All The Fish(ers) In The Sea
The official guide to help you decide if you’re Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah.
Emie Garrett | Entertainment Editor
Fair warning: This article contains major spoilers.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably watched, or heard about “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” the TV adaptation of Jenny Han’s young adult book series by the same name, which was released on June 16 by Amazon Prime Video.
After Han’s monumental success with the film adaptation of her wildly popular series, “To All The Boys” on Netflix, which was heralded by the streaming platform in a 2018 Q3 report as one of its “most viewed original films ever,” as reported by Variety, there’s no doubt hopes were high for “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” and Han delivered.
Here’s the gist: Isabel “Belly” Conklin, played by Lola Tung, has been spending her summers at Cousins Beach in Massachusetts since she was a baby. Belly and her family, consisting of her mother Laurel, played by Jackie Chung, and her brother Steven, played by Sean Kaufman, stay at the beach house of Laurel’s lifelong best friend, Susannah Fisher, played by Rachel Blanchard, with her two sons, the eldest, Conrad, played by Christopher Briney, who Belly has been in love with since she can remember, and younger brother, Jeremiah, played by Gavin Casalegno.
When the Conklin family returns to Cousins Beach for the summer, Belly, now almost 16-years-old, has come into her own and begins to come out of her shell and find her confidence, grabbing the attention of not only Conrad, who has recently become uncharacteristically brooding and moody, but also that of golden boy, always-up-for-anything Jeremiah.
Needless to say, a lot of angsty, hormonal teen drama ensues.
Below, is a rundown of each Fisher brother, with a list of the good and the bad committed over the summer, so you can decide for yourself if you’re Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah.
Conrad is patient and wants what’s best for Belly:
Conrad is moody, brooding, high or heavily intoxicated for much of episodes one through three. When Conrad finds out in Episode Seven that Belly has chosen Jeremiah, he doesn’t act out, but respects the choice and tells her that he thinks she made the right decision in a way that feels sincere and non-manipulative, and at the Debutante Ball, seems to be genuinely trying to be happy for the pair.
Conrad can be totally thoughtless and toxic:
Though Conrad’s drinking and drug use is clearly a coping mechanism for whatever he’s going through, he often lashes out physically, as seen in the practically unprovoked beach fight in Episode One, and verbally, as seen in Episode Two, when he purposely intrudes on Belly’s first date and is mean to her out of jealousy.
While Conrad seems aware of how toxic these behaviors are and is wary of pursuing a relationship with Belly because of it, he continues to act without regard for anyone else for much of the season.
Conrad, at his core, is kind and fiercely protective of the people he loves. He also respects those people’s decisions, like Belly picking Jeremiah and his mother’s choice to share about her terminal cancer diagnosis on her own terms and timeline.
With that said, Conrad also has a tendency to withhold his emotions, bottling them all up until he explodes by lashing out on those he cares about most– his mom, dad, brother and Belly– which can be red flags pointing to a potentially emotionally abusive partner. If Belly were to choose him, those are things Conrad would need to seek help working through separately.
Jeremiah keeps life interesting and is emotionally open:
Jeremiah is the life of the party. Whether it’s initiating karaoke at a house party, playing beer pong or going for a night swim, Jeremiah is game.
He’s also very upfront about how he feels for Belly. In Episode Five, he tells her he sees her as more than a friend, then immediately kisses her, making it clear he wants to be with her.
In Episode Six, he continues to initiate open conversations with Belly about his feelings, making no bones about his wanting to be with her romantically, unlike Conrad who is constantly sending Belly mixed signals.
Jeremiah is self-centered and can be ultra-conniving:
His tendency to make everything about him shines through in Episode Seven when he finally discovers that his mom has terminal cancer. He steals her phone and looks through it before ever asking her about his suspicions and he makes a scene at the Debutante Ball, punching his brother in the face.
Jeremiah is rightfully devasted, but it was selfish to make such a scene in public about something so deeply private.
In Episode Four, Jeremiah spots Conrad and Belly about to kiss on the Fourth of July. Naturally, he lights a roman candle and aims it at them, scaring the two apart before they can kiss. It’s clear he pulled this very dangerous stunt out of jealousy.
It’s been no secret that Belly has long been in love with Conrad, but once Jeremiah sees that Conrad’s feelings are mutual, he does everything in his power to keep the two apart. Begging the question, does Jeremiah genuinely like Belly, or does he just not want Conrad to be with her?
There’s no denying Jeremiah is an exciting, lighthearted ball of fun. He is also emotionally open and a clear communicator, like when he helps Belly talk through her feelings about her brief summer fling with Cam, played by David Iacono.
Jeremiah is also always up for adventure and he’s never going to leave you hanging, and that kind of security is comforting to say the least.
He often lets his emotions guide his actions, resulting in him behaving immaturely and selfishly, like openly pouting in Episode Six when he gets replaced with Conrad on Belly’s volleyball team for a charity tournament because he was playing poorly.
It seems that Jeremiah isn’t aware that he does these things, so if Belly chooses him, he has some growing up to do.
Each character is extremely complex and detailed, which is a true testament to Han’s superb writing and character development skills. Han depicts the Fisher brothers in a way that makes them feel three-dimensional and like any real person – not entirely good or entirely bad, but a jumbled mess of it all.
First and foremost, everyone should be Team Belly and whoever she chooses for herself, but for the sake of teen TV drama, it’s time to pledge your allegiance: Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah.
Emie Garrett is currently serving as our Entertainment Editor. During her three years at Alice, she has written numerous stories for both our digital and print channels. Originally from Demopolis, Alabama, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in public relations from The University of Alabama in 2021, and will begin her second year of graduate studies in the fall, working to earn a Master’s degree in advertising and public relations with a concentration in creative advertising.