Not ‘Everything Sucks’

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Sean Raggio

Think you had it rough at the start of high school? Do you ever think back to your formative years and just cringe? If you answered yes then log on to Netflix and check out recent release, “Everything Sucks.” Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers here. Just some thoughts on one of Netflix’s newest originals.

“Everything Sucks” is an ode to your awkward formative years. You know, those years following middle school, where you were at your worst, and the years preceding the end of our senior years of high school when you were on top of the world.

The show is set in the town of Boring, Oregon during the mid-nineties and is centred around freshman Luke O’Neil, who has a stark interest in film. The main plot is surrounding Luke’s attempt at filming a movie that would be shown at Boring High School.

The show takes a different look on what would be a “jock-and-nerd” relationship. The “jock” type characters are actually the drama club, while the “nerds” are that of the AV club. It was refreshing to see this change-of-pace from the typical “tough-guy football player” antagonist and it definitely aided the plot.

The first couple episodes have a sort of cringy-cutesiness to them. It’s the kind of stuff that is cheesy in a clichè, kind of cute way that would make you utter an audible “awww.” At the same time, you can’t help but cringe at some of the things the characters say and do. The kind of things that make you recollect, “wow I can’t believe I did that back in ninth grade.”

The show does lose a bit of its cringiness as the season progresses and some of the sub-storylines start to play out. It does a good job of showing that disconnect between the maturity of some of the characters which easily parallels that of reality. This helps enhance the relatability to the viewer. There are some aspects of the show that aren’t as realistic, but nothing completely impossible.

The development of the characters is definitely relatable and at the same time tackles certain topics that aren’t typical. For example, two of the characters throughout the show are living with only one parent.

The adult characters are also given their own storylines and their characters develop along with the kids’, which is a nice touch. To have this development instead of stagnant adults is atypical and helps keep the viewer into the show because it adds another interesting storyline to the story.

The show also manages to touch upon the topic of sexuality as we watch Luke’s friend Kate Messner, portrayed by Peyton Kennedy, discover her identity, and she’s not the only one.

“I think her coming-out story is a beautiful story, and it was a beautiful story that I was able to tell,” Kennedy said in a TV Guide article. “And I think that [way] because so many people are able to relate to it and it’s still something that’s going on now. And there’s still more acceptance that we can accomplish, it was really important for me to be able to tell that story.”

The way that creators Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan infuse this in is perfect. They let it work its way in naturally and don’t force it into the storyline like some other shows have done.

“We come from the world of independent film, and everything we do, we try to make it as honest as possible. If we’re going to make a show about high school, we wanted to set it in the time we were in high school, which was the ’90s,” Mohan said in an article with Variety. “We knew we could make it the most honest show possible.”

“Everything Sucks” definitely made me cringe several times, but I couldn’t help but binge it. The Netflix original was just released on Feb. 16, so it’ll be a while to see if there is a season two coming, but definitely don’t sleep on this show. With all these intense crime dramas and doctor dramas (I’m looking at you, “Grey’s Anatomy”) it’s a nice change of pace that should definitely put some sort of smile on your face.