(2020 – ??)
Created by Jonathan Entwistle, Christie Hall
Starring Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Richard Ellis, Aidan Wojtak-Hissong
In my old age, I find myself watching more teen dramas and comedies.* Maybe it’s because my teenage years were not particularly dramatic. When someone recommended I Am Not OK with This, I decided to give it a shot.
The main character is Sydney Novak (Sophia Lillis), teen who is dealing with a complicated life. Her father has committed suicide without leaving a note, and her mother (Kathleen Rose Perkins) is trying to support Sydney and her brother Liam (Aidan Wojtak-Hissong), making her absent most of the day. Sydney’s only close friend is Dina (Sofia Bryant), who does make her life bearable, but Dina is moving away from her in order to date Brad Lewis (Richard Ellis), not noticing what a major jerk he is.
In among all this drama, there’s another twist: Sydney is developing a superpower.
When she loses her temper due to frustration – a common occurrence – she shows telekinesis, destroying things around her. Her nerdy neighbor Stanley Barber discovers her secret and works with her to try to control things. But – as the very first shot of the show indicates – things don’t go well.
Sophia Lillis is terrific as Sydney, who’s confused and conflicted and unsure about everything around her. She had a very subdued and cynical personality that’s perfect to portray her troubles. Wyatt Oleff’s Stanley tries hard to be helpful, but really doesn’t understand, while Sofia Bryant** portrays Dina as the one sunny thing in Sydney’s life. And Richard Ellis is terrific as the sleazy Brad, who is able to switch from charming to psychotic at the drop of a hat.
The show only ran seven episodes on Netflix and ended on a major cliffhanger. Hopefully, it will continue so we we can see more of Sydney and what is really going on with her. But any show that uses a song from Captain Beefheart on the soundtrack is something worth paying attention to.
*For instance, Sex Education
**I wonder if there’s confusion on the set with two main leads with the same name. There was also a recurring role for Sophia Tatum.