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The Impact of Music Throughout “The Summer I Turned Pretty”

Last year, the beginning of the biggest current summer series began. The show divided us

into two teams but also brought us all together due to the obsession that grew with each episode, keeping us on our toes. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” features Belly as the main character, who is an extremely relatable teenage girl. Although some embarrassing moments were hard to watch, especially coming from Jeremiah, the plot allowed us to gloss over it because of the anticipation. With this, the series is aimed and marketed towards teen girls, and that marketing only grew after the first season after seeing how in love people were with the show. Music is a huge part of any movie or series as it sets the tone for the film as a whole and through each scene. The marketers for “The Summer I Turned Pretty” were very strategic in their music choice for the two trailers produced as it grew closer to release day, drawing in teen girls everywhere. It is clear that they are trying to make the show more and more relatable through the music choice, but could be seen as trying too hard.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” marketing has grown tremendously since the first season

with now having brand deals with companies like American Eagle, Sephora, Blackbough, and

more. Even by clicking on your screen while watching the show on Prime, it will now show

where you can buy almost every outfit Belly is wearing. This grabs young girls'

attention to both the show and the clothing, but the marketing that draws them in even more is the use of music throughout the trailers and show. In the first season, the show got praise from young girls due to the use of a few Taylor Swift songs placed throughout the series. The first season featured “This Love (Taylors Version)”, “Lover”, “False God”, “Cruel Summer”, and

“The Way I Loved You” which fans adored hearing their favorite artists' music in their new

favorite show. The show is known for its use of extremely mainstream music or “TikTok”

songs. The new season teasers collected their fans starting very early by using “August” by

Taylor Swift in the first trailer, and following with “Back to December (Taylor’s Version)” in the

second. The episodes followed suit using songs again from Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, One

Direction, and more. It is great that they are marketing perfectly to their intended audience, but does it get too much?

Even though these are very popular and loved artists, and the writers know the

girls who are watching the series are the type to be fans of these artists, it feels as if they are

taking advantage of that and running with it. The writers are loosely placing these songs

throughout each episode with no intended purpose. There are exceptions with the use of “Invisible String”, “Drivers License'', and “I’m Kissing You” but others felt as if they were

mindlessly thrown in to have a trendy song fill the space to try and appeal to their audience. Of course, their goal is to appeal to the teen girl audience, but the choice of song and placement seems to lack individuality and instead only try and gain as many streamers as possible. This strategy is coming off as quantity over quality, which makes it hard to watch. The abuse of music is lacking tone and purpose, with scenes where there could be music that is perfect for the tone, but instead, the choice of song is based primarily on what is trending and not focusing on what fits the mood leading the scene to be comedic, if anything.

Although there are ways of improvement for the series, fans still adore it and are out to

see if Conrad or Jeremiah wins. We will have to push through the hard parts, but we

are constantly being left on our toes too much to care. But it's nice to see that Belly, and the cast, are Swifties too.

Written By Andie Serrao

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