Olivia Holt as Kate alongside Chiara Aurelia as Jeanette.

Cruel Summer: Amazon Prime’s new psychological thriller series is coming this weekend

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Cruel Summer follows the stories of Kate and Jeanette, two seemingly unrelated girls whose fortunes are drastically altered over the course of three summers. Here’s everything we know about the show so far.

If there’s one thing we can’t get enough of here at Stylist, it’s good psychological thrillers

From The Secret She Keeps and The Sister to The Third Day and The Undoing, the last 18 months have given us plenty of brilliant series to obsess over. And now, we’ve got yet another gripping show heading our way this weekend in the form of Amazon Prime’s Cruel Summer.

The show, which aired in the US earlier this year, is the work of Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple’s production company Iron Ocean Productions. Described as an “unconventional series,” it follows the story of two teenage girls – one of whom goes missing. 

Intrigued? Keep reading to find out everything we know about Cruel Summer.

What’s the plot of Cruel Summer?

Cruel Summer is described as an “unconventional series” told from alternating POVs, a format which will see the show’s mystery unveiled piece by piece.

According to the official synopsis, the show takes place over three summers from 1993-1995 in a small Texas town when a “beautiful and popular” local teen called Kate goes missing.

At the same time, a seemingly unrelated girl called Jeanette goes from being an “awkward outlier” to the most popular girl in town. However, that doesn’t last long, as by the summer of 1995, she is the most despised person in America. 

Olivia Holt
Cruel Summer: Olivia Holt will star as Kate, a “beautiful and popular” teen who goes missing.

Who stars in Cruel Summer?

Olivia Holt will take on the role of Kate alongside Chiara Aurelia, who will star as Jeanette.

Other members of the cast include Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Brooklyn Sudano and Sarah Drew. 

Is there a trailer for Cruel Summer?

Yes – and it’s seriously good. The trailer dives into the drama straight away, showing Jeanette in a board room surrounded by people in suits who seem to be her lawyers.

“Jeanette,” one of the lawyers says. “We want the jury to root for you. But you’re not giving the impression that you’re the wronged party here.”

“I am the most hated person in the nation,” Jeanette replies. “And you want me to be more like her?”

The trailer then cuts to a TV shot of Kate, a teenager who the news channel describes as “missing”. 

Flashback in time to 1993, and the trailer shows Jeanette and Kate as younger teenagers. Despite the fact that Jeanette seems to have a good life (she can be seen hugging her friends and talking to her dad) she’s envious of Kate, who is the “pretty and popular” type of girl Jeanette wishes she could be.

However, things change quickly when, as we learn from a news report, Kate goes missing.

Flash forward a year later, and suddenly, Jeanette is no longer the awkward, bespectacled teenager she once was – her hair is straightened, she’s wearing make-up and she’s attracting the attention of the guy Kate was once dating. Jeanette has, for all intents and purposes, ‘become’ Kate – something her original friends seem to be less-than-happy with.  

But before we get to settle into this new version of Jeanette, the trailer flashes forward again to 1995, where we see her lying in bed, her hair chopped into a short bob, running late for a meeting with her lawyers. Although the reason for this isn’t exactly clear, it seems as if the town thinks Jeanette had something to do with Kate’s disappearance – and she’s left to deal with the fall out of her transformation.

“Who do you believe? Who do you deceive?” a series of taglines read.  

When and where can you watch Cruel Summer?

Cruel Summer will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from 6 August.

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Images: Getty (lead image Frank Ockenfels via Getty Images)

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.