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Netflix Stages "I Am Not Okay With This" in Western Pennsylvania

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"I Am Not Okay With This"

Courtesy Netflix

If you enjoyed the “End of the F*cking World,” you should watch “I Am Not Okay With This.”  The Netflix original series is an irreverent origin story that follows a teenage girl Sydney (Syd). Syd is navigating the trials and tribulations of high school, all while dealing with the complexities of her family, her budding sexuality, and mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken deep within her. This show is directed and produced by Jonathan Entwistle. It is a series that launched on Netflix on February 26th, 2020, which includes one season with seven episodes. The genre is drama, rated TV-MA, and only on Netflix. “I Am Not Okay With This” was filmed in Brownsville, Fayette County and other areas in Pittsburgh.

Many characters contribute to Syd’s life. Sydney Novak, who is played by Sophia Lillis, is the narrator and main star. One of the many characters that impact Sydney’s life is Dina, played by Sofia Bryant. Dina was the only person in the school that became Sydney’s friend when Sydney moved there. Dina is now Sydney’s best friend and secret crush. Stanley Barber, played by Wyatt Oleff, is a boy who likes Sydney and becomes one of her acquaintances. Maggie Novak, played by Kathleen Rose Perkins, is Sydney’s mom. Brad Lewis, played by Richard Ellis, is Dina’s boyfriend, but he and Sydney don’t get along. Liam Novak, played by Aidan Wojtak- Hissong, is Sydney’s brother. The last important character is Ms. Cappriotti, played by Patricia Scanlon, which is Sydney’s therapist.

Showrunner Jonathon Entwisle discovered the idea from Charles Forman’s novel, I Am Not Okay With This. He also used ideas from the Netflix show End of the F*cking world. In an interview, Collide Johnathan stated “A lot of the greatest lines from "End of the F*cking World" came straight from the book; this book is very different in many ways. The show uses a lot of deadpan humor capturing the tone and attitude of the novel”. Charles Forsman wrote both books with great ideas and Entwistle took those ideas and turned them into a TV show that people love.

Episodes

Season 1, Episode 1: 'Dear Diary…'

The episode opens with people wondering why she is walking with blood-covered clothes. Her dad died last spring and she must write in her diary when she loses her temper. Her dad killed himself in their basement. When Syd, Dina, and Brad are at the diner, Syd gets angry and something happens that startles them. The end of the episode leaves you wondering why Syd is having that outburst.

Season 1, Episode 2: 'The Master of One F**k.'

The beginning of the episode starts with Syd running down the street in bloody clothes and cops in the background going the opposite way. Sydney starts to figure out she can do stuff with her mind. After Dina ditches her for Brad, Syd spends the afternoon with Stan. She learns interesting things about Stan that she didn’t know. She begins to catch feelings for Stan.

Season 1, Episode 3: 'The Party’s Over.'

This episode doesn’t start off with bloody clothes Syd; it’s in the diner where Syd´s mom works. Syd decided to go to the basement to get a puzzle and it brings back memories of her dad, which sends Syd to a dark side. Some football player was throwing a party, so Dina and Syd decided to go. Stan shows up to the party to ask Syd a question. Syd starts questioning her sexuality after something unexpected happens. After, Syd runs off and has flashbacks of the night.

Season 1, Episode 4: 'Stan by Me.'

There were no bloody clothes at the beginning of the episode. This is where we start to see more of Stan in Syd´s life. Sydney is walking in the woods and it flashes to her covered in blood. What is happening to her with her mind is not a secret anymore, Stan knows. After having a bad morning at home, she tries to manage a breakdown in school. Stan tries to research Syd´s superpowers, which cause Syd to be angry at Stan.

Season 1, Episode 5: 'Another Day in Paradise.'

This episode starts off with Dina, Brad, Stan, and Syd all getting detention. During detention, Syd goes to the library after a girl makes her mad. In the library, she does something with her ¨superpowers¨. Syd walks in the bathroom while Brad is talking to another girl about him cheating on Dina. Syd hears all of it. Later, Syd tells Stan what happened in the library.

Season 1, Episode 6: 'Like Father, Like Daughter.'

Syd worries she's being followed. Dina is questioning Syd about what happened in the library. Syd gets anxious and determined to get closure about her father's death. She searches the basement for answers. Syd asks her mom questions about her dad.

Season 1, Episode 7: 'Deepest Darkest Secret.'

This episode starts with Syd going from bloody face to not. She tries to change after knowing her dad’s story. Syd vows to stay positive as she goes to the homecoming dance. During the dance, something startling happens, which leads Syd and everyone else running out with bloody clothes.

Review

I feel like this is a show that you need to binge-watch because the beginning of all episodes didn’t start with like a recap. There are no recaps from episode to episode, but each episode goes back a few seconds to get you caught up. Each episode leads to the next one and leaves you wanting to know what was going to happen next. Syd is the narrator of the whole show; it’s mostly her talking about her thoughts and feelings. The plot all unfolds in 140 min.

I didn’t think that I would like this show due to the genre of it, but I really enjoyed watching it. It had a supernatural twist to the series. I would recommend this to others because it shows the typical life of a high school student battling with unexpected circumstances. I Am Not Okay With This is a great show that feels both familiar and refreshing, twisting the formula of a superhero origin story, and using it to deal with relevant exploration of teenagers dealing with their emotions.

I think my only critique would be changing it from no recaps to recaps so, people didn’t have to binge this 140-minute season. The Tomato meter was 86% after 11 days of the show being on Netflix, with the audience score of 85%.

After the show blew up and people were asking for when season 2 was going to come out. They released a date of renewal date in spring of 2021. I do agree that it deserves another season. I would put this show on top of your list to watch.

Since this TV show was filmed and based in Pittsburgh, you see a lot of items associated with the Pittsburgh area. In the grocery store, you see that there is Mancini’s bread, which is the best bakery in Pittsburgh! At the school lunches, you see Turner’s products, such as milk and tea. Since this is filmed in Brownsville, they show the Brownsville art by the train tracks. Also, in school and on the streets, they have kids wearing Pittsburgh team shirts. I saw a Penguins 2009 Stanley cup and a Pitt University shirt. I know this next connection could be an opinion, but in the show, there is a lot of marijuana used by high school kids. In the Pittsburgh area, you see a lot of marijuana use in areas with low income and poverty like areas in Brownsville.

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