I Am Not Okay With This

Sophia Lillis in 'I Am Not Okay With This' (Photo: Netflix)
Sophia Lillis in 'I Am Not Okay With This' (Photo: Netflix)



I Am Not Okay With This is an irreverent origin story that follows a teenage girl who's navigating the trials and tribulations of high school, all while dealing with the complexities of her family, her budding sexuality, and mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken deep within her. From director/EP of The End of the F***ing World Jonathan Entwistle and the producers of Stranger Things comes a new series based on the Charles Forsman graphic novel.


(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

I Am Not Okay With This has a somewhat slow and awkward start. But that’s mostly because our protagonist Sydney is extremely awkward. That’s something that a lot of people can recognise from their teenage years and for me all the way to my mid-20s. But I digress. Sydney Novak has a lot on her plate and her awkwardness really doesn’t help her plight. She’s moved to this town in the last two years and by the stroke of coincidence becomes friends with the other new girl, Dina. All was well in the world until Dina suddenly becomes the popular girl overnight at around the same time Sydney has developed superpowers.

Sydney is also dealing with the suicide of her father, being in a constant fight with her mother (who is the worst sometimes) and helping to raise her little brother who she loves more than anything.

For a show that is only 7 episodes and 20 minutes long, a lot sure does happen. You quickly get attached to Sydney, played incredibly by Sophia Lillis. She portrays the depths and numbness of loss mingled with the utter mess of adolescence in such a tangible way you can’t help but feel for her.

Her inner turmoil is palpable as she deals with the jealousy of losing her best friend to the school jock, her mother constantly being on her case and then being in a blind panic about these telekinetic powers that appear whenever she loses control of her emotions.

But a new friend also presents itself in the form of local geek, Stanley. As the series goes on they develop a friendship and from Stanley’s side something more. But despite losing her virginity to Stanley, Sydney starts to realise that her affections lie in a different direction, and this just adds more conflict to an already full plate for Sydney. Girl has a lot going on, so despite the climax of this season being quite shocking, it’s completely understandable considering the circumstances.

This is not a show about superheroes. It’s a show about being a teenager in a world where anything out of the ordinary is ostracised. But the main character just happens to be able to move things with her mind and blow stuff up. There is no guiding light to help Sydney with these powers despite Stanley’s attempt to do so. They’re confusing and dangerous and they seem to scare her more than anything. But it seems as if going into season 2 this might change.

Despite its slow start, I Am Not Okay With This grips you very quickly and before you know it you’re pressing 'Next Episode' before Netflix can load it for you.



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