Episode 8 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
There have been a smattering of teen dramas over the years, each carving their own niche in the genre. Whether it be the more recent Heartstopper or the edgy and drug-fuelled shenanigans of Rue and co. in Euphoria, there’s something for everyone.
Summertime has always felt like a show with a lot of untapped potential. Most of that stems from the gorgeous sun-soaked vista and beautiful backdrop of the Adriatic Coast. Unfortunately, the drama here is not as pretty as the visuals, dabbling in murky but predictable shades of grey.
The story this year is very by-the-numbers and holds absolutely nothing in the way of surprises, twists or turns. Fair play to Netflix and the team for wrapping this one up but honestly, I can’t help but feel a feature film would have been far more fitting for this. Instead, we get another 8 episodes of formulaic and overdone drama.
Those who have followed the show through the years will find little in the way of innovation or surprises here. The first episode opens with a big party and a dramatic fight. An intoxicating mix of dancing and drinking adds up to a good 3 and a half minutes before we jump into the story itself.
From here, the story essentially intertwines various different character romances and relationship woes through the season, while also adding overlong establishing shots, lots of musical montages and welcome (but ultimately distracting) shots of the landscape.
There’s the usual constant drama between the different characters we’ve come to love, including Ale and Dario who set things off with a big fight over their respective directions in life. Dario is eking out a living as a delivery driver but Ale believes he’s wasting his life. So naturally, he turns to performing.
Summer and Ale remain on the rocks too, having lost the spark that ignited their relationship in season 1. It’s not until episode 6 this year where that’s given some closure, with a fitting (and gut-wrenching) conversation showcasing just far the pair are on different wavelengths.
Instead, Ale’s main drama here stems from making amends with Lola, especially after her big accident at the end of season 2. Most of Summer’s drama centers on love interest Luca, while Dario and Rita face the usual smattering of problems in their relationship. Of course, there’s also Sofi, Edo and Blue who have their drama to help pad out the chapters.
Overarching all of that is the ongoing feud between Summer and Sofia, who fell out big time in season 2. All of this combines to a very contrived and forced season of drama, but none of it added with any twists or surprises. Everything here has been done before – and better elsewhere.
Summertime hasn’t really improved since its first season and in many ways, that will suit fans of the show that have stuck this one out since the early days. What you see is what you get with this one.
If you’re in the mood for a simple teen drama with lots of sun-soaked locales and drama you can dip in and out of without thinking too much about, you’ll be in your element. For everyone else, Summertime is unlikely to be a holiday destination you’ll be returning to in a hurry.
Episode Rating - 3.5/10