‘Cruel Summer’ Viewers Are Truly Divided About Who’s Lying: Kate or Jeanette


Cruel Summer has the internet divided—truly, genuinely, actually divided. 

This isn’t normal social media division, either. Typically, when a show is polarizing, it’s because people either love it or hate it. Everyone is obsessed with Cruel Summer*—*that’s not the problem. 

The problem is figuring out who’s lying: Kate or Jeanette. We’re four episodes into the season, and it’s still a true mystery. 

For the uninitiated, let me catch you up to speed (caution, light spoilers ahead). Cruel Summer takes place over the course of three summers and alternates viewpoints. The first is from Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia), a shy, nerdy girl, and the second is popular prom-queen Kate (Olivia Holt). When Kate disappears mysteriously, Jeanette essentially becomes Kate, adopting her friends and even stealing her boyfriend. But when Kate is found a year later, Jeanette’s world comes crashing down. Not only is Kate traumatized, she’s making a shocking accusation: that Jeanette played a hand in her disappearance. 

Now, for the major spoilers: Kate was kidnapped by their school’s new assistant principal, Martin (Blake Lee) , and kept prisoner in his basement. She alleges that Jeanette saw her in the basement and told no one about it—months went by, and she still remained in captivity. Jeanette denies this. And here’s the thing: With every episode, the lines between fact and fiction become blurrier. One second, you believe Jeanette. The next, you believe Kate. Every person I’ve talked to who watches this show truly has no idea who’s telling the truth. I don’t, either. 

Which makes for fun Twitter discourse, of course. See a sampling of the wide range of Cruel Summer opinions, below. 

“Every night I believe someone different,” one fan tweeted. (Same.) 

“WTF is going on, OMG who do I believe?” someone else wrote. Unfortunately, I also don’t know what the fuck is going on or who to believe. Do you? Does anyone? The only thing I know for certain is I can’t wait to watch more. 

Cruel Summer airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Freeform and Wednesdays on Hulu.


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