Cruel Summer is back on Freeform with Season 2, which boasts a new cast, new storylines, and a new location. However, with this show, it’s not so much where it takes place as when. Find out more here!
Caution: This article contains SPOILERS for the Season 2 premiere of Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer stood out when it debuted in 2021, thanks to its unique approach. The show moved across three different years from 1993 to 1995. Each year was shot in a different motif and told the tale of the vanishing of a teenager, another girl taking her place as the most popular girl in town, and what happens when the kidnapped girl returns.
Season 1 had a pretty good conclusion to wrap up the storyline. Rather than try to continue that, the show has instead begun a brand new storyline, set in the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Chatham (it was actually filmed in Canada).
But it’s the timelines that make the show so intriguing, and the first episodes are already crafting an intriguing web of mysteries.
What are the timelines in Cruel Summer Season 2?
The show begins in the summer of 1999 as aspiring coder Megan Landy (Sadie Stanley) and her mom Debbie (KaDee Strickland) take in high school transfer Isabella LaRue (Lexi Underwood). The pair slowly bond as they also meet Megan’s lifelong friend Luke (Griffin Gluck), who Isabella hits on.
It then moves to the winter of 1999 as Megan and Isabella have become best friends, and Megan and Luke are dating (as are Debbie and Luke’s dad, played by Paul Adelstein). However, things change when someone plays a video at a Christmas party that seems to show Luke and Isabella together. In reality, it was Megan with Luke, but Isabella agreed to take the fall for it so Megan wouldn’t lose her scholarship. However, it caused a rift in their friendship.
The final timeline is the summer of 2000, as Megan has taken on a goth-like attitude and edge while Isabella is the town outcast. When a body in the lake is identified as Luke, the question becomes who killed him and what dark secrets Megan and Isabella are carrying.
As with Season 1, the show shifts across the timelines, delving deeper into how things changed between the friends and often tricking the audience (as with who was really on that sex tape). It’s fun seeing how the characters change and the different motifs for each timeline showing the differences.
With two episodes down, Cruel Summer Season 2 is already showcasing a great time-jumping mystery to make this an intriguing crime show for the summer.