In dealing with the fallout of the past couple years and looking ahead to the upcoming trial, Kate and Jeanette have had another cruel summer once again. Throughout it all, their identities have been in constant flux as they try to work out the truth and who’s got their back. Here is some art that came out in the summer of ‘95 that touched on identity and it’s fickle nature.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (July 9th)
Called Northern Lights in the UK, this first book in the YA-fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials (now currently a show on HBO) won over readers both young and old with its parallel universe full of talking guardian animals and mysterious magic. The golden compass of the title refers to a device that, if you just know how to read it, will answer any question truthfully. Oh, if only Jeanette and Kate had such a device. They’d be spared so much pain.
Pocahontas (June 10th)
Though not necessarily one of the more popular Disney movies, Pocahontas still has enough heart and visual beauty to sweep you away with good feeling. Using that classic Romeo and Juliet-type love story of two people from opposing clans falling in love with each other, this is a movie that understands that class, race, and cultural/political differences are not enough to prevent true love from blossoming. And just as we see in Cruel Summer, love and friendship has a way of connecting characters we might not always expect it to connect.
Apollo 13 (June 30th)
One of the great rescue stories as well as just being a great space movie (a rescue-space movie?) Apollo 13 still enthralls audiences with its technical accuracy and tense situations. Houston had a very serious problem back then. Now Skylin, Texas has another problem all its own. Less dangerous, perhaps, but no less captivating. Here’s hoping the Cruel Summer girls can still make it out ok.
Clueless (July 19th)
Finally, a movie set in high school! This coming-of-age comedy is still regularly considered one of the best teen movies ever made, and for good reason. Following the Kate Wallis-like uber-popular Cher Horowitz as she gives the new girl Tai Frasier an introduction to the glamorous world of high school popularity, this could have been an alternate reality to Cruel Summer where Kate and Jeanette became best friends and not immortal enemies.
Elliot Smith – self titled album (July 21st)
Softly spoken and quietly devastating, Elliot Smith is one of the high priests of depressing music for young people. Considering the emotional turmoil the two leads of Cruel Summer go through throughout the show (especially for Kate) I can absolutely see them listening to Elliot Smith, either taking comfort in his gentle but passionate lyrics or wallowing in their sense of misery. As Rolling Stone described him, his music has “some of the loveliest songs about the dissolution of the soul ever written […] hypnotic and terribly, unremittingly sad.” Let’s just hope the ending to Cruel Summer isn’t so sad.