'The Summer I Turned Pretty' Author Jenny Han Talks Expanding Steven & Taylor's Relationship

'The Summer I Turned Pretty' Author Jenny Han Talks Expanding Steven & Taylor's Relationship

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for The Summer I Turned Pretty!

The Summer I Turned Pretty season two has come to an end!

One of the big differences this season was the growing relationship between Steven (Sean Kaufman) and his sister’s best friend Taylor (Rain Spencer).

Series creator and co-showrunner Jenny Han, who wrote the books the show is based on, opened up about expanding their relationship more in the series than in the books.

Find out more inside…

“That was always my plan for Steven and Taylor going into doing the TV show. So that was really seeded from the very start,” Jenny told THR. “And when I was casting the part of Taylor, I told Rain that even though she’s not in the full season the first season, her story was really going to expand moving forward. It’s a story that I would have loved to have written if I had more space in the books, because I love those characters and I love to see their growth and to be able to really take my time in showing that character development.”

“It’s a really heavy season in many ways, and I think that Taylor and Steven are able to offer a bit of lightness and fun in the midst of all of the drama around Susannah’s death and around the love triangle,” she continued. “It’s a little bit of a respite from that heaviness. But I think that for those characters, in the way they grew from season one to two, that was definitely a part of the plan as well because both of them were affected in their own ways by Susannah’s death, like all of our main characters were affected. And I think Steven was grieving in his own way, and Susannah was a second mom to him and he loved her as well. I think for Taylor, she really stepped up and was a friend to Belly when she saw her friend really suffering. I think it helped her grow in a lot of ways; it caused her to think about what kind of person she wanted to be.”

In another interview, Jenny echoed the same sentiment of always wanting to expand, but added a little more to it.

“They are two of my favorite characters. And I think the writers room always has the most fun writing their scenes, because they’re just so playful with each other and Sean and Rain have incredible chemistry with each other. This was my plan for the second season, was for this to unfold,” the author told Deadline. “It’s very satisfying for me as a writer and a creator to be able to plant little seeds and kind of take my time and let them grow. Something I said to Sean and Rain was, these two characters really did grow up together. Taylor has spent countless weekends and Friday nights hanging over at the house hoping to run into Steven in the bathroom brushing her teeth, or she’s bringing cute pajamas because maybe they’ll have a moment.”

“It’s just the way that it is growing up with your best friend’s older brother, the way that you can have a crush. It’s something that she’s nurtured for so long, and he hasn’t really seen her in that way and then they had that moment in the first season where they have that kiss,” Jenny added. “For a character like Taylor, that is so tough, and she doesn’t like to show weakness. I think that’s somebody she really has a soft spot for and so it was really crushing the way that it went down. I said to [Rain], ‘Steven is her Conrad. That’s her first love.’ I think people judge her really harshly for having that kiss with him when he was with somebody else. But I think from Taylor’s point of view, she doesn’t know anything really about Shayla. She gets there and it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s talking to this girl.’ She hasn’t met this person, and she doesn’t really know the full story. In fact, they are still sort of in the talking stage. So I think for her, she feels like she has dibs in a way because she’s had these feelings for so long. So, I think that, to me, that’s sort of the dream for a lot of teenage girls, to have that person finally see you in a different way.”

By the end of the season two finale, Steven and Taylor decide to give it a go, and even make out before going to the volleyball camp. They even decide their ship name is Staylor.

If you missed it, The Summer I Turned Pretty was renewed for a third season earlier this year!

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Photos: Prime Video
Posted to: Jenny Han, Television, The Summer I Turned Pretty

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