Cruel Summer: How to watch the must-see psychological thriller of the summer in the UK

Amazon Prime Video’s addictive thriller Cruel Summer is going to be your summer TV obsession – here’s everything you need to know about the series.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 17 June 2021 - 2.58pm

If you’re looking for a TV alternative to the summer of sport, psychological thriller Cruel Summer is your next must-watch series.

A 10-part Amazon Original series, executive produced by Jessica Biel and The Sinner’s Michelle Purple, the series has become a breakout hit in the US and earned critical acclaim.

Delivering nail-biting twists and turns and also dealing sensitively with big topics, the show has been keeping TV fans guessing in the US, where it aired on Freeform.

In the UK, the show will be available on Amazon Prime Video later in the summer and here is everything you need to know about this new TV obsession.

The best psychological thrillers to watch now

Cruel Summer - What you need to know

Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia in Cruel Summer

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

IMDB rating: 7.5

Watch this if you liked: Panic, The Wilds, The Society, Elite, American Vandal

What the critics said: “Cruel Summer is addictive and fresh” (Entertainment Weekly)

What is the Cruel Summer plot? Spoiler-free

Cruel Summer jumps between three different summers, 1993, 1994 and 1995.

The story follows Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), a popular teenager who goes missing in 1993 and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), a girl who becomes a national hate figure following accusations made against her in 1995.

If you love puzzle-box TV shows and secong-guessing mysteries and having twists that pull the rug from underneath you, this is the TV series for you.

Amazon describes the series below:

Cruel Summer is an unconventional series that takes place over three summers in the 90s when a beautiful and popular teen goes missing, and a seemingly unrelated girl transforms from a sweet and awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town, eventually becoming the most despised person in America. Each episode is told from alternating points of view.

What to watch - What's new on Amazon Prime Video

Who are the Cruel Summer cast?

Olivia Holt, the star of Amazon Prime Video's Cruel Summer Getty
Olivia Holt

Olivia Holt (Cloak & Dagger, Kickin’ It) and Chiara Aurelia (Tell Me Your Secrets, Fear Street 2) lead the cast as teenagers Kate and Jeanette.

Talking about the series to Seventeen, Olivia Holt said: I'm so happy that people are investing themselves in the show, because I did the same thing.

“Before I was even a part of the show, I read the first two scripts and just was so captivated by every character, every scene, and just the thriller behind all of it. So the way that people are reacting to this show is just beyond what I could have ever wanted.”

The series also stars Michael Landes (The New Adventures of Superman), Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk), Brooklyn Sudano (My Wife and Kids), Blake Lee (Mixology), Allius Barnes (PEN15), and Nathaniel Ashton (Mr Mercedes).

How to watch Cruel Summer in the UK?

Tia Napolitano, Michelle Purple and Jessica Biel, the creative team behind Cruel Summer Prime Video

Cruel Summer is released in the UK on Friday, August 6 on Amazon Prime Video.

All 10 episodes will be released at once

Listen to the Cruel Summer soundtrack

Filled with alternative 90s bangers, the Cruel Summer soundtrack will bring back happy memories for anyone who was a teenager in the decade.

The soundtrack includes tracks from Garbage, Skunk Anansie, The Cranberries and Mazzy Star.

Will there be a Cruel Summer season 2?

Good news for fans in the US, a second season of Cruel Summer has already been confirmed.

It’s a ringing endorsement of the drama’s success and popularity with critics and viewers.

Cruel Summer is released in the UK on Friday, August 6 on Amazon Prime Video.