Episode 1 of The Summer I Turned Pretty starts with us introduced to the sun-soaked beauty of Cousin’s Beach, which plays host to number of our key characters. Courtesy of a wonderful montage, we’re introduced to our main entourage of kids – Jeremiah, Conrad, Steven and Belly – who are growing from kids into teens.
It’s immediately clear that Belly has the hots for Conrad, whom she’s had a crush on since she was 12. Every summer, Belly and her family travel to Susannah’s house to hang out and play.
Things have changed this summer though, as both Stephen and Jeremiah are going to be working and won’t be around as much. Not only that, but mopey Conrad has quit football. Believing that he’s just going to be sitting on the bench, he’s clearly got other things going on.
That night, in the twinkling light of the swimming pool, Conrad sits by the pool smoking pot. Belly tries to get to the bottom of Conrad’s changed mood this year, but just as he’s about to open up, Steven and Jeremiah show to take him away.
Now, Belly has drama of her own. Susannah wants to show off Belly at the upcoming Debutante Ball but Laurel isn’t so sure that’s a good idea. Conrad’s view on this is just as concerning, seeing this as a way of parading Belly around given she’s “come of age” now.
Speaking of paraded around, Belly is encouraged to show up to a beach party that Conrad happens to be attending. Taylor – her friend from back home – encourages Belly to wear a skimpy dress, which makes her super uncomfortable. Even worse, everyone else happens to have casual gear on.
Steven notices his sister and questions why she’s there. The pair have a bit of a fight, Belly falls in the sand, and ends up catching Conrad’s glance… who happens to be kissing a girl called Nicole.
Belly quickly skips away and composes herself, where she runs into the charming Cam. He makes her laugh, the pair have a decent ebb and flow, and he even offers up his jacket.
Cam is happy she’s there, given he too doesn’t really drink. He seizes his opportunity and invites Belly out with him the next day. Before she gives an answer, drama ensues with Conrad who ends up in a big fight over a beer with another boy. When Belly shows up, she’s knocked down, leading to the cops showing up and dispersing everything.
Belly finally gives her answer that night, agreeing to go with Cam and giving him a kiss. Only, when they get in the car home, Conrad reaches out and touches Belly’s hair, affectionately rubbing it while pointing out how it’s messy like a kid’s.
Given time to reflect on the night’s events, Belly decides to go to the Debutante Ball after all, accepting the invite. When she heads to the beach in the morning, she catches up with Conrad who wants her to head out with him to get some muffins. Belly though, has other plans and decides to meet Cam.
The Episode Review
The first episode of The Summer I Turned Pretty sets things up nicely for what should be an intriguing little love triangle. There’s a definite feel-good vibe to this one, and releasing this just as the warmer weather rolls in is a super smart move. This is one of those light, breezy shows that’s easy to slip in and out of.
The story is rather straightforward right now, although given this is based on the book of the same name, that’s hardly a surprise. Belly’s character is really easy to warm to, while the supporting characters are set up nicely for what should be an engaging ensemble to get acquainted with across these 7 episodes.