Review: I Am Not Okay With This Episode 1

The first thing that comes to mind while watching ‘I Am Not Okay with This’ is its similarity to ‘The End of the F***ing World’. The comparisons between the two series are inevitable, and it is a double-edged sword for ‘IANOWT’. The good thing is that it will draw the fans of the British drama, which has a huge cult following of its own, towards the latest Netflix addition. The fact that both series come from the mind of the same person (Charles Forsman) and have number of their episodes directed by the same person (Jonathan Entwistle) means that not only do we find a familiar aesthetic in Sydney and James’ worlds, but the format of storytelling also takes a similar, if not identical, path.

TEOTFW’ is a great show. The first season, especially, is one of the best debut seasons of recent, if not all, times. It has an added edge to it because the audience hadn’t seen anything like it before. Hence, ‘IANOWT’, already has standards set for it. It looks and feels like ‘End of World’, so if it is not as good as it, it will receive flak. It will be criticised if it doesn’t do anything different, and there is still scope for criticism if it doesn’t walk the same line as, what can be called, its sister series. There is a fine line that ‘Not Okay’ has to walk, but we will save this judgement for later. It would be unfair to compare, but there’s no helping it.

I Am Not Okay with This Episode 1 Recap

Sydney’s life used to be boring, and she was okay with that. She had a father who understood her and even though she had moved to a new school, she quickly became friends with a girl, named Dina, who is now her best friend. It was all okay until her father’s death. After that, everything started changing around her. Her relationship with her mother grew, and continues to be, sour. She still loves her younger brother, Liam, though.

Dina is there for her, but now she has started dating the school jock whom Sydney hates. But her neighbour, Stanley, wants to be friends with her, so that sort of balances it out. The problem is that her emotions are getting out of control now. She gets angry, which makes her do things. From giving someone nosebleeds to breaking the walls of her bedroom, her abilities are growing stronger and she has no idea how to control them.

I Am Not Okay with This Episode 1 Review

Focusing just on the first episode, ‘Not Okay’ starts out as a pretty decent show. Yes, it has the tried and tested tropes of the teen genre, which Netflix is using for the umpteenth time now, but there is a charm about it that makes us stay. The opening scene of Sydney running down the street covered in blood is a stark throwback to ‘Carrie’, and there are a number of parallels between Sydney and Carrie’s story, which means that the series has another classic to live up to, and that too Stephen King! The road is hard for this show, but there are some things that make us hopeful.

Sophia Lillis, to begin with, is great as Sydney. The young actress has already proven her acting prowess in ‘Sharp Objects’ and ‘It’, where she has portrayed troubled teenagers, which is why, perhaps, Sydney comes so easily to her. And because she inhabits her angst and emotional turmoil so aptly, we get attached to her quickly and want to find out what’s next for her. Serving as her companion Stanley, Wyatt Oleff (who plays another Stanley in ‘It’) gives a delightful performance. In the couple of minutes that he receives on the screen, we know that he is a quirky character and what role he plays in Sydney’s origin story is something to look forward to.

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