DISCLAIMER: I have not scoped out the graphic novel by Charles Forsman (also behind ‘The End of the F***ing World’, another graphic-novel-turned-Netflix-show gem) that I Am Not Okay With This is based on, so there may very well be somebody out there who thinks the new Netflix show is an aberration. But, for the most part, I think it flippin’ rules! Let’s talk about that!
IANOWT (which is how we are going to refer to the show from this point forward) just debuted a few days ago on Netflix, and it is like the most delightful mash-up between Sex Education (another must-binge on Netflix if you haven’t already) and Carrie. Or Thelma, which is like Carrie but Norwegian and queer.
SPEAKING of queer vibes, IANOWT is very much chock full of ‘em! Sophia Lillis stars as main character Sydney “Syd” Novak, a teenager who’s trying to navigate the drag that is attending high school as an unpopular in a new town (in like…middle-of-nowhere-not-cute Pennsylvania), after your dad has committed suicide in the basement in the new house, and now your mom works a shitty job to try and hold down the pretty-much-crumbling fort, and you kind of have to pick up the pieces and take care of your little brother, but also fuck that, and you might be gay, and might be in love with your best (and only) friend, who has coincidentally just started dating the biggest dickhead jock in school. Oh, and you realize that you have superpowers and can make things happen with your mind, largely when you’re angry or embarrassed or sad or scared. And maybe you accidentally killed your brother’s hedgehog with your sad brain, and destroyed the whole school library with your scared brain, and uprooted an entire forest with your embarrassed brain, and fucked up the bowling alley with your angry brain. COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL.
In sum, Syd’s got a lot of shit to deal with, but fortunately finds a friend (slash love interest? maybe? briefly? except for the queer part?) in delightfully weird neighbor Stanley “Stan” Barber (played by Wyatt Oleff)! (Seriously, I am obsessed with him.) Together they explore Syd’s newfound powers, which only intensify as as the series goes on and grief begins to be unpacked.
On that note, one of my only initial critiques of the series was that Syd appeared kind of unnecessarily mean at times (especially to Stan, WHAT THE HECK), or reacted to certain situations in ways that (to me) didn’t make total sense, but then I was like, “I mean…yes, that is the entire teenage experience on a platter. THEY NAILED IT.”
I also felt like Syd’s dad’s death, and the way the narrative makes it seem like the two had a good relationship but then all these secrets are revealed (like the dad was in the Marines and Syd somehow didn’t know) seemed a little clumsily handled. (Like, totally plausible, just not entirely believable via the script.)
But other than that, I am a REAL BIG FAN of everything that’s happening here (brief pause to say the music is CHEF’S KISS, too), and I can’t wait for a new season! (PLEASE LET THERE BE A NEW SEASON!)
The episodes are breezy dot com, meaning you can binge the whole shebang in a comfortable couple of hours, and I must reiterate that this IS important and necessary to do this weekend! Teen angst and psychic abilities seen through a darkly comedic lens is like, the ultimate win! So get outta here and onto Netflix, ‘cause I Am Not Okay With This is p. neat!