I’m not a teenage girl. I never was but I was a teenage boy once upon a time and I remember what that was like… I also have a daughter who is fast approaching those teen years so I imagine I’m going to get a better understanding of what teen girls go through. Netflix’s new comedy “I Am Not Okay With This” is based on Charles Forsman’s graphic novel and it tells the story of a “boring 17yr old white girl” Sydney (played by IT’s Sophia Lillis), who as it turns out, isn’t as boring as one might think.
Sydney has anger issues which stem from the death of her father, the sudden feeling of alienation by her best friend who’s discovered boys and now has less time for her, the mom who is always working depending on Sydney to babysit her little brother or pick up groceries and just the daily grind of being a 17yr old girl. Eventually Sydney forges an unexpected friendship with a boy named Stanley (another IT alum, Wyatt Oleff – incidentally he was also named Stanley in that movie) and things change a bit. One night, feeling particularly, overwhelmed with emotion, she let’s it all out and discovers that she actually has supernatural powers.
Right off the top, I really like Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff together. Sydney is a quite a likable character. Her portrayal of teen angst feels spot on. Her struggles with her own self identity, unsure of where she fits in among her peers and frustration is something I think everyone can relate to at some point in their lives. She delivers it all. Wyatt is a fantastic counterpart to Sydney. He’s a pretty carefree life loving guy despite not really having a great home life. He seems like he’s got himself figured out and he’s the perfect person to help Sydney figure herself and her powers out after he appoints himself as her mentor using knowledge he’s gained from comic books.
One thing that I found to be a bit perplexing was the setting. When is this series taking place? A lot of the set pieces, clothing and music is pulled from the 80s, but, they have cell phones and other modern day tech. It’s not bad it just felt a bit distracting to me at times.
The average episode length is somewhere around the 20 minute mark and with just 8 episodes, it felt like the supernatural powers component to the series just wasn’t played up enough. It all just sorta comes to a head and then the season is over. My hope is there are more episodes on the horizon sooner than later. I quite liked the I am Not Okay With This. The story is compelling, the acting is great and I’m here for the long haul to see how it all plays out.