It has been almost a year since Stranger Things season 3 was released on Netflix. Stranger Things is a show starring the most talented array of actors in a sci-fi/horror/coming of age adventure. The show is se in 1980s Indiana, in a small-town that has more than meets the eye. Stranger Things originally premiered in 2016, and has since grown to be an international phenomenon. Netflix has announced that there will be a season 4 of Stranger Things, and I am so incredibly excited. But with production time as well as the pandemic, it will be a little bit before we get the new season. If you are like me and are in search of your Stranger Things fix, then may I recommend to you I Am Not Okay With This.
I Am Not Okay With This is a Netflix original series that is produced by the people behind Stranger Things. This show is a coming-of-age story that follows Syd Novak, a 17-year-old who discovers something that is both extraordinary and terrifying about herself. We follow Syd as she goes through the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. For Syd being a teen who does not fit into the typical mold of her peers, goes beyond not wanting to go the Friday night game.
Going through High School
Syd seems to be your typical outcast type of character. Popularity and conforming to the “in crowd” is not for her. She only has her best friend Dina, who moved to town around the same time as Syd and her family. Besides Dina, Syd has her little brother Liam, and her Mother. Syd’s father died not too long ago in an incident that they never really talk about. This leaves her Mom to work constantly for the family and Syd taking care of Liam. When Dina gets too occupied with her new golden boy football-playing boyfriend Brad, things change for Syd. New emotions as emerge from Syd due to the new couple. Enter Stanley Barber, another local weirdo and Syd’s neighbor. Syd and Stan develop a new friendship as Dina becomes too busy with Brad. Through their friendship, they start to uncover that Syd has capabilities beyond this world.
As Syd’s capabilities grow stronger so does the array of emotions and drama that comes with growing up. The more Syd learns about her past, and her emotions, the more she uncovers about herself. Syd, alongside Stan, begins to questions the life she has been told to lead, and the overall world around them, which leads to more elements from out of this realm.
The phenomenal cast
I Am Not Okay With This stars Sophia Lillis as Sydney “Syd” Novak and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley “Stan” Barber. Lillis and Oleff starred in the blockbuster films IT and IT Chapter II, as Beverley Marsh and Stanley Uris respectively. The cast also consists of Sofia Bryant as Dina, Richard Ellis as Brad, Kathleen Rose Perkins as Maggie Novak, and Aidan Wojtak-Hissong as Liam Novak.
I Am Not Okay With This covers all the same areas of Stranger Things but in a modern-day, high school, setting. The show has strong friendships, romance, supernatural adventures, hilarious supporting sibling characters, a rich history left to be uncovered, and of course a dance that takes place in the gymnasium. With the show having older characters and being set in modern-day, you also have various new elements and challenges. For example seeing the main characters deal with being care-takers to their younger siblings, high school parties, drinking, smoking, death, sexuality, and uncovering new emotions that they never thought possible. Both shows have a perfect blend of supernatural elements, plus adventures, all combining with coming of age storytelling.
I watched this entire series in one sitting. The episodes are all roughly a half-hour in length, with seven in total. I can not recommend this series enough. I Am Not Okay With This hits all the right emotions, is well-paced, engaging, creates such a magnificent world, and is perfect for binging.