"The Summer I Turned Pretty," out June 17 on Amazon Prime, is the next installment in the Jenny Han Cinematic Universe.
Like the Netflix movie series "To All the Boys," the North Carolina-set series is based on a YA book trilogy by Han. Translation? There's way more to Belly Conklin's (Lola Tung) story than a single season.
The TV equivalent of a beach read, think of "The Summer I Turned Pretty" as the vacation alternative to "To All the Boys I Loved Before," which is set during the school year.
"'The Summer I Turned Pretty' is about a girl's coming of age. It's about her having one magical summer where a lot of dreams come true — and also don't come true," Han, who also served as the show's showrunner, told TODAY.
Each year, Belly and her family spend the summer at their family friend's beach house in Cousins, a fictional North Carolina town. The summer she turns 16, Belly's long-held crush on Conrad Fisher (Christopher Briney) seems like it might actually be reciprocated — but there are other complications. Mainly, that she might also have feelings for his brother, Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno). Gasp!
If you've already raced through the show's seven episodes, you will be heartened to know that the series was already renewed for Season 2.
Han's books give a clue about the future of the show. Here's what we know about Season Two.
Yes, the show was renewed — but there's no release date
Deadline announced the renewal over a week before the premiere. The announce date has not been scheduled.
Here's what the cast and creators are most excited about
Speaking to TODAY, the cast and creators share what they're anticipating for Season Two.
Han, who wrote the novel, says she's ready for a change of scenery. "I'm looking forward to seeing other seasons. Literal seasons. All you see is summertime now. There's a lot more road to hoe and we'll get to see (Belly's) world a bit bigger," Han said.
Tung, who said she's always drawn to character development, said she's "excited to see how the relationships evolve and how the characters continue to grow."
As for spoilers? Han’s novels hold a clue — and it's sad
Warning: This section may contain spoilers for the next season
In terms of the plot, the cast knows just about as much as we do. "I want to know what happens! I read the book, but I haven't seen the script yet," Briney said. Casalegno added, "You never know."
However, as Briney suggested, the second book in Han's series — "It's Not Summer Without You" — may indicate where the story is headed.
The vibe at the beach house is much different in the second novel, set a year in the future. Susannah dies of the breast cancer she had been hiding from her kids in Season One, until her diagnosis comes out in the dramatic finale.
Under this stress, Belly's relationship with the Fisher brothers changes, too. Conrad and Belly explore a romantic connection — he even takes her to prom prior to Susannah's death. But Conrad's reticence and difficulty expressing himself lead to issues. They get in a huge fight at Susannah's funeral.
When Conrad disappears from school, Belly and Jeremiah go on a road trip to find him, ending up at the beach house. Turns out Conrad and Jeremiah's dad, Adam, is planning to sell it, marking the end of an era and the symbolic end of their childhoods.
Grieving, they throw a blow-out party, and Laurel comes to deal with the aftermath. She persuades Adam not to sell the house on the condition that Conrad stays in school.
The love triangle progresses, too. Jeremiah says he's always loved Belly and kisses her. Conrad sees the whole thing, but doesn't know that Belly still has feelings for him. However, she decided to "choose" Jeremiah, because he's able to communicate and tell her how he feels.
Tung, if you're curious, won't take sides in the Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah debate. "I'm team Belly," she told TODAY.
The cast will return for Season 2
The main characters will return to see the rest of their storylines through.
On the grown-up side of things, Jackie Chung plays Laurel, Belly and Steven's mom. Rachel Blanchard is Susannah, Laurel's best friend and Jeremiah and Conrad's mom.
Below, the teenage cast shared what they love most about their characters.
- Lola Tung says she can relate to her character, Belly, and her period of "self-discovery." She says, "She's coming into her own."
- Sean Kaufman calls Steven is an "older brother with a lot of love" who "leads with his heart."
- Gavin Casalegno likens his character, Jeremiah, to a golden retriever. "He is the life of the party. He tries to care for everyone in his life. Sometimes that's at his own peril," Casalegno told TODAY.
- Christopher Briney said his character, Conrad, is more of an "enigma." Briney said, "It took me the whole time to really love him. To find his ins and outs, what makes him tick, why he's so mean sometimes."
According to Casalegno, the cast bonded while filming — and played chess to unwind. "It was so much fun, every single day," Casalegno said. Briney said, "We spent an absurd amount of time together. We would drive each other to work just to spend more time together."