The second installment of Freeform’s “Cruel Summer” focuses on an unsolved mystery tied to the “ride or die” bond shared between two best friends – theme star Sadie Stanley, who prepares to tackle the next phase of her acting career. Was.
“I wanted something a little more mature, a little bit deeper [with] A little more patience for it — for me to have some fun,” Stanley, who went on to play Kim Possible in several live-action adaptations of Disney series, told TheWrap. “‘Somewhere in Queens’ was the same for me. , ” Stanley said, referring to Ray Romano’s recently released drama. “That’s exactly what I was looking for.”
In the anthology series – which quickly built a cult following in its first season, led by Chiara Aurelia and Olivia Holt – Stanley played Megan, whose innocence at the beginning of the series was revealed less than a year later as an unresolved rapidly corrupted. Crime is wreaking havoc in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.
Centered on a layered friendship between Megan and exchange student Isabella (Lexi Underwood), viewers are left to put together the puzzle pieces of the sinister act between three timelines leading up to Y2K.
Meeting Megan in the summer of ’99, her naïveté is dispelled in the winter of ’99 thanks to Isabella, who travels to her gorgeous mansion to live with Megan’s family for a year in hopes of getting a typical American high school experience. International lifestyle business. However, by the summer of 2000, Megan is almost unrecognizable as the darkness surrounding the mysteries the friends solve threatens her future.
“I resonated with Megan so much,” Stanley recalled, adding that she immediately related to Megan’s first timeline, acknowledging that she was also a straight-A student and “goody two shoes” who Definitely didn’t fall into the “crazy teen trope”. “I resonated with her personality and the way she has grown up so fast.”
Enter Isabella: a fun-loving and well-traveled outsider whose free-spirited vibe prompts some resistance to Megan, who struggles to find a connection with her new houseguest.
“To Megan, Isabella is everything Megan doesn’t like and everything Megan is afraid of,” Stanley said. “Megan is kind of a tomboy, and she’s a little reserved … and doesn’t like to break any rules. And Isabella comes in … [with] This magnetic energy that everyone is attracted to, and I think Megan feels a little intimidated — a little jealous, in a sense — and she’s not quite sure what to do with Isabella. They just feel like they can’t relate to anything because they have separate lives.
Fast forward to Winter ’99, when Megan has grown into her newfound confidence and worked through her initial hesitation to be intimate with Isabella, as the pair “ride or ride” to cement their sister-like bond. die” motto.
Stanley said, “It’s fun to let him come into his own and let loose a little bit in the other timeline.” “I had that experience too – I think a lot of people can relate.”
Between the winter of ’99 and the summer of 2000, however, Megan and Isabella’s lives – and friendship – take a sharp turn when the authorities discover the dead body of Luke (Griffin Gluck), whose tumultuous romance with Megan and Isabella turns into a teen romance. vulnerable to speculation about him. Death.
Stanley said, “We’ve had all kinds of friendships.” “In the beginning, Megan is not really feeling Isabella and Isabella is trying to butter Megan up and try to get her to be friends with her and Megan is not having it; and then you see the other timeline, they’re best friends and [in] In the third timeline, they have struggled as sisters, they have been through a lot together, and it has torn them apart a bit.
While complicated female friendships are at the heart of Megan and Isabella’s stories, her intertwined relationship with Luke complicates matters when Isabella asks Megan for permission to pursue her childhood best friend, Luke. Megan gives her blessing, despite some exciting feelings that have yet to surface.
“At first she’s fine with it,” Stanley said of Isabella’s fling with Luke. “She didn’t realize she had feelings for Luke — she didn’t think that way about boys … and she never thought that Luke would think that way about her … Through the process of her opening up, she realized That maybe it’s a possibility, and maybe she has a side of him that she wants to see what it’s about.
By winter ’99, it is clear that the girls have resolved their issues surrounding Luke – Megan and Luke have now become the perfect friend-couple – and their friendship is closer than ever, until another intrusion. did not threaten to tear down the trio’s construction.
While at a holiday party hosted by Luke and Isabella, Luke’s father, Megan, is shocked when a sex tape featuring Luke is screened to the guests. While it is later revealed that the tape was of Megan and Luke, viewers immediately assume that Luke cheated on Megan with Isabella when the hookup took place in the air stream where Isabella was living – a conclusion that leaves Megan “horrified”.
“She has all these big plans for her future, for this to happen publicly could put her in a position to lose her scholarship, or some of the other opportunities she has created for herself,” Megan said. That’s Megan’s reputation to uphold. “There’s another layer to it when she finds out that the people around her think it’s Isabella because what’s worse? Do you believe it’s you? Or do you let people think that Your boyfriend is cheating on you? They’re both equally awful.
As the tape may impact Megan’s future, sending her spiraling, Isabella offers to take the hit for it, assuring Megan that her reputation in town is temporary and that she is comfortable talking to people.
“Megan is really hesitant about it – she’s afraid it might come between us which it does in the end,” Stanley said. “But Megan, I think she’s so scared of ruining their future that she’s like, ‘Okay, let’s do it’ … It all comes down to loyalty.”
“Cruel Summer” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Freeform and new episodes are available the following day on Hulu.