I Am Not Okay With This review: Netflix subverts superpowered teenagers

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Netflix’s brand-new graphic unique adjustment I Am Not Okay With This has to do with a woman with super powers, however not about a woman with superpowers conserving the world. That’s unusual for the streaming platform that boasts Umbrella Academy and Complete Stranger Things, however the little stakes make I Am Not Okay With This shine. More like Sex Education than Umbrella Academy, the series discovers funny in the method it fits together superpowers and coming-of-age plotlines, and it really loses something when it leans too hard on the supernatural.

Adjusted by Jonathan Entwistle and Christy Hall from Charles Forman’s graphic book of the very same name, I Am Not Okay With This follows 17- year-old Sydney Novak (It Chapter One’s Sophia Lillis), a newbie to a little Pennsylvania town. In the wake of her dad’s current suicide, Sydney raises her more youthful bro Liam, while her mama works overtime to make ends fulfill. Entwistle and Hall frame the show around Syd’s journal entries, appointed to her by the school therapist, and each episode has Syd telling her journal commentary over what unfolds on screen. The supernatural hook? Syd is beginning to show explosive telekinetic powers that she can’t manage.

[Ed. note: This post contains mild spoilers for the first season of I Am Not Okay With This.]


Syd’s powers first manifest when her finest (and just) buddy Dina (Sofia Bryant) brings her brand-new partner, jerk jock Brad (Richard Ellis), to their preferred hangout area. Pissed off by his basic existence– he keeps informing her to smile!– Syd unintentionally makes his nose bleed. Feeling dropped by Dina, Syd begins to hang around with geeky stoner Stan (Wyatt Oleff, likewise from It), who has a really big, apparent crush on her. He learns more about Syd’s powers and chooses he wishes to assist her. From there, I Am Not Okay With This focuses directly on Syd’s relationships with Dina and Stan.

By narrowing in on the characters, Entwistle and Hall check out the full depth of Syd’s relationships, with love, jealousy, and ride-or-die dedication pertaining to bear. And the brief episodes (topping at half an hour) that fill the seven-episode first season keep the plot points and character advancement concise. The series does not lose time– each character interaction fuels the superpower plot, and each circumstances of Syd’s powers develops into an expedition of her character and relationships.

When I Am Not Okay With This is a show about teenagers being teenagers, rather of about some bigger overarching bane, it avoids the features of well-worn, kids-with-powers drama. In the show’s 5th episode, Syd unintentionally overturns all the racks in the library throughout detention. She confides in Stan, who knows her superpowers, and the 2 prepare a strategy to get the security video footage. Their strategy needs somebody quite and socially positive sufficient to snag the secrets from the janitor, so they rope Dina into their plans. Due to the fact that they had sex in the library and do not desire to get in problem, they inform Dina the factor they desire the video footage is. (Stan, flustered and attempting to describe, states, “We sixty-nined and whatever.”) And despite the fact that Dina is still a bit mad at Syd, she accepts assist them. After a bold bold adventure, they relax for a minute, chuckling together.


The supernatural aspect is an apparent, efficient metaphor for the weighty things Syd believes however can’t state, and for all the sensations she keeps bottled up within. Due to the fact that she’s scared they’ll decline her, Syd invests many of the show attempting to conceal her injury and feelings from her enjoyed ones. When she lastly opens to Dina about the madness in her life and Dina accepts her, it’s like a breath breathed out. A description for the fantastical never ever feels required. Syd’s powers appear to be a symptom of her insecurities and her injury.

Like the blunt metaphors, the characters, who might quickly fall under tropey stereotypes, feel dimensional and alive. Geeky Stan and edgy Syd may’ve been a really basic nerd-guy-gets-the-aloof-girl relationship, however Syd understands she has various romantic interests early on. Stan never ever gets upset at her for not reciprocating his sensations, even when Syd does not inform him precisely why. He still appreciates her and is bought her joy, making their blossoming relationship among the most satisfying psychological arcs of the entireshow


All that subversion, nevertheless, stops with the real ending, which squanders no time at all in laying the seeds for a capacity second season. The little story of a woman discovering her method the world does end up being something louder and largerРand more cliché. I Am Not Okay With This feels unique for the majority of its run, like a character-driven exception to larger supernatural stories. Just in the end does it frantically attempt to be like whatever else.

I work as the Content Writer for Gaming Ideology. I play Quake like professionally. I love to write about games and have been writing about them for two years.

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