“I Am Not Okay with This” is yet another coming-of-age series that Netflix decided will appeal to young adults everywhere with its quirky teenage plot. But, is the twist enough to keep watchers coming back for more? Or does the show fall in line with every other teen stereotyped show?
The Netflix original series was released on Feb. 26 and has seven, 20-minute episodes. It’s based on the graphic novel written by Charles Forsman, who also wrote “The End of the F***ing World,” a graphic novel which was also turned into a Netflix series. The series “I Am Not Okay with This” follows Sydney, who refers to herself as “a boring, 17-year-old, white girl.” She has anger issues, a dead dad, a hot best friend and encompasses the girl that every quirky teenager sees themself as. There are many plot-based crossovers between “I Am Not Okay with This” and “The End of the F***ing World,” such as, the scrawny white girl who somehow is tougher than her boy counterpart, the scrawny boy love interest/best friend who supports said girl in all her terrible decisions, and the main theme of anarchy within these teen’s lives.
While the basics of the show follow your average coming-of-age story, there is a twist to “I Am Not Okay with This.” When Sydney gets mad or very emotional, she creates a burst of energy, which destroys the things around her. This obviously freaks her out and gets her into trouble, which she won’t even tell her best friend about. So, since she can’t tell her best friend Dina about it all, she relies on her neighbor Stan to help her keep her powers a secret and figure out how to control them.
The show itself is pretty good if you can get past the cliché teenage stereotypes and quirky plot moments. The superpower plotline is better to follow. It’s intriguing and it’s what keeps audiences watching the show. Without spoiling too much, there are connections with her superpowers and events that occur because of them that keep you on the edge of your seat. While the superpowers are sort of similar to Eleven’s in “Stranger Things,” “I Am Not Okay with This” uses the powers in a very different way and in a way that works for more mature audiences.
One of the best parts of “I Am Not Okay with This” is that it features a queer story along with the main plot. Sydney has feelings for Dina which progress throughout the show as she struggles with feeling this way. It gives a pretty accurate portrayal of what queer teens go through when they’re figuring themselves out. The show doesn’t try to cover this up either. It makes sure to make this the main point of the story instead of just adding it in for views like most shows do.
The show does look like it takes place in a different decade, which seems to be a trend with most new shows. The clothing and environment of the show doesn’t look like it’s in the 21st century. It’s said this is done so that the environment doesn’t distract from the plot and the audience is able to just focus on the characters themselves and the plot instead. Though, it just seems like it separates the show from being a modern coming-of-age story and makes it harder to relate to. The show was, however, filmed in Brownsville and other locations around Pittsburgh to make the story more realistic and relatable, though it didn’t seem to benefit the show as they meant it to.
Overall, if you like coming-of-age and teenage shows, “I Am Not Okay with This” is definitely one to add to the watchlist. But, if you’re looking for a more mature plot and a different story than what’s already out there, this may be a show to skip. The show does have good modern representation and an interesting twist, but, overall, it does correlate with many other shows on Netflix that are better than this one. There is already a season two in the works for “I Am Not Okay with This” but who knows how long this series will last, like many other abandoned Netflix original projects.