Nostalgia, family drama, a beloved celeb mom behind the scenes — we’re ready for this Freeform hit’s return.
If you've been waiting patiently for Freeform's '90s-inspired mega-hit Cruel Summer to BRB, you're about to be one happy fan. After a whirlwind, nostalgia-and-twist-filled first season, the network announced via Instagram in April that it would return. But there's another twist: The show confirmed it's an anthology, and Cruel Summer Season 2 will follow a completely different storyline than the first season, and it will take place in a new decade, too — the early 2000s.
Cue the immediate memory of AOL Instant Messenger and low-rise jeans.
Producer (and beloved celebrity mom) Jessica Biel, whose starring role on Seventh Heaven makes us confident the show will deliver on offering peak 2000s nostalgia, posted an Instagram in late July from what appears to be the set of the show, sparking fans to sound off in the comments about when the show will return and what the new season will bring.
Below, everything we know so far about Cruel Summer Season 2.
What will the new season be about?
Though some fans were disappointed to find out the new season will feature none of the same cast or storyline as Season 1, some of the hallmark features of the show that made it Freeform's biggest series debut ever remain in place.
According to Variety, the new installment will also follow an "intense, teenage friendship" told over three different early aughts timelines. According to the show's synopsis, "It tracks the early friendship between Megan, Isabella, and Megan's best friend Luke, the love triangle that blossomed, and the mystery that would impact all of their lives going forward."
While Season 1 took place in twangy Skylin, Texas, Season 2 takes place in "an idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest."
Who's in the Cruel Summer Season 2 cast?
New cast members Sadie Stanley (The Goldbergs), Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere), and Griffin Gluck (Locke & Key) will serve as the new season's stars. Stanley will play Megan Landry, a computer coder who develops a new and exciting friendship with a "mysterious" new student Isabella, played by Underwood. But, as is expected from the show, secrets soon emerge about why Isabella moved to their Pacific Northwest town.
Other confirmed cast members for Season 2 include KaDee Strickland (Private Practice), Lisa Yamada (All American), Sean Blakemore (Greenleaf), and Paul Adelstein (True Story). If you’re a Shondaland fan, you may be connecting the dots right now — Strickland starred as Dr. Charlotte King on Private Practice, who became stepmother to the character played by a then-younger Gluck. Gluck’s fun-loving father on Private Practice was Dr. Cooper Freedman, played by none other than Paul Adelstein. Who doesn’t love a good reunion?!
When and where does Season 2 air?
Freeform has not announced an official release date for the new season, but according to Insider, filming is scheduled to wrap at the end of August, "making a fall or winter 2022 premiere date most likely."
What about that sort-of cliffhanger from last season?
Fans still reeling over Season 1 might not be too thrilled that the series will not pick up where it left off. After following the fate and friendships of Kate Wallace, who was groomed and eventually kidnapped by her high school vice principal Martin Harris, and Jeanette Turner, who was cleared of being accused of seeing Kate kidnapped and not reporting it, viewers were left with one pretty crucial loose end at the end of the season — it became clear that while it was true Jeanette never saw Kate, she seems to have heard her from inside Harris' house.
Though we can't expect to get closure over that late revelation, at least some fans of the show are relieved to be getting a new cast of characters. "There wasn't enough story for a whole other season," one commenter wrote on Instagram. "So I'm excited to see what the new storyline will be about."
Plus, regardless of how we actually feel about the resurgence of early aughts fashion, we have a feeling the show will do a killer job at recreating the oh-so-familiar decade.