It probably won’t come as a surprise to know that I love Byronic heroes. Read any of my posts here and you will see my natural, probably unhealthy, tendency to swoon over Damon rather than Stefan Salvatore. So I fell for Belly and Conrad. His entry scene, when he looks up and smiles at Belly, with the Taylor Swift song in the background, hit all the right notes. Conrad was awkward with Belly, but otherwise caring. Something weird was going on with him this summer, but otherwise he was right there, tucking sleeping mom under a blanket. He should have been perfect for me,  even if not for Belly.

P.S I do know, and I think its serendipity that Gavin Casalegno, the actor who plays Jeremiah, played young Damon!

But then Jeremiah Ficher happened! From the first smile and big bear hug we could see how comfortable Belly and Jeremiah are around each other. I liked him and his casual conversations with our heroine.

But it wasnt until Belly turned “belle of the ball” in a summer dress with flowers (or is it pinneaples?) and Jeremiah walked up in his bare torso loose Bodygaurd shorts with a stack of swim towels. He couldn’t keep a straight face at the sight of his transformed best friend, coughed his way through a compliment and offered to walk her over to where the dreaded Debutant tea awaits. Belly is nervous of the snobby rich girls and probably feeling entirely out of place, but Jeremiah puts her at ease. And thats what starts to convert me to Team Jere! He introduces Belly, joking about her being his future wife, steals a sandwich and rushes off to lifeguard duty. He was spectacularly at ease with himself and not at all conscious of the girls who are all set to swoon over this boy.

This was it. I was hooked but I was distracted enough at first viewing that I missed the telling signs of Jere pining over Belly. And I also missed his scheming and plotting to keep his big brother away from Belly. Now you can really yell at me about how distracted I was while watching this show. Anyway my attention was back and on high alert when Jere walked in, same red shots and a tacky netted lifegaurd vest and asked Belly for a waltz. The other boys are in dinner jackets, but Jere could care less. When Belly worries Jere will get her in trouble, Steven (Belly’s brother) shrugs off his dinner jacket and Jere puts it on. He oozes confidence and has an infectious smile. Mischief lights up his eye as he switches the song and does a sexy solo dance instead. The teenagers, being teenagers, join in because Jere’s music is way more fun than waltz music. I was smiling that day when this sequence played out on my screen for the first time and am smiling now 2 years later as I recall it while typing this out. 

 When he confesses to Belly he wished they could be more than just friends, his eyes shone and his jaw clenched enough to bring in a more serious side to him. Followed by a sequence where came his easy acceptance of Belly as his friend and assurance, “I will always come and get you”.

And the finale had a bonus the debutante escort dance. Don’t miss this for some mindless swoons. They make me want to be 17 again. 

I had fallen for the cheerful brother. The brother who laughed more easily and who didnt have as much drama going on with the heroine. But Belly had to break his heart because unlike me she was still stuck on her Byronic hero. At 17 I would have picked Conrad over Jere, but I now know better.

I am glad, though, that she broke his heart. The Jeremiah who returned in season 2 was the same, yet better because of the added seriousness and barely concealed anger. As he says in his showdown with Conrad on the beach, “he didnt want to pretend and smile when things were not okay”. I say, am all for it. Don’t smile Jere if you don’t feel like it because you are so much better looking this way. But then you are also pretty good looking when you are smiling.

Gavin grew older, or the actor smartly brings this newfound and attractive maturity to the character in Season 2. Belly says, “look at us… we grew up” and I say I am even more crazy about season 2 Jeremiah than season 1.

Do you like the show? Are you team Conrad or team Jeremiah? Like Belly, did you know from the start which brother you were destined to fangirl on or did Jeremiah change your mind like he did mine? Tell me in the comments below.

Video credit Youtube Uploaders.