I am Not Okay With This

“I Am Not Okay With This” stars “IT” actor Sophia Lillis (right) as the main superhero who learns how to navigate teen life while having superpowers.

This article contains opinion.

 

The “I Am Not Okay With This” Season 1 on Netflix begins on a slow note and ends with the peak of the action…sort of. 

It initially seems like this series starts off strong, and you expect the momentum of the plotlines to build, but the ending of Season 1 is more likely to leave the viewer frustrated and confused because of the unfulfilling and unnecessarily mysterious nature of the “action” thrown in at the last second of the last episode in the season.

The first season consists of only eight short episodes and revolves around the ever-more-complicated and angsty teenage life of Sydney Novak. At first glance, Sydney, played by “IT” star Sophia Lillis, is a normal teenage girl. She has past traumas that her family doesn’t talk about, an aversion to other human beings save her best friend/secret crush, Dina, and she doesn’t get along with her mother…ever. 

She also has a fair amount of trouble with regulating her emotions – specifically, her boiling and randomly uncontrollable rage. Her powers first manifest as she sits at a diner table with her best friend’s new boyfriend, a crude jock named Brad (Richard Ellis).

Within the randomness that Season 1 seems to be, Sydney discovers that when she gets angry, she can telepathically control things, though control is not the optimal word in this situation. She seems to have access to her crazy powers, in fact, only when she totally loses control, and this, as can be expected, leads to plenty of trouble for our characters. 

The season seems too short for the plotline to be considered even remotely cohesive, consisting of eight episodes that, at maximum, reach only 30 minutes. The setting stays relatively consistent throughout, only hopping between three main locations, namely the diner where Syd’s mother works, the high school and Syd’s house. 

Another piece of the story that helps move the plot along is the fact that you don’t have to meet and memorize the names of 18 main characters. The list is short and sweet, and the storyline revolves around the three main characters of Sydney, Dina and Sydney’s newer close male stoner friend named Stan, who is played by Wyatt Oleff, another star from the “IT” movies. 

The show involves teenage rage, the struggles of puberty, sexual awakening and plenty of sexual confusion, emotional confusion over traumatic events and familial stresses following the death of a parent figure. The issues range from typical to difficult, and it is a high point that this the show may be able to reach a wider audience and be relatable to more types of people. 

This show did use the almost-original addition that having superpowers didn’t suddenly make Sydney insanely cool. In fact, it made her life a lot more complicated and she constantly felt she was walking on eggshells to find some semblance of control over herself and therefore some control over her trigger-happy, anger-issue-fueled telekinesis. 

She didn’t really use her powers for “good,” and she didn’t spill her secret to her entire school in some desperate attempt to win a popularity contest. This newfound rage-power is just another thing that seems to alienate Syd from the people around her and even from her own emotions and her multiple failed attempts to express them certainly aren’t helped by this.

All in all, this Netflix comedy was interesting, quirky and displayed some great examples of how hard normal teenage life can be, let alone when you suddenly find out you’re a very, very angry superhero. 

The attempt at a cliff-hanger at the very end of the season was probably a mistake, as viewers can be easily frustrated and discouraged by completely unexplained and unjustifiable mystery. Instead of making the viewer feel eager for the next season, it leaves you feeling cut-off from the story and you may find yourself asking “…Is that it? Or did I somehow miss the entire last episode?”

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