The Freeform psychological thriller series premieres on April 20.
Cruel Summer follows two teens who are polar opposites. Kate Wallis is the popular girl with a charmed life, and Jeanette Turner is the nerdy wannabe. Normally, their paths never cross, but Kate mysteriously goes missing, and Jeanette is accused of being connected to her disappearance. Set through changing points of view over the course of three summers, both girls seem to be hiding something that shifts who the guilty party may really be. Cloak & Dagger’s Olivia Holt stars as Kate, with Gerald’s Game‘s Chiara Aurelia as Jeanette — the pair are joined by Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Michael Landes, Brooklyn Sudano, and Nathaniel Ashton.
Although there might have ben a missed opportunity here to play a creepy version of Bananarama song of the same name, Cruel Summer needs no help creating a creepy and thrilling tone, as the mystery is perfectly set up by this trailr without giving too much away. (We do learn that Jeanette becomes the new “Kate” after her disappearance and begins dating her boyfriend. We also find out that she does see Kate before she went missing, and lies about it. Her innocence is certainly called into question, as well as that of Kate and Jeanette’s boyfriend.)
The nostalgia for the ’90s, combined with a classic disappearance and an unreliable narrator, certainly makes a recipe for great television. The plot and tone also match with some of Freeform’s biggest hits like Pretty Little Liars (which is also getting a reboot). Since Freeform has not stated whether or not this will be a limited series, it will be interesting to see how this series can progress past the first season — it seems like a one-and-done premise that ends with the discovery of Kate’s disappearance and Jeanette’s culpability. But I’m sure we can expect more twists than what the trailer initially implies.
Cruel Summer premieres with a special two-hour event on Tuesday, April 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET on Freeform. New episodes premiere on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET. Check out the official trailer and plot synopsis below.
“Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women; Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabee who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.”
KEEP READING: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ 10 Years On: How Freeform’s Twisty Mystery Informed a Generation of Teen TV
Game recognizes game.
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