song of the summer.

Belly (Lola Tung) finally got the boy of her dreams, Conrad (Christopher Briney), at the close of season one. It was soundtracked, of course, by “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” and in an earlier moment by “The Way That I Loved You (Taylor’s Version),” after the season opened with “Lover” playing in the first scene that he’s introduced in.

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He’s essentially an amalgamation of every male subject in Swift’s discography that has been spared from making it onto every Swiftie’s hit list. If it wasn’t obvious before, Jenny Han, the showrunner and author of the young adult novel series the show is based on, connects Swift’s musical storytelling with her own.

But in the midst of their Swift-tracked young love, there’s also the matter of Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), who is also after Belly’s heart and has only momentarily conceded to his brother in their battle for it.

And if that wasn’t enough, Conrad and Jeremiah’s mother, Susannah (Rachel Blanchard) — best friend to Belly’s mother, Laurel (Jackie Chung) — is waging her own war against cancer. The summer gives way to high school graduations, go-kart racing, crying on the beach, and fighting at prom.

When Swift sings, “Will you call when you’re back at school? I remember thinkin’ I had you,” or even “So much for summer love and saying ‘us,’ cause you weren’t mine to lose,” it’s a reminder that whether counting down to the end of summer, or life, the days are numbered. It’s for the best that everyone goes back to living for the hope of it all.

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