Review: I Am Not Okay With This

George Bell talks us through the latest teen show from Netflix

George Bell
2nd March 2020
Credit: IMDb
Crammed with 80s vibes, Stranger Things follows a young girl with telekinetic powers trying to learn the secrets of her parents. Wait, no. This is actually a review of the recently released I Am Not Okay With This. Sorry about that.

From producers of Stranger Things, and director of End of the F**king World, Jonathan Entwistle, I Am Not Okay With This is as much a science fiction as it is a high school coming of age story. I wouldn’t expect Jim Hopper to turn up though as while there are a few similarities, this is a show much more grounded in its exploration of our main character’s powers with no alternate dimensions. It works on it's own in a very effective way.

They all have great chemistry which makes the story a lot more believable as a high school drama

Sophia Lillis, (IT, 2017), takes on the main role of Sydney Novak, a pretty ordinary teenager trying to survive high school, come to terms with her father’s death and the small issue of developing superpowers. Unlike Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven, who seems fearless and in control of her powers, Lillis portrays the polar opposite, someone terrified about what’s happening to her. It’s a much more realistic take that I really enjoyed watching and let’s be honest, we would all do the same. Alongside her is IT co-star Wyatt Oleff as Stanley and Sofia Bryant as Dina. They all have great chemistry which makes the story a lot more believable as a high school drama. Despite only spending a few hours with these characters I am already craving more and want to know what will happen to our little trio.

Left to right: Sofia Bryant, Wyatt Oleff and Sophia Lillis

Similar to shows like Entwistle’s End of the F**king World and Netflix’s Sex Education, the show uses a blend of modern and 80s technology, clothing and set pieces to make the audience question when actually the show is set. This, as with the other shows, may annoy a lot of viewers but I feel this actually lends to its strength as the time confusion matches the stress and confusion Sydney experiences with her new powers and helps us to emphasise with the character.

If you are expecting a lot of action, I’m afraid this is a show which may disappoint as the powers definitely take a back seat. Sydney spends most of the time trying to avoid them. But as the show progresses, we get to see them used more and thanks to its limited but effective use, they are portrayed brilliantly with the use of special effects. The show is also beautifully shot, which was expected after TEOTFW.

The show's short run time meant it didn't drag and wasn't bogged down with useless scenes

With only 7 episodes at around 20 minutes long, you can easily finish this over a weekend and have time to spare. This short run time, while it did leave me wanting more, meant the show didn’t drag and wasn’t bogged down with useless scenes.

So, while it may not be the next Stranger Things a lot of people are hoping for, I Am Not Okay With This, is sure to help scratch that itch. It is a great show within it's own right and definitely worth a watch.

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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