Netflix's teen TV show game continues to be strong as the streamer adds the latest addition to its growing list of series about young people falling in love on Wednesday, Apr. 29: Summertime. The trailer for the Italian series is full of meet cute moments and sun-soaked scenery, and while it feels all too real, Netflix's Summertime isn't so much based on a true story as it is inspired by a famous YA book trilogy with a legion of fans.
Before John Green cornered the market on earnest YA books in America, Federico Moccia was already defining the genre in Italy with his Three Meters Above the Sky series. Three Meters Above the Sky was first published in 1992, and it slowly gained a cult following over the years. Moccia followed up his first book with two sequels — I Want You and Three Times You. His series isn't well known stateside, but internationally, the author is a YA phenomenon. In Rome, there's a Moccia route where fans can see lines from the books painted on buildings, and remember when people began putting locks on bridges to signify their everlasting love? The trend began in response to the two main characters from the author's second book putting a padlock on the Ponte Milvio.
Clearly, Moccia knows his way around a quality teen romance, but fans shouldn't expect Summertime to be 100 percent faithful to the books. Most notably, the series is set in the present day, ditching the '90s and '00s setting of the novels in favour of emoji talk and a more inclusive cast. The Netflix series follows Ale and Summer, two teens spending their summer on the picturesque Adriatic coast, but their location is the only thing they have in common. Summer (newcomer Coco Rebecca Edogamhe) is a girl with big dreams, whose focus is firmly on her future, while Ale (Ludovico Tersigni) is a motorcycle enthusiast with a rebellious side. It's a classic tale of opposites attract that hinges on the two falling hard for each other even though they don't seem to have much in common aside from being attractive young people.
With its focus on young love blossoming against all odds, Summertime appears poised to join the ranks of Netflix's addictive teen dramas like Elite, Outer Banks, and Sex Education, which means fans will no doubt be begging for more after binging season 1. While there's no word on a second season just yet (even though Moccia's books offer up plenty of material), there is a movie based on Three Meters Above the Sky. Released in 2010, Three Steps Above Heaven is a Spanish language film about a wealthy girl who falls for a troubled teen, and it's available to rent digitally if you need even more of Moccia's romances in your life.
For now, viewers can enjoy watching the classic Italian books get a modern update and the Netflix treatment as Summer and Ale's love story seems poised to reach a whole new audience.