Let me just preface this review with the most important statement of all: I did not read the books.
Yes, oh the horror, but I went into this only a little blind, I did grow up as a tumblr girlie, but I was a little too obsessed with another girl who could not choose between two brothers (TVD, I am looking at you.)
After the success of the To All the Boys I Loved before trilogy, Amazon prime jumped into the pool with Jenny Hann to adapt this beloved series and as usual, I happen to have many thoughts and opinions on these seven episodes of season one(before release it was already renewed for a season two)
The premise is cliche, the scenery beautiful, and the music, exquisite, mostly due to the fact that we have FIVE Taylor Swift songs on the soundtrack. We are introduced to our somewhat aptly named lead character Belly, which in some world is short for Isabel who is of course a mixed-race Asian-American (Jenny Han’s only brand at this point) who is deeply and incandescently in love with Conrad Fisher (Broody Brother) and best friends with Jerimiah Fisher (Puppy dog Brother) with whom she spends EVERY summer with because their mums have this co-dependent Meredith and Christina-esque you’re MY PERSON friendship.
Confused as to who the target audience was
The books were devoured by teens and tweens since its release in 2009, most whom are now in their mid to late twenties much like myself and this show was well definitely more mature, it would definitely score an 18+ rating in Han’s native country Korea and yet the dialogue was so suffocatingly targetted towards gen-z. If you had to rewatch this in ten years, an immense amount of cringe-worthy shivers will travel up your spine.
Lack of Character Development
Belly’s only personality trait is going through well .. puberty and swapping out glasses for contact lenses. She constantly makes the same mistakes and leads people on while always going back to her one and only: Conrad.
Everyone else pretty much sticks to their assigned character traits: broody and puppy. The mothers however get some significant screen-time which I did enjoy and some of the only genuinely nice characters were Belly’s older brother Steven and his trail-blazing fashion influencer girlfriend, Shayla.
The show is a fun and mindless watch but it will never be a classic in my mind, and I will continue to watch the following seasons because well, why the heck not and the acting was not half bad and I am a sucker for punishment.