I Am Not Okay with This first and foremost feels like the love child of Stranger Things and The End of the Fucking World with a splash of Carrie goodness. You have the powers and friendships from Stranger Things. Followed by the subtle/slow and steady pace of The End of the Fucking World that somehow keeps you intrigued the entire time. And finally with the angst at being a young girl with powers with bullies cruising for a bruising via Carrie.
If that feels like a handful, there’s more.
One of the reasons why I love I Am Not Okay with This is the subtle nature of Sydney’s powers. There isn’t some big reveal moment where she’s suddenly a superhero. Her powers growth and exposure to the world are told in small steps that leave you shocked and in awe when you catch a glimpse of them. And yes, I’m totally referring to the tree take-down in the forest. That was a part of an amazing build up that left me wanting more.
Talking about the forest explosion, we need to talk about Stanley. I know that technically Dina is the best friend and love interest for Sydney. She should be the one I talk about first but I can’t because she’s overshadowed by everything that is Stanley. Not only is he Sydney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, he always has her back without letting himself be used and while living his best authentic life. He’s Stanley and he couldn’t be prouder. P.S. Wish we had that sort of confidence, style, and way to look at the world.
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We’re doing things a little backwards here but let’s talk about Sydney. She’s got major anger issues but who wouldn’t after finding out your dad killed himself for no reason? Or at least, no reason that you know about. Sydney’s anger issues don’t overshadow the fact that she’s a lonely girl in a town where pretty much nothing happens. She doesn’t care about fitting in because she has her best friend Dina and is more worried about her friend’s jock boyfriend more than anything.
Talking about the boyfriend, he got what was coming to him. Yes, that sounds a bit harsh but I don’t regret it one bit. He was an asshole who blamed Sydney for his breakup with Dina. He’s the one who cheated and instead of seeing that fact he focused his entire hatred on Sydney; to the point where he stole her diary, threatened to read the juicy bits of said diary, and got his head exploded because of it.
Now, I’m not big on violent moments where characters get what they deserve. And yes, blowing up his head was a bit much considering it was just a diary he was reading from. But he threatened Sydney and her entire existence. Her powers weren’t going to take any of that shit and they reacted, trying to save her from having her secrets revealed.
Sydney’s powers and the acting by Sophia Lillis made I Am Not Okay with This. It made the intrigue, the mystery, and the teenage angst train that Sydney was clearly on. It also made us invest in this young woman and the issues she faces in I Am Not Okay with This. So, this is me, pleading and praying that Netflix gives me more of this show, it’s actors, and the adventures they’re on because of Sydney’s powers. Plus, Netflix can’t leave us hanging when it comes to that mysterious stranger that confronts Sydney at the end.
I Am Not Okay with This is now available to stream on Netflix.