- TITLE: I Am Not Okay With This
- DIRECTOR: Jonathan Entwistle
- WRITER: Christy Hall
- EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Dan Cohen, and Josh Barry produce for 21 Laps Entertainment
- GENRE: YA Series; 7 Episodes, ≤ 30 Minutes
- FILMED: Pittsburgh, PA
I Am Not Okay With This is an origin story that follows a teenage girl who’s navigating the trials and tribulations of high school. This, all while dealing with her family, sexuality, and her… strange superpowers? Sydney’s life is about to transform when she realizes she has superpowers after accidentally making her best friend’s new dickhead boyfriend’s nose bleed.
Already dealing with her own issues, she now has to write a journal, per her guidance counselor, and talk about her life… or whatever. From The End of the F*cking World‘s Jonathan Entwistle and the producers of Stranger Things comes a new series based on Forsman’s graphic novel. Bring it on, Sydney! You may know a lot about the cast (no, they aren’t from Stranger Things) from IT. Sophia Lillis played “Sydney;” Wyatt Oleff plays the “chill” af, “Stanley Barber;” Sofia Bryant plays the best friend “Dina.” The rest of the cast has minimal parts, but are relevant to the story:
- Kathleen Rose Perkins playing “Maggie.”
- Aidan Wojtak-Hissong playing “Liam.”
- Richard Ellis playing “Brad Lewis.”
What Is The Plot Of I Am Not Okay With This?
The premise of the show is enjoyable; Lillis, from what we have seen from IT, does an unbelievable job. Lillis has so much depth and a successful future with the performances she can do.
One of the biggest reasons why someone would stick with this show is because she does a marvelous job with the main character. She is likable and has a childish face, which helps the swearing throughout the series. Her counterparts are quite enjoyable by the same token, Oleff does a respectable job as we have seen with his IT performance. The character is quite fragmentary for a high school centered series, but Oleff takes it in stride. Bryant’s performance is outstanding as well, she has a likable personality and appearance and uses the character of Bryant with grace, especially since both Sydney and Dina are experimenting with their sexuality.
The Cinematography & Mise-En-Scene Of I Am Not Okay With This
The use of lighting, color, and the mise-en-scene is quite interesting. As a show appealing to teenagers but meant for adults, the lighting and colors are quite aesthetic. While watching the show, you don’t exactly know who it is intended for; you have swearing, sex, and sexuality, but it also is a high school centered show. The rawness that Forman gives to these characters is quite outstanding. Both Entwistle and Hall used the mise-en-scene in a fantastic light. The use of color, darkness, superpowers, it all works. The bright yellow color of Stanley’s car.
The bright teal suit that Stanley wears for homecoming. The shots are quite marvelously chosen and wide shots create a sense of juxtaposition between long shots to showcase the intensity within Sydney’s powers. The show is essentially conveying the dramatic emotions between Sydney, her friends, and her new-found superpowers. You have close-up shots with intensity that are quite claustrophobic in fact, then you have wide shots or extreme wide shots that create a sense of disassociation with the situation taking place. The creators use the cinematography in a peculiar light and the show creates a wonderful sense of relatability. It helps that the actors are the correct age to showcase the rawness that is forthcoming in the next section:
A Remix Of Stranger Things & End of the F*cking World?
The show resembles a lot of what Stranger Things and End of the F*cking World bring to Netflix. As they are made by the creators who created the show, there’s a hint of that… the awkward teenage angst stage. What the show does well is bring in truly awkward characters to depict actual teenagers. What we lack in television (and film to a huge extent, but have since been worked on) are characters who look like they are supposed to.
All of these characters are of the age they are playing, which adds a relatable component to it. The show does come off as a sequel to the shows that came before it, but it adds a lot of newer elements. It doesn’t simply cover what the others have, but it adds more of a… fleshed out factor to it. The show doesn’t operate on swear words, as I feel End Of tends to do. The show, instead, operates on the plot.
It adds LGBTQIA+, sexuality, mental health, grief, and simply just normality, as much as possible. The show is normal, despite the premise of the show. Sydney is going through real issues and a real period of her life; the period in which you grow and form feelings for other humans. It adds so much to the conversation of adolescence that I don’t think the preceding shows depict. Nevertheless, they are all solid to watch, but if you are coming into the series thinking it will be similar to those shows, it isn’t. It is different in the best way. There are still moments where it could be buffed, but doesn’t that happen with any show or movie?
The conclusion to the series adds so much to be explained. I Am Not Okay With This might just be your new favorite show to wait for a second season for. I know it is ours now after this season. There is so much to do, so much to focus on, and the awkwardness of Sydney creates excitement for young adults. To see themselves, in any way, on the screen is exciting.
Should You Watch It, Though?
Yes. The show has promise, a lot of it. I wouldn’t place it within the spectrum of the previous shows like Stranger Things and End Of The F*cking World. They each do something different, I will say out of the three, this one might be my favorite (a tie with End Of Season 1…) The show has/warrants another season to truly flesh out the story and give us more answers. But Episode 7 truly fricked us up; if you want a End Of cliffhanger like Season 1, this does it.
Don’t Expect An Entire Fleshed Out Season, But I Am Not Okay With This Covers A LOT Of Ground
While the series leaves you with more questions than development (in certain areas), it is a classic first season. It gives you a story about where it can go and much to be explored. The assumption could be the budget. Netflix ordered a total of seven episodes for the first season. They didn’t have much room to explore the rest of the plot. As expected, since the equivalent happened with both End Of and Stranger Things. You know the formula for a cult-classic, but you don’t know what shows become a cult-classic, so you have to wait.
That is what the assumption could be for this show, they are waiting to see what the first season does before ordering more. This, unfortunately, causes a lack of development. They do show the most important elements of the series. But overall… it does lack the cohesive road it wants to take. The main focal point is there, but there are many other smaller plots that, in certain episodes, take the forefront more than the superpowers do.