Surprise hit Cruel Summer gets second season, but with one big mystery

Surprise Freeform hit drama series Cruel Summer will return for a second season, but it may not look the same when it arrives. It's still-to-be-determined whether the show will return with the same cast and a continuing storyline or if it will leave behind the Turner-Wallis saga and start fresh with a new cast and an entirely new story.Cruel Summer is a teen drama thriller from Bert V. Royal that premiered on Freeform in late April. New episodes of the show were also made available soon after the broadcast premiere through streaming platform Hulu, giving the show access to a wider audience than it would have otherwise enjoyed.

The series is based around the characters Kate Wallis and Jeanette Turner, two teens living in a fictional Texan city called Skylin. The show is set during the years 1993, 1994, and 1995, using a somewhat confusing storytelling style that mixes scenes from all three years together in every episode.

Viewers are introduced to a storyline in which Wallis goes missing, Jeanette faces a life-altering accusation, and two uncomfortable secrets blur the lines between who is lying and telling the truth. The series wraps up its storyline in a way that can be considered a full conclusion, though it hits with a last-minute twist that could potentially allow for a second season.

According to Deadline, the sleeper hit turned out to be Freeform's most-watched show in its history, resulting in the renewal announcement only a day or so ahead of the season finale. What isn't clear is whether the show will return in an anthology format that brings in new cast members and tells a new story, or whether we'll see the existing cast return to carry on the first season's story.