When we visit a cool summer spot, we might wonder:
What would it be like to live there? Would it seem like, well, summer forever?
Avery Solomon (shown here) – the central figure in “Forever Summer: Hamptons,” debuting Friday (July 15) on Amazon Prime — knows all about that. “I’m as local as local gets,” she said. “I know all the places to go. I know where the cops hang out.”
Some day, she’ll be injected into the grown-up world; she’s a Tulane student, hoping to go to medical school. But each summer, she’s back home, with a beach/bonfire/party life in Westhampton.
Now we see it through the eyes of Avery (we’ll use first names here, because the show does) and her townie friends … plus an outsider, Ilan Luttway.
Well, semi-outsider. Ilan has an impressive background – his grandmother was the first woman to chair the U.S. House Appropriations Committee – but not quite in this setting. “I’ve been going to the Hamptons since I was born, because I have family in Easthampton,” he said. But this was his first chance to stay in Westhampton. “It was definitely more local-vibe and super-fun. There’s this place, Boardy Barns, where you have an incredibly fun experience every Sunday.
(Or you did last summer, anyway. In May, the people who created Boardy Barns 52 years ago sold it, with its future uncertain.)
Ilan – a University of Michigan computer major – also soon glimpsed local possessiveness.
Convinced that Emelye Ender (Avery’s friend) was breaking up with Hunter Hulse, Ilan told a friend he might make a move. Hunter’s response was territorial and threatening.
“It definitelty shocked me,” Ilan said. Still, “I do respect him for being able to be straight-up with me.”
Emelye’s reaction to Hunter’s macho overload? “He just gets like that. And honestly, I let him do his thing. I’m like: ‘You do it and I’ll just chill here.’”
They do make a classic couple, suitable for any beach-party movie. He’s a handsome surfer and dirt-biker, home (after being an econ major at the University of Maryland) with hopes of starting a marine-construction business. She’s a gorgeous blonde who decided to stay with him instead of going to college. “I’m just doing my own thing with social media and I’m trying to travel as much as possible.”
In this privileged society, there are signs that their generation is into equality. Gay friends are part of the crowd; a mildly homophobic (and drunken) remark drew quick rebuke.
Habtamu “Habs” Coulter sees a benign setting. He was adopted from Ethiopia at 3 and flung into a new world. “I haven’t had any awful experiences,” he said, “but I have had uncomfortable experiences.”
Now he and Juliet Clarke are the only minorities featured in a show filled with white privilege.
“I’ve been an outsider in every situation,” Babs said. “There’s a way to not feel like an outsider – just (let it sail) right over the head.”
Now the rest of us – from outside, via our TV sets – view his sunny world of a forever summer.