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"Summertime": An Italian Teen Romance that Hates Summer as Much as I Do


 I hate summer.  The campus empties out, the theater and tv seasons end, it's too hot to jog, it's daylight at bedtime, you have to eat...ugh...outside, and you have to drive crosscountry for 18 hours to visit relatives that you see just once a year (and once is plenty!).  But this summer it's even worse; after having been basically in the house for the last year, I can finally go places, and there's nowhere to go

So I definitely was planning to skip the Italian tv series Summertime, in spite of the beefcake jock on the icon, until I saw the first episode: "I Hate Summer!"

 I'm in!

Scene 1: A girl watches the sunrise over the ocean, then skateboards past establishing shots of people going about their affairs in a seaside resort (cute guy diving into the water).  Two elderly guys stare menacingly, maybe because she's black, which is unusual in Italy.  A striking shot of 60,000 empty beach chairs makes me think that this is post-Apocalyptic, but it's probably just off-season.

She arrives at her apartment, groans at the mess, and makes breakfast.  Hot albeit feminine guy named Edo (Giovanni Maini) appears, worried that he didn't tell his dad that he was staying over.  "Now he'll think we're together, and I'll never hear the end of it."  Maybe he's a gay best friend?

The Girl's androgynous younger sister, Blue, appears.  She doesn't want to go to school because today they're ranking the girls by attractiveness (this is an authorized school activity?).  The Girl forces her.

The Girl's Mom is starting work today, so summer has officially begun.  God help us all!   


Scene 2:
  Another Hot Guy  (Ludovico Tersigni) awakens in bed next to a naked girl (chest shot almost obscured by girl arms).  He disentangles himself, sneaks out, and rides his scooter through town.

Cut to a class at school.  What's with the closeups of hands writing?  The Girl - her name seems to be Summer, even in Italian -- passes a note to her friend Sofi.  

Hot Guy #2 arrives at an enormous bunker and greets some guys who are going to practice motorcycle racing.  

He changes into racing gear and zooms around the track, while a guy in a control booth evaluates him: "You're going too slow on the second.  You brake too early.  Your heart rate is too high.  We should hit the gym and lower it."  I would mind seeing them at the gym.

"I can't help it.  I've been injured.  My shoulder still hurts."

"Our next race is in ten days.  We have to push up the training. Or hold a press conference."  Oh boy, the trainer puts his arm around him as they walk back to the bunker, and then kisses him on the cheek.  Is this usual in Italy?

Scene 3:  The beach.  Hot Guy Edo, Summer, and BFF Sofi are all cuddling in a mass, discussing how they cleverly cheated on their exam.  All of the school's glitterati are going to a party tonight; maybe they should go, too, to make fun of them.  

Summer has a job interview tomorrow.  She hates summer, and working will make it go by quicker (hey, I should try that!  This show is already giving me tips on how to survive the dreaded season)


Switch to Hot Guy #2, who is named Ale, working on a motorcycle with his mechanic, Dario (Andrea Lattanzi).  Ale slept with his ex-girlfirend last night, even though they've broken up.  Now she thinks they're back together.  He asks Dario to talk to her after the party, make an excuse or something.

Scene 3:  Summer is called to the headmaster's office: her androgynous younger sister attacked the girl who won the "prettiest" contest.  

Cut to Ale and Dario motoring to the docks, where they hook up with some other guys and high-five each other over the endless acres of "conchas" they're going to acquire at the party tonight (sorry, the English subtitles stopped working, so I'm going with the Spanish).  Sexist jerks!  Ale brings drinks to two people with conchas,  and begins his attempt to acquire them.

Cut to Summer, practicing for her interview with Edo and Sofi.  She has to speak fluent English and French (cool -- I'm listening to someone speak French with Spanish subtitles in an Italian tv series).

While Edo and Sofi frolic in the water, Summer tries to talk to her Mom (a waitress at a seaside cafe) about Blue getting into fights, but she rushes off. Whoa, neglectful parent!

Scene 4: Ale visiting his Mom (see how nicely parallel their lives are?).  He feels guilty that they had to move to this seaside resort community for his racing. and asks if she likes it: "Winter here is tough, but summers are beautiful"  I love winter!

Meanwhile, Summer and Blue are cooking dinner.  Mom arrives.  They argue about Dad, always too busy "on the road" to come home. Summer thinks he's having an affair with Mom's sister.  Mom dismisses the idea, and Summer storms out, just as Hot Guy Edo arrives with dessert.

Text from Sofi: "I found the password for the party.  And bring Edo.  Maybe we can find him a girl!"  Boo!  I thought Edo was obviously being portrayed as gay!

Scene 5: Edo refused to go (not interested in meeting a girl, dude?). so Summer and Sofi head toward the party alone.  

Whoa, it's like spring break in Miami!  16,000 guys and girls in swimsuits, with Ale and two bikini girls orchestrating events on a giant podium.  Some quick beefcake shots.  

Ale sees Summer from afar .  His jaw drops.  He gazes awestricken.  The most beautiful girl in the universe!  But by the time he rushes through the crowd, she's gone. 

They have wandered into the indoor party, where Sofi approaches DJ Dario: "I have boobs.  Want to do it?"  Surprisingly, he would rather discuss music. Not interested in boobs -- maybe he's gay.

Summer heads to the bathroom and runs into Ale and his girl arguing.  They gaze awestricken at each other, but the girl insults her and pulls him away.  Darn, when are they going to meet?

Finally, a meet-cute -- Ale accidentally pushes Summer in the pool.  They gaze awestricken at each other, but she rejects his apologies and "need a towel?" and rushes off to text Edo to "rescue her."  He runs behind her with a dry sweater (a far shot for changing clothes! No girl parts, for a nice change of pace!).  

Ale (Gazing awestricken): "Um....um...(darn, how to you talk to the most beautiful woman in the world)....Let me..um.... give you a ride home."  

Summer (Gazing awestricken): "Um...um...(he's the most beautiful guy I've ever seen, but I have to reject him for a couple of episodes)...No!  My friend is coming to pick me up.  Besides, I hate you and everything about you!"

Ale: "Hear that?  It's the mating call of the flamingo."  Not the best pick-up line!  He moves in for a kiss, but at that moment Edo arrives.

Scene 6:  Summer and Edo skateboard through town.  Edo asks if she's ok.  She's fine...it's just...that guy..true-love, and I have to reject him...uh-oh, if I didn't know that Edo was gay, I'd think he was about to confess his love to her.


Scene 7:
The next morning.  Ale awakens naked amid the ruins of his party (penis and butt, but in a long shot).  He goes to the track, and gets yelled at by his trainer -- Dad ( I think Maio Sgueglia)! That explains the kiss.   

Dad: "You keep losing races because you're too stupid to follow simple instructions! I'm big and important!  Listen to me!" 

Ale: I'm injured!   I need the summer off!

Dad: Championships, working hard, I'm important, yada yada yada

Scene 8: Ale goes to the Grand Hotel to talk to his Mom, the manager, about taking the summer off.  There's a knock on the door -- it's Summer, there for her big job interview.  What a coincidence! They gaze awestricken at each other for about ten minutes, and then Mom begins the intervew.  The end.


Beefcake: 
Ale cock and butt, shirtless a lot.  A lot of shirtless guys at the party.  Several hunks haven't appeared yet, or at least I couldn't distinguish them. like Thomas Camorani (left)

Other Sights: Beautifully shot Italian resort community.

Heterosexism:  Well, the whole series is about the romance between Summer and Ale, who will probably experience some obstacles later on.  Otherwise be really boring story.  At this point, I can't see why they couldn't date.

Bad Directing:  There must be some way to indicate sexual attraction other than stopping the action to have the two actors gaze awestricken at each other for ten minutes.

Gay Characters:  Hey, all those "gay best friend" tropes were a tease!  Edo is heterosexual!  

I thought Dario might be gay, since he and Sofi turn out to be friends, and he reveals to her "who is real crush is."  But no, he's straight.

Guess what?  Sofi is gay, and has a crush on Summer that drives a wedge between her and Ale.  Uh-oh, gay people exist only as problems that the heterosexuals must deal with.

Will I Keep Watching: Heck, no.  I hate summer.



source http://everydayheterosexism.blogspot.com/2021/06/summertime-italian-teen-romance-that.html

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