“Cruel Summer”: The new mystery crime series to watch over the weekend
Opens this Friday. NiT spoke to executive producers Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.
After producing “The Sinner” together, which is considered to be one of the best series in recent years, Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple have teamed up for a new project through the joint production company. The result is “Cruel Summer” and arrives in Portugal this Friday, August 6th.
The series has ten episodes, has already been extended for a second season and can be seen on the Amazon Prime Video streaming platform. It is a “psychological drama” with mystery and tension that takes place in three different years. It was mainly written by Bert V. Royal and Brian Otaño.
The story takes place in a small town in the US state of Texas. A popular teenager named Kate is kidnapped. At the same time, another girl, Jeanette, who was previously an outsider, becomes immensely popular – but after a while she becomes the most hated person in America.
“I think what we loved so much about this story was the focus on these two young women – and the idea of perspective, the idea of truth or not, who is telling the truth? There is your truth, my truth, and something else that is also true. It felt very real to us and having these two women protagonists on this series … is something we love to do in our production company, give women a voice, a moment to tell their stories. And we were interested in this three year narrative, it was a non-linear and very interesting way of telling this story, ”explains NiT Jessica Biel.
“We wanted the audience to ask themselves: is she telling the truth? Are you lying? And you can change your mind depending on what episode you’re watching. We loved the script right through to the end, don’t you know, ”added the producer, who until recently was only an actress.
Michelle Purple says the fact that this is a story set in the 90s also wowed her. “Nothing beats playing with the 90s, which we had a lot of fun in every way. I finished high school ’94 and when we picked Kate’s outfit for the show it was basically what I was wearing, the Drew Barrymore look. It was something I loved, I could tell a lot. ”And Jessica Biel adds:“ We feel very old [risos], these kids have never seen a Walkman or analog technology. “
Michelle Purple says being a teenager was probably easier in the 90s than it is today – and Jessica Biel eventually shared some of the experiences.
“I had the problems that everyone has to deal with: Where do I sit in the canteen? Who will my friends be? Will I join the sports team? This guy doesn’t want to go to the dance with me … I’ve had all these normal things. And I also worked and made myself known. But I agree with Michelle, it was easier because there was no social media as we know it, there were no camera phones … “
As for the similarities and differences to “The Sinner”, Jessica Biel assumes that it is “both psychological dramas”. “But we’re dealing with younger characters here, and I thought that was important: New people have really good stories that are worth telling.”
“Three years deliver the different tones and in ‘The Sinner’ there is an intense and gloomy psychodrama – there is never much lightness. And we have learned from this and from other series that we have to give the audience the opportunity to take a deep breath and not feel constantly exhausted by the intensity of the story, ”explains Jessica Biel.
Michelle Purple and Jessica Biel founded Iron Ocean Productions.
Speaking of other series that have debuted in recent years – such as “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” produced and performed by Reese Witherspoon; or “The Undoing”, produced and performed by Nicole Kidman – Jessica Biel assumes that this is a trend: well-known and respected actresses become producers and produce TV series with a lot of tension.
“I think there is this trend. We finally found a medium in which you can not only perform, but also have a producer who creates stories and content for other women, other people. And you can do anything on television these days. You don’t want to just wait for someone to call you. You want to be active in your life and your success. And these streaming platforms and the way television exists today has provided such a great platform for women to play amazing roles and have other roles, other roles, part of the creative or writing team, what whatever. . And that changes your experience as an actress a lot because you have more control over what happens to you and your career – and it’s been very exciting. I hope it’s a trend, I hope it continues. “
Also read the article about Reese Witherspoon – who has become the richest actress in the world just because of her work as a producer.
Click the gallery to see other productions available on Amazon Prime Video.