Netflix Review: I Am Not Okay With This – All the Preteen Angst, but with Superpowers

An angry teenage girl finds out that she has superpowers and they do not make her life easier.

SUMMARY (Spoiler-Free)

Sydney Novak (Sophia Lillis) is a 17 year old whose father recently killed himself, leaving her to grieve with her mother Maggie (Kathleen Rose Perkins) and little brother Liam (Aidan Wojtak-Hissong). Sydney  is slowly realizing that she is (at least) bisexual when she finds herself attracted to her best friend Dina (Sofia Bryant) and, like all bisexuals, Sydney also finds herself developing psychic powers*. She begins keeping a diary to deal with her anger issues. Dina starts dating local jerk jock Brad (Richard Ellis) and Sydney starts hanging out with her neighbor Stan (Wyatt Oleff), which starts off a chaotic series of events. 

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Syd moving stuff with her anxiety.

END SUMMARY

First off, this is based on a comic by Charles Forsman, the creator of the comic that serves as the basis of the TV show The End of the F***ing World, and, like that show, was adapted by Jonathan Entwistle. It takes place in the same universe as The End of the F***ing World, but you don’t have to have seen that show to watch this one. However, if you liked that show, then you will undoubtedly like this one, although this show is not quite as complex or compelling.

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Does it have more awkward relationship dynamics than the former? Maybe.

Sophia Lillis is amazing as Sydney. She shows a side of adolescence that many of us forget about: the constant anger. Syd is almost always angry. She’s angry at her mother for not being more communicative about her father’s death. She’s angry at Dina for her relationship. She’s angry at Brad for being a jerk. She’s angry at herself for not being more in control of her anger. Unfortunately, in her case, it starts manifesting as telekinetic blasts which are dangerous to people and objects around her. Lillis sells it perfectly, along with all of the normal emotions you’d expect from a high-school drama. 

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The story is mostly focused on Sydney coming to terms with her emotional issues rather than her powers, and it benefits from that. Most people can relate to being a teenager who is caught between horny and nervous, but not as many people can relate to being worried they’re about to blow their car up with their mind.

The pacing of the series is extremely quick, particularly when you take into account the fact that there are only 7 episodes that are about 20 minutes apiece. You can get through the entire series in less time than it takes to watch The Irishman. I’ll admit, though, that this feels more like the first half of a season than a full story on its own. It’s clear that there’s going to be more of the story and I’m excited for it. 

Overall, this was a really good show and I’m looking forward to more of it.

*This is a reference to the Podcast The Adventure Zone. I recommend it.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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