‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ hops on the coming of age trend


Celeb Mafia | Wikimedia Commons

Tarrell McCall

Amazon Prime’s new series “I Know What You Did Last Summer” is a loosely-based adaptation of the 1973 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan but is not a remake of the 1997 film of the same name.  Like the novel, the series follows a group of teens dealing with the repercussions of accidentally killing a random person somewhere on the road following a party in the hills. However, unlike the novel, the series reimagines this random person to be someone the group knows.

The series follows a trend of the “coming of age” shows similar to the likes of HBO’s “Euphoria,” MTV’s “Scream,” Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” and the Netflix original “13 Reasons Why.”. This trend sees teens partaking in adult-like situations and scenarios that they shouldn’t be doing or seeing on television, such as underage drinking, sex, drug use, cheating and suicide.

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” follows twins Allison and Lennon, rich social media obsessed Margot, loner Dylan, popular Johnny and drug dealer Riley, as they deal with the guilt of hiding the death of someone close to them.

The show makes an effort to be something that it knows it can’t: a coming-of-age drama thriller, love story and horror story. It tries to mix multiple genres into one, but it doesn’t work as intended. The dialogue at times, like from the characters Margot or Doug, seems so out of place and forced. The profanity feels too much, and a lot of scenes would’ve done better without it. The plot and twists are too textbook and easy to figure out.

The one positive side of the show is the high quality of acting by lead Madison Iseman, who rose to fame for her role in the film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and plays twins Allison and Lennon. Her juggling of two different personas is fun to watch and carries the show.

The moments where they allowed themselves to be grounded in reality and not some teen drama world were also a joy to watch.

Episode two is the best of the series so far and is a nice break from the chaos in the first. It brought up real issues and created social commentary that was unique and refreshing, but the rest of the show still tries its hardest to follow the “coming of age” trend instead of being something original on its own.

On the other hand, maybe this trend is an authentic look into the lives of today’s teens. Still, it is tough to say when all of the creators, writers and directors are way past the age of having the slightest idea of what is happening in the lives of young adults..

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” isn’t Jennifer Love Hewitt standing in the middle of the road and spinning around in a circle yelling to the sky, nor is it “Euphoria.” This show had potential; it showed flashes of greatness when it allowed itself to be grounded in reality rather than what some late twenty to early thirty-year-old thinks modern young adults think and feel.