I Am Not Okay With This season 1 review – Netflix acquires a gem with a coming-of-age story with superpowers

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 20, 2020 (Last updated: March 26, 2024)
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Sydney played by Sophia Lillis in Netflix series I Am Not Okay With This season 1


Jonathan Entwistle has produced another masterpiece with I Am Not Okay With This season 1 — a fresh, progressive coming-of-age story with superpowers.

This review of Netflix Series I Am Not Okay With This season 1 contains no spoilers. The series will be released on the platform on February 26, 2020.

Jonathan Entwistle has a knack for great storytelling. The director who brought audiences The End of the F***ing World has created a wonderful gem based on the Charles Forsman graphic novel, I Am Not Okay With This.

This Netflix series will be binged and a second season will be begged for, mark my words.

The story is relatively simple and seemingly unoriginal; young teenager Sydney, played by Sophia Lillis (It, Gretel & Hansel, Sharp Objects) is embarking the nuisances of high school when one day, Sydney realizes she has some kind of superpower that makes objects move and walls shake when her emotions are peaking negatively. It has all the remnants of the staggeringly average Raising Dion, except I Am Not Okay With This has an actual brain behind the confines of the story.

The audience experiences Sydney’s thoughts, uncannily like Eighth Grade, with an absorbing teenage character keeping your mind on tenterhooks; the only difference is Sydney embraces the recluse lifestyle while her opposite Kayla was desperate to fit in.

Sydney is the selling point of I Am Not Okay With This season 1 with a wholesome, convincingly performed opening two episodes where you accept the journey of finishing the season in its entirety in a single day, which is not hard considering each chapter is 20 minutes long.

But where the story makes the difference and compels audiences to yearn for a second season are its well-delivered themes. Sydney has a father problem (in that he is dead), which compels the teenager to push her family away, shrouded with abandonment fears and a whole host of mother-daughter and sibling anxieties.

Sydney also has to deal with her budding sexuality; her transparent infatuation with her best friend Dina is overridden by the friendly and caring male friend Stanley, which transforms a proposed social dynamic that hopefully growing teenagers can comfortably relate too.

I Am Not Okay With This season 1 is impressive; its freshness and direction is a relief, especially when we are offered reruns of coming-of-age stories a number of times every year. The Netflix series brings back the argument of “create new stories” instead of rehashing them to compound progressive themes. It’s flag for the LGBTQ community, leading PoC female characters and its representation of mental health will be appreciated; it is not thrown in to be an educational piece. It is the story. Coupled with humor and sublime writing, Netflix has banked another series that can remain on their platform.

There is no doubt in my mind that if you relished The End of the F***ing World and the likes of Stranger Things, where the producers from that show gave a helping hand for the Netflix series, then you will lap up I Am Not Okay With This season 1 like a well-scooped ice cream on a hot summers day.

Announce Season 2 now.

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