Writer: Ashley Bow
The Netflix original Everything Sucks is a coming-of-age series which takes place in 1996. From the very beginning, it incorporates known and loved aspects of 90s teen life like slap bracelets, troll dolls, fortune tellers, and popular music.
The series tries to hit audiences with the same nostalgia-made-new feeling as more popular shows like Stranger Things, but it doesn’t quite get there. The scenes felt forced and inauthentic, like they were trying to throw so much 90s-esque stuff into the intro that they forgot to have a plot. (Plus, the opening song was released in January of 1997, months after the September 1996 opening scene. Just saying.)
The show seems to tell a repetitive story right from the start. “Nerd girls don’t exist, wait one girl does, now I’m in love, she likes me back, no she doesn’t, yes she does.” Same storyline in the same hormone-addled world of high school. To be fair, it doesn’t follow the same way through the whole series, but already it’s off-putting.
The main character, Luke, is a nerdy freshman who falls for Kate, a mature sophomore. And though (spoiler alert) they break up, it’s hard to feel bad for the kid. He saw the end coming and chose to stay in the vain hope that he could somehow change her. As a person with personal experience in his situation, it’s really difficult to feel sorry for him.
This is not to say the show has no good points. I’m always in the market for a good coming-out story, and I grew up on the soundtrack of the show. The characters do develop as people as they try to make it through the first semester of the year. But none of it was quite new enough to make me want to come back for another season. It may be the story for someone, it just wasn’t for me. Check out the trailer below!