An eagle-eyed viewer pointed out via TikTok that the season 2 premiere, which started streaming on Thursday, July 13, showed Conrad (Christopher Briney) flexing his hand while parting ways with Belly (Lola Tung) after they addressed their feelings for each other.
Showrunner and author of The Summer I Turned Pretty book series, Jenny Han, replied in the comments section, writing, “Y’all are quick ☺️.”
The scene took inspiration from the 2005 iteration of Pride & Prejudice where Mr. Darcy’s (Matthew Macfadyen) hand gently grazes Elizabeth Bennet’s (Keira Knightley) in passing before he tries to shake off the powerful moment.
Belly and Conrad’s romance has already left its own mark as The Summer I Turned Pretty continues to release new episodes. After Belly and Conrad finally shared a kiss in the season 1 finale, the hit Prime Video series picked up exactly where they left off.
The pair, however, find themselves facing plenty of obstacles on their way to a happily ever after. Conrad’s decision to keep his distance from Belly created the initial roadblock — but it was his brother, Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), who further complicated the situation. Although Belly previously showed interest in Jeremiah, she ultimately let him down in favor of Conrad.
After the series returned on Thursday, Briney, 25, opened up about the challenges of getting into Conrad’s new headspace.
“It was really fun to explore this different Conrad, because it’s a weird thing. It’s a character that I’ve explored for a whole season, I had a whole summer last year with the same character. And then you come back to this same character that is in a lot of ways, very different,” he told Entertainment Weekly on Friday, July 14. “And so to step back into those shoes and feel a little wobbly and be hurting people in different ways and not knowing how to take care of yourself in other ways, It’s a fun challenge to try and balance all these aspects and keep a character grounded and defend the things they do and fight for them.”
The actor went on to say that he doesn’t always agree with the choices Conrad makes, adding, “It’s sometimes hard to defend, but gradually and step by step, I would whittle my way down and defend each one of them within the world of it and forgive him for it in my own mind. It’s fun to do that as an actor, and play a character who’s being a jerk, because I’d like to think it’s outside of my realm of existence — it’s outside of Chris. So to be able to play that unapologetically is really fun.”
Tung, 20, for her part, praised Briney for helping her bring Belly and Conrad’s emotional love story to life.
“Working with Chris, he just made it so easy to be in the scene and to discover new things every time we would run the scene. We would do a take and try it different ways and try to stay in that very emotional head space for as long as we could,” she added. “But it was definitely a lot. I don’t know if there’s really one certain way to ever get through it without being affected in some way because it’s a lot of an emotional toll on yourself. But I was really glad that we got to do those really big important moments together.”
Meanwhile, Casalegno, 23, previously teased the “emotional walls” Jeremiah would have up throughout season 2.
“I think all of season 1 and even season 2, you get so much of Belly’s inner dialogue. You get so much of her thoughts and you’re able to love Belly because of it,” he exclusively told Us Weekly last month. “For Jeremiah, it’s the same. I feel like people are going relate to him and understand him better and really get to love the person he is because he has such a big heart for everyone around him.”
The Summer I Turned Pretty episodes are available to stream on Prime Video Fridays.