On Feb. 26, Netflix released the first season of its new show, “I Am Not Okay With This,” following a bombardment of advertisements featured over the past month. The initial release of the teaser grabbed the attention of younger audiences by showing the actors from the popular film, “It,” who I now presume are the only young actors left in Hollywood considering there’s not one, but two of them in the show.
Aside from casting, other eye-catching attributes included the show’s clear 80s-inspired costume design, most likely because the show was produced and directed by the same team as “Stranger Things” and “The End of the F***ing World.” It’s as if Netflix doesn’t already produce enough content centered around quirky teenagers trying to escape their small town lives, surrounded by baggy clothes and retro cars.
I managed to watch the entire season within three hours, giving me enough time to gather my thoughts and sort out the issues I had with the show. It felt like the writers weren’t even trying to hide the fact that their product is essentially one big cliché. The first episode starts with narration from the main protagonist (Sophia Lillis).
“Hi. My name is Sydney. I’m a boring 17-year-old white girl. I’m not special, is what I’m trying to say, and I’m okay with that,” Lillis said.
First impressions count, and with a line as generically obvious as that, this show did not make a good one.
The redundancy of Sydney’s character isn’t the only bad thing about her; she’s also extremely unlikeable as a person. She makes it clear from the beginning she’s been having issues controlling her anger, which I can tolerate. However, I can’t tolerate when she uses it as an excuse to push everyone around her away, particularly Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), the only one who is aware of that fact that Sydney has telekinetic powers. In turn, the only reason why she ends up destroying things with her mind is because she destroys the relationships that help her control it in the first place.
Another off-putting characteristic about the show is its inconsistent undertone. From the start, it gives off the vibes of any coming-of-age story, but once they bring in the aspect of Sydney’s powers it doesn’t end up mixing well. Whoever thought that adding aspects from “Carrie,” “The Breakfast Club” and a comic book together would be the formula for a perfect show clearly didn’t realize it would actually be a recipe for disaster. It just goes to show the aesthetic of a John Hughes’ movie does not work against a superhero origin story.
I’m disappointed in the fact that I pay 14 dollars every month just to have the same recycled material published in each new show Netflix releases. At this point, there’s no reason for them to still be called “originals.” Perhaps the one good thing that came out of this show is how well its title represents my overall opinion. I am indeed not okay with it.
Esther Ju is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.