I don’t watch a ton of new television shows. I should, since we live in the golden age of television right now, but there’s so much of it that it’s hard to clear out the clutter and find something that I really enjoy. That’s why I had to write a review on Netflix’s “I’m Not Okay with This.” Ever since Netflix posted the trailer at the beginning of February, I knew I would absolutely adore this show, and thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
“I’m Not Okay with This” is not perfect, but it’s exactly what I look for in a show. It has a good amount of teenage angst, tons of cheesy 80s references and even a bit of heartwarming romance all wrapped up in seven jam-packed 20-minute episodes. It also has “It” actors, Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff, and honestly, the “It” actors could be in anything and I’d probably enjoy it just because I think they’re some of the best young actors in Hollywood right now.
“I’m Not Okay with This,” based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman, is about a high schooler, Syd (Sophia Lillis), who is slowly discovering that she has uncontrollable powers which are triggered by her negative emotions. This doesn’t help since her father’s death, her tumultuous relationship with her mother and her best friend Dina’s (Sofia Bryant) jerk of a new boyfriend, Brad (Richard Ellis) seems to have her emotions on a rollercoaster. Syd starts hanging out with stoner weirdo Stan (Wyatt Oleff), and together they try to figure out what is going on with Syd. It’s a plot that seems simple, but it’s filled with genuinely deep character moments and suspense.
Not surprisingly, my favorite part of the show is the characters. It takes a story we’ve seen before—an angsty teen lives an angsty life—and turns it into something real and tangible through the characters and the acting. Lillis plays Syd in a beautifully awkward and naturally edgy way. Syd feels like someone I would’ve known in high school, and I love that about her. Stan is quirky, but not at all cringy. He’s forward, funny and honest, and the two complement each other on-screen very well. Dina is lovable, sweet and supportive while also being completely silly and ridiculous when she hangs out with Syd. Even Syd’s little brother, Liam (Aidan Wojtak-Hissong) is fleshed out in ways that make him likable and realistic on-screen with his adorable hedgehog named Banana, and his strange but delicious food concoctions.
The only part of the show that I don’t love is the music. That isn’t to say I don’t love the songs on their own. In fact, I made sure to make a playlist for myself right after the first watch because I do love the strange mix of genres and decades in the soundtrack. I don’t love how on-the-nose they are in relation to the plot. I firmly believe you shouldn’t choose music that says exactly what the scene is saying because it makes the show feel more two-dimensional. That being said, I still love the songs and highly recommend checking out the soundtrack, even if you don’t watch the show. They even made new music for the show by a band called Bloodwitch, Stan’s favorite band at the store.
What’s so fun about this show is the rewatchability of it. I’ve watched it all the way through twice, and I’m going through it a third time. It’s a great coming-of-age story with a healthy dosage of supernatural elements and tons of hilarious comedic moments. If you get the chance, “I’m Not Okay with This” is worth every second of watch time.
Also, if enough people enjoy it, Netflix will give it a second season, and I won’t be stuck watching the same two and a half hours of content for the rest of my life. So if nothing else, check it out for me.
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