Summertime Season 2 lives and dies on the strength of its characters, and while there are some highlights, this young-adult drama is ultimately too understated for its own good.
This review of Summertime Season 2 is spoiler-free.
I found the first season of Netflix’s Summertime, an Italian young-adult drama with lovely scenery but uninteresting relationships, to be a bit of a waste of time. The tl;dr version of this review is that I think Summertime Season 2 is more of the same, really, though admittedly by design. It retains the picturesque backdrop of the Adriatic coast and virtually all of the same characters, who continue to be capably performed by obviously talented young actors, and their various platonic and romantic relationships are naturally complicated by the events of the first season, but for whatever reason, I still just don’t care.
I did try to care, obviously — all throughout I was straining for something to latch onto, but I never found it. Summer’s (Rebecca Coco Edogamhe) go-getter impulsivity, which defined her in the first season, seems to have been lessened a bit here, replaced instead with various toing and froing between pretty uninteresting men. The whole season is like that. The relationships are more complex by virtue of having had eight prior episodes to develop, but the pacing is questionable, and eight episodes feel like at least two or three too many. After a while, most viewers will be imploring the characters to just make their minds up already.
Along with Summer’s romantic woes, there are various other character-based subplots, with the looming championship race giving the season some shape. You’ll be expected to care about that, and Ale (Ludovico Tersigni) and Lola racing in it, the exploits of Dario (Matthew David Rudd) and Edo (Giovanni Maini), young love from the perspective of Blue (Alice Ann Edogamhe), the relationship between Summer and Sofia (Amanda Campana), the dissolution of which forms one the season’s overarching storylines, and a bit more besides, not much of it having much merit. This laidback, lived-in quality is clearly what the show fancies about itself, but it’s probably too understated for its own good. In the ever-overcrowded teen drama market, you’ve got to have a bit more drama to really stand out.