Updated: May 16, 2020
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I Am Not Okay With This tells a story of a teenage girl, Sydney, who is full of anger and insecurity. Sydney tries to deal with some problematic friendships and is also trying to make sense of her father’s suicide. All of these ingredients combined essentially make it so that Sydney is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. Things take an interesting turn in Sydney’s life when everything seems to get on top of her, and she discovers she has supernatural abilities as well.
The show is shot with a retro style aesthetic which creates a great atmosphere, and the washed out colour palette lends itself to the mysterious supernatural subplot that the first season explores.
The chemistry between the characters is generally very good, especially with the supporting cast. There is a good connection between Sydney and one of her friends who does her best to manage Sydney’s fury. The compassion and frustration come across authentically. Other supporting actors acquit themselves very well as well – for example the town’s misfit oddball child is a positive for this show and sure to be a fan favourite with the comic relief he provides.
The Not So Good
The dynamic that didn’t come off too well is the relationship between Sydney and her friend Dina. The writer’s don’t take too many steps to let the audience know if these two are just friends or something more. If Sydney is confused about her feelings for Dina, this isn’t communicated very clearly to the viewer. Dina’s personality could also be explored and fleshed out more to allow the viewer to understand why Sydney may be interested in Dina in the way she is (if she is?).
Disappointingly the core story elements take too long to develop, considering the first season only has seven episodes. Eventually events do happen that lead to the climax of the first seasons main plots – but at this point it just feels like a mad rush to get to the finish line. The pacing of the story telling could’ve been better in that regard and spread out more evenly over the course of the episodes.
There also appears to be a disconnect between the issue of Sydney discovering her powers, and all the other storylines that play out – i.e. Sydney’s struggles to fit in, and her differences with her friends. The writing of the show hasn’t allowed for all the issues to intertwine and tell as coherent a story as viewers would most likely desire.
The premise of this show is good, it just falters in execution in some parts. However, the characters are very interesting on the whole and the atmosphere created is top notch. A lot of good things to work with going forward. If the storytelling can be a little tightened up for next season, we could potentially have a real gem in our hands.
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