You’re Nothing Special season 1 review – a witchy teen series fails to cast a spell

September 2, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
2.5

Summary

You’re Nothing Special fails to cast a spell, instead being content as a middling but inoffensive teen drama.

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2.5

Summary

You’re Nothing Special fails to cast a spell, instead being content as a middling but inoffensive teen drama.

This review of the Netflix series You’re Nothing Special season 1 is spoiler-free. 


Given the depth and breadth of Netflix’s young-adult catalog, it’s difficult to imagine how a show like You’re Nothing Special hopes to stand out. That title applies to the six-episode teen drama itself, a run-of-the-mill coming-of-age story about a young girl who finds herself – and more than she bargained for – in the vaguely supernatural reputation of her grandmother.

The vague overarching plot of Estíbaliz Burgaleta’s show is a young girl named Amaia returning to the small hometown of her mother and discovering that her grandmother had something of a reputation for witchcraft. But the stakes never really raise beyond that. It isn’t about magic and cauldrons and black cats, per se, but about a somewhat lost young woman toiling and troubling to find an identity of her own.

This is evident right from the off. The teasing “this is still to come” framing device is Amaia getting a drink thrown on her face. The fate of the world is hardly at stake. The “witchcraft” is really an identity metaphor, a way to both stand out and fit in.

Amaia isn’t necessarily likable either. She starts out as kind of a brat but softens in the company of her similarly ostracised new friends. The relationship dynamics here are fairly compelling and the main reason to keep watching. Amaia’s narration feels trite and heavy-handed, but you get used to her presence and constant observations after a while. Cracking a window into her thought processes allows you to relate to her a little.

Of course, you’ll relate better if you’re similarly aged or have been in similar circumstances; there’s an awkward teenager mold here that Amaia fits very neatly into, and the relatability factor is going to be strong for the particular demographic that You’re Nothing Special is clearly aimed at. Needless to say, that isn’t me, but I can appreciate the appeal and the subtle use of supernaturalism to underscore points rather than make them.

The process is fine, in other words. Amaia has a decent arc that allows her to find herself and a decent social circle through light genre elements and a predictable, thankfully brief plot. There’s an obvious championing of the underdog and the ostracised, which is appreciated, and it’s a nice-looking show if you’re into that kind of thing. So, while there’s nothing to write home about here, on a relatively quiet streaming weekend you might just be looking for something not particularly special.

You can stream You’re Nothing Special season 1 exclusively on Netflix.

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