Sadie Stanley, Lexi Underwood, Griffin Gluck, KaDee Strickland, Lisa Yamada and Sean Blakemore in Cr...

The Cruel Summer Season 2 Trailer Introduces A Whole New Murder Mystery

New mystery. New characters. New drama.

by Dylan Kickham, Lexi Williams and Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 

Another summer is just around the corner, and it will be entirely different from the last. The same day Freeform aired its highly anticipated Season 1 finale of Cruel Summer (June 15, 2021), the network also confirmed the hit teen mystery would return for a second season. After the wild cliffhanger, fans likely have questions about Cruel Summer Season 2 but don’t expect any more info about Jeanette, Kate, and the rest of the Skylin crew. Surprisingly, the series opted for the anthology route, meaning Season 2 will introduce a new cast and revolve around a new central mystery. Here’s what fans can look forward to.

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from Cruel Summer’s Season 1 finale. Given the immense success of Cruel Summer, it came as no surprise that Freeform immediately renewed the twist-filled ‘90s mystery for a second season. What did come as a surprise, though, was the shocking revelation in the final moments of the Season 1 finale. After Kate learned it was Mallory and not Jeanette who witnessed her in Martin’s home, it looked like the story would end with a nice resolution for everybody. But just when fans thought the show was over, Cruel Summer flashed back to 1994 and revealed Jeanette had once again broken into Martin’s house and heard Kate yelling for help while locked in the basement but decided not to help her.

The flashback cliffhanger teased there’s much more story to tell, but don’t expect Season 2 to return to the scene of the crime. Freeform confirmed on April 21, 2021, that Cruel Summer would be an anthology series, with Season 2 centering on an entirely different mystery than Season 1.

Here’s everything to know about the second season so far.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Trailer

The trailer for the new season lays out the new story. It centers on the complex friendship between Megan (Sadie Stanley) and Isabella (Lexi Underwood). When a body is pulled from the lake where they hang out, Isabella seems to warn Megan about getting their stories straight. So, how are these two teens involved with this murder mystery? That’s what Season 2 will be all about.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Cast

Freeform/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Cruel Summer may have been renewed quickly, but the show soon ran into trouble right after its renewal, as the showrunner, Bert Royal, exited the series over “creative differences” with Season 2’s direction. Tia Napolitano replaced him, but that didn’t work out either. In April 2022, nearly a year after the show’s initial renewal, Freeform announced Napolitano’s exit, with Elle Triedman (Power Book IV: Force) stepping into the role.

Triedman’s arrival coincided with the show’s casting announcement for Season 2, with Sadie Stanley (Kim Possible), Eloise Payet (Dive Club), Griffin Gluck (Big Time Adolescence), KaDee Strickland (Private Practice), Lisa Yamada (Never Have I Ever), and Sean Blakemore (13 Reasons Why) making up the ensemble, and Paul Adelstein (Prison Break) in a recurring role.

However, less than a month later, Freeform announced one significant recasting as Payet exited the series. Her replacement would be Lexi Underwood, best known for Little Fires Everywhere. The announcement further clarified that Underwood would be taking on one of the three leading roles as Isabella.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Plot

Along with with the casting announcement came confirmation the series will be going the anthology route as Season 2 entered production and was set in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1990s rather than Skylin, Texas, in the earlier part of the decade.

Here’s Season 2’s official synopsis:

Set in an idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest, the second chapter follows the rise and fall of an intense teenage friendship. Approaching the story from three different timelines surrounding Y2K, the season twists and turns as it tracks the early friendship between Megan, Isabella and Megan’s best friend Luke, the love triangle that blossomed, and the mystery that would impact all of their lives going forward.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Release Date

The Season 2 trailer confirmed that Cruel Summer Season 2 will premiere on May 5 on Freeform.

This article was originally published on