Based on Charles Forsman’s graphic novel, Netflix’s I’M NOT OKAY WITH THIS is about a teenager (Sophia Lillis, of IT fame) navigating her anger over her father’s suicide, tough mother, high school, and her sexuality while dealing with emerging superpowers. This promised to be interesting stuff, but I was largely disappointed by the characters and lack of a real story.
What I liked: The show has heart, Sydney is sympathetic if not empathetic, her relationship with her brother is awesome, and her friend Stan (fellow IT star Wyatt Oleff). Her brother and Stan are charming as hell. The overall premise is great, suggesting a great payoff.
What I didn’t: Unfortunately, the show throws 80s nostalgia references–nods to BREAKFAST CLUB, CARRIE, and PRETTY IN PINK, to name some–but without improving on the original, derivation that didn’t work for me the way it did with STRANGER THINGS. I wouldn’t have minded if it weren’t for the lack of characterization and story. Sydney is whiny, angry, and antisocial, and I get that many teenagers often feel that way, but she never changes over the course of the season, never learns anything, while everybody else in her life seems to be pretty cool and well-adjusted while going through similar pains of growing up. Each episode seems to recycle the same plot–Sydney hates everything and everything is stupid, she loses her temper, her powers wreck something that needs to be repaired–without culminating in any real change or development. As a result, even each 20-minute episode felt too long.
This show has great scores on Rotten Tomatoes, so it appears to have a strong market, which is fine, but I won’t be catching the second season.