Netflix’s “I am Not Okay With This” offers teen angst with a superpower twist

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Sumin Kim

“I am Not Okay With This” is a Netflix original that follows the journey of a high school teen named Syd. As Syd learns to navigate the harsh world of high school, she also has to adjust to her superpowers that are triggered when she becomes overly emotional.

Sammie Thompson, Dispatch Reporter

If you were to guess that a show titled “I am Not Okay With This” is about an angsty, hormonal teenager detailing all of the mishaps of their high school life, well, you would be mostly right. Season one of the Netflix Original Show premiered on February 26. It tells the story of “boring 17-year old white girl” Syd as she deals with typical high school drama, questions about her sexuality, and the tragic suicide of her father. Oh, and on top of all that, she also has dangerous superpowers that flare up whenever she gets overly emotional. If you have been keeping up, she gets “overly emotional” quite often.

The origin of the show is the graphic novel by Charles Forsman. Forsman is also the author of “End of The F***ing World,” another popular Netflix original based on a graphic novel. 

The first season only has seven episodes, each about 20 minutes long, which makes it perfect for binging. I watched the entire season in about two days. 

One of the first things that caught my attention as I was watching it was the opening scene of the first episode. It opens with a girl, who I later learned to be Syd, running down a dark, abandoned street covered in blood. This scene intrigued me- I wanted to know who this girl was and why she was covered head to toe in blood- but it was also slightly confusing. As a first-time viewer, it would have been nice to get some introduction to the characters first, but the scene hooked me in.

  My favorite part about the show was the characters and how much the audience could connect to them. Syd’s strong, angsty personality brought the sarcastic touch that the show provides and sets the tone for the whole season. The show did not shy away from real, personal issues that many people face in the real world. However, it also balanced out some of that seriousness with humor. Liam, Syd’s little brother “Goob,” and Stan, Syd’s neighbor turned best friend, are some of the characters that bring this humor. Let us say you do not want to try Liam’s Loaded Lasagna or one of Stan’s signature Burrito Bombs anytime soon. One of the least likable characters was Brad. Maybe this was because he was dating Dina, Syd’s best friend, and blossoming crush, or perhaps it was because of his constant taunting of Syd, but this kid was just not likable. 

  Because it is so short, the entire plot of the season feels crammed into each episode. The quickness did keep me engaged in the show; however, there were times when I was a little confused about what was going on because everything was happening so fast. Parts of the plot occurred in flashbacks or flash-forwards, which I liked because it was just something unique to the show that also showed everything that was going on in Syd’s mind. I would have liked to see a different ending (do not worry, no spoilers here) because I did not feel the ending connected very well to the rest of the plot. It seemed there was all this momentum going forward, and it all fell apart within the last 10 minutes of the final episode. Nonetheless, it did set the show up well for a second season.

I have seen many things comparing “I Am Not Okay With This” to two other shows: “The End of The F***ing World” and “Stranger Things.” The first one makes sense because they were both based on graphic novels written by the same guy, but I did find the comparison to “Stranger Things” interesting. Both “Stranger Things” and “I Am Not Okay With This” takes inspiration from the 80s, and there is even a scene in the first episode of “I Am Not Okay With This” where someone’s nose starts to bleed because of Syd’s powers. The nosebleed is eerily similar to when Eleven’s nose bleeds in “Stranger Things,” which is a staple part of the show. Who knows if this similarity was in any way intentional.

  Overall, I enjoyed watching this show. It was funny, sarcastic, and it also dealt with heavy topics in a way that made them easy to understand. I am curious as to what will happen to Syd and the rest of the characters, but unfortunately, there has not been any official confirmation of a second season yet.