Episode 1 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
There are an abundance of teen dramas on Netflix and Summer Heat feels like a bland conglomerate of them all. There’s a touch of drug taking, a pinch of teen sex, a lot of deceptions and misunderstandings along with plenty of interpersonal character stakes.
With a weak overarching story, a lot of melodramatic nothingness and a story that leaves things on a frustratingly open note, Summer Heat is a tepid and indifferent drama that has absolutely nothing to help it stand out in this crowded and saturated field.
The story here centers on a group of diverse teens, who all find themselves working on an island for the summer. Specifically, they’re working at a hotel resort, catering for guests and getting up to mischief in the process.
With 8 episodes showcasing a whole month of drama between them all, Summer Heat juggles a lot of different subplots but aside from keeping the plates spinning, doesn’t really do anything remarkable or overly impressive. In fact, this show seems to revel in its own clichéd mediocrity.
You’ve got Yasmin, a spunky and tenacious teen intending on finding her birth father. Catarina is the rich, bratty girl, Helena the bubbling, innocent one, Conrado the quiet introspective musician and Miguel, who takes and deals drugs. Rodrigo settles into the suave jock of the group while Marilia is a single mum.
All the characters are so archetypal and one-note, and none of them grow all that much over the season. Sure they all have dramatic events happen to them, but very few actually grow and acknowledge their issues.
One such character who does, is Diego. He has some past trauma involving his brother and by the end, this is handled both elegantly and with finesse. It’s easily one of the stand-out stories of the whole show but it’s blanketed around the other stories, that aren’t all that impressive.
Some of this can be attributed to the lack of central focus, which is a real problem. Episode 2 for example, brings up a case for evicted fishermen and Yasmin’s drive to try and save them. Then it’s completely forgotten about until episode 8.
Between this, episodic bursts of contrived drama range from a WiFi signal cutting out for the afternoon to random characters from the past showing and causing havoc for a while.
It’s all quite uninspired stuff and the plot dynamics revolve around scenarios we’ve seen a million times before. The misunderstanding trope (when a character thinks they’ve seen something and misinterprets it) is used numerous times while echoes of love triangles are here too.
All of this adds up to a rather messy and formulaic teen drama with very little going for it. The colourful visuals and interesting locale essentially amount for nothing when the writing is so lackluster.
And that ultimately sums up Summer Heat. This is less spicy heat and more ice-cold mediocrity. This Brazilian series is a real disappointment and across its 8 episodes, does absolutely nothing to stand out from the myriad of other dramas in this field.
Verdict - 4/10