I Am Not Okay With This is a binge-worthy teen drama with more going on than meets the eye.
Given that each episode is just twenty minutes, it’s easy to see how people are consuming the entire first season in one go. Each episode is well-crafted and dangles new mystery and drama in front of the viewer. The series boasts a similar charm to End of the F***ing World and Russian Doll in the sense that the characters are so uniquely likable, it is easy to watch them for an entire Sunday afternoon.
IT‘s Sophia Lillis stars as Syd, an angsty teenager dealing with the death of her father and the possibility that she may be in love with her best friend. She bottles up her emotions inside her, to the point where it feels as if she might implode. For many of us, this feeling is one we can relate to, only Syd’s despair finds a unique way of leaving her body. Like the confused pre-Xavier children in X-Men, Syd’s loss of control expels itself in the form of superpowers.
Lillis’s compelling portrayal of Syd is what holds the story together. She flits between comedy and tragedy at a moment’s notice, balancing trauma with teenage clichés in a way that plays on the audience’s heartstrings. Wyatt Olaff’s performance is also impeccable. The pair starred together in IT and their chemistry is even stronger this time around.
The story doesn’t always hold together as neatly as it could, but that is the risk that is taken in genre-bending TV. The writers intertwine the genre of a superhero origin story with coming of age drama so seamlessly that I Am Not Okay With This becomes a genre in its own right. Lillis is the superpower that holds the genres together so that they convincingly weld together into something new.
In case you haven’t finished season one yet, we won’t delve into that cliffhanger. What we will say is that there is definitely scope for a second season and we are looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds and how Syd will deal with her growing powers… and body count.