Netflix’s I’m Not Okay with This, delivers a swift coming of age drama. It places the powered person origin story into a frenetic exploration of self-discovery. Young Sydney (Sophia Lilllis) begins the rapid-fire series running in the streets, presumably running from something horrible.
I’m Not Okay with This draws its source material from Charles Forsman graphic novel. \
We learn that Sydney, more often Syd, like many teenagers, finds her emergent sexuality confusing and ambiguous. That her thighs play home to some groody acne. And she, and the audience learn of emergent mental powers. Syd, you see, can manipulate physical things with her mind.
Well, manipulate may be a stretch. She destroys things with her mind, not always with the best of control.
In many ways, Syd is a typical teenager. She suffers anger issues, amplified by the recent suicide of her father. She live in the low-income burg of Brownsville, PA with her mother and brother. Her best friend and object of her fantasy has become the focus of affection for one of their school’s popular sport’s figures. Meanwhile Syd picks up gangly neighbor Stanley (Wyatt Oleff) as her sidekick.
The key performances tingle and burn. Sophia and Wyatt crank-up any teenage angst they have personally experienced to eleven with a mature deftness of tone. The turns of phrase and facial expressions often nearly explode off the screen.
The actions takes place in the eighties. And the producers and directors bring in references from Sixteen Candles, Carrie and Breakfast Club. Okay creates a credible atmosphere that sucks the viewer in and punches through its precise episodes. This is a show perfectly made for binge viewing.
Seven short episodes paint a compelling origin story within the crumbling edifice of the old industrial world, where the only hope for change is not the rekindling of the past, but the evolution toward a discontinuous future.
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