Monday, July 5, 2021

[SPOILERS] CRUEL SUMMER (2021): A High Schoolgirl and Vice Principal Sexual Affair

[SPOILERS] Freeform's slash Hulu's Cruel Summer reminded me of HBO Max's Mare of Easttown where Mare shared, "Trust me, teenage girls are fucking sneaky."

In Cruel Summer, Kate Wallis had the inhabitants of Skylin,Texas believing that she had been drugged and kidnapped by Mr. Martin Harris - the vice principal of Skylin high school. 

When in fact, without being groomed or victimized, Kate was attracted to her vice principal and went willingly and without solicitation, in the night, to her vice principal's house. Kate later admitted:

"I slept over that first night. That night led to more nights. And friends led to more than friends."

Just like Vanessa of My Dark Vanessa, a therapist attempted to convince "sneaky" Kate that she had been groomed and victimized. Kate shared:

"You know that my therapist [erroneously] said that Martin Harris basically was grooming me from the moment that he met me?"

"I went to Martin's looking for safety. What would people think if they knew that I went there willingly?" 

Despite the fact that, initially, Martin asked Kate to leave (Look, you need to go now [...] I could lose my job or worse."), the therapist related to Kate:

"Let's revisit the concept of grooming. A groomer isolates their victim."

Not knowing that, after some weeks, Kate did leave - only to return, the therapist asked:

"What do you think kept you from walking out that door?"

"He made it very clear that I had to choose between him and the outside world. I couldn't have both. And for a long time, I choose him," Kate replied. 

But just like Alisson of Being Lolitathe age-gap affair between Kate and Martin took a wrong turn after Kate didn't want to hide their affair anymore. Kate said to Martin:

"I can't wait until I'm older; so, no one will care about our age difference [...] After that, we can be a real couple."

However, for obvious reasons, Martin expressed to his student that he didn't want to go public. Consequently,  Kate said:

"I can't go on [hiding] forever, Martin. I mean, we can. Our bubble can't [...] The hiding. I can't stand it! "

An interesting side point in the series is that Mallory Higgins, Kate's high schoolmate, confessed to Kate that she had her sexual awakening in the fourth grade via Kate's dad:

"Also, sorry to say this, but your dad is kind of fine. Do you remember when he chaperoned our fourth-grade trip and he wore those really short shorts?" I'm pretty sure that was my sexual awakening - to be honest with you."

Lastly, without elaborating on Kate's thong and the teen lipstick lesbian kiss between Kate and Mallory, Cruel Summer has been renewed for a second season, the series scored a 91% Average Tomatometer, and Jenna Ryu of USA TODAY posted: "Teen mystery show 'Cruel Summer' mostly praised by critics as 'addictive,' 'compelling'"

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