A coming of age series with a supernatural twist, I Am Not Okay With This is the sweet spot where The Breakfast Club meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Season one is made up of seven episodes and each is around the twenty-minute mark. In total, that’s just over two hours of viewing time, which means the entire season can be binged in one go as if it were a feature-length film. Although the plot meanders in places, there is enough intrigue and charm to keep the audience hooked from start to finish.
In many ways, I Am Not Okay With This is a superhero origin story. It’s the story of how a troubled teenager discovers that she has superhero powers. Like Matilda, Syd discovers that she can make things happen around her when she is upset. When she loses control, things fly off shelves and people’s noses bleed. These things happen when she is unable to communicate the world-ending despair of being a teenager.
The show is held together by Sophia Lillis remarkable acting. Following her stellar performance in IT, Lillis has risen to the status of rising star. This time around, her performance is so convincing that it compensates for any confusing plot points. The audience is hooked not by the details of Syd’s life, but by how convincingly Lillis portrays these details.
At its core, I Am Not Okay With This is a hyperbolic sketch on what happens when we bottle up our emotions. Syd resents her best friend for spending all her time with her boyfriend but she cannot talk to her nor can she talk to her mother. Syd’s angst comes from a place of vulnerability and loneliness. Her life may be full of extremes, but it’s the details like the unwelcome discovery of acne on her leg that makes the show so relatable. Stress jumps up on us in surprising ways and sometimes, telekinesis is the unexpected consequence.
Season one concludes on a cliffhanger but nonetheless, it makes its mark as a stand-alone series. I Am Not Okay With This is mostly riveting, often emotional, and always charming. Another fabulous addition to the coming of age section on Netflix.