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Sophia Lillis in Dear Diary... (2020). Image via IMDb.

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Is This A Modern Adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’?: A Review of ‘I Am Not Okay With This’ Season One

Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for Stephen King’s Carrie and I Am Not Okay With This.

Netflix has again brought us another teen supernatural show. Though unlike Stranger Things and Locke & Key, this show differs very slightly. I Am Not Okay With This strays away from caves, lab-based experiments, groups and keys to focus individually on Syd. Syd is just coming to terms with her new superpowers, whilst also struggling to find herself. As a result, this show is somewhat more relatable due to the coming-of-age themes (if we ignore the superpower aspects!).

The Storyline: Similarities to Carrie?

The show deals with a number of complexities including: coming to terms with one’s sexuality, being a teenager, dealing with the loss of a parent and if that weren’t enough to deal with already, having new, unknown superpowers.

In a way, I found this show as closely relating to Stephen King’s Carrie. Could it be that the show is a modern adaptation of Carrie, but with a twist? There are many similarities, including the fact that Syd and Carrie both have strange powers that they can’t control. Moreover, most episodes begin with Syd running soaked in blood. This can be associated with the prom scene in which Carrie has pig’s blood poured all over herself. I liked how this scene was repeated at the start of most episodes. It leaves us questioning each time as what is the cause of Syd being soaked in blood, and what will be the episode that we finally find out?

Again, another Carrie similiarity involved is that there is a lead-up to prom, which occurs on the final episode. Due to the many similarites, I felt that this was actually going to be a modern adaptation of Carrie, meaning that Syd would be humilated through having pig’s blood poured all over her. However, the difference in this scene is that Syd does not get crowed prom queen, and instead has Dina’s ex humiliate her through revealing secrets from her diary. As a result this leads to her uncontrollable anger that sparks her mysterious powers, which in turn kills Dina’s ex in a gruesome manner…

And if this wasn’t enough, throughout the season we learn that there is a weird dark shadowed evil spirit type of thing that has been following Syd. Despite this, we do not see Syd fully interact with this spirit thing until the finale.

The ~Aesthetics~

I think creators Jonathon Entwistle and Christy Hall did an amazing job regarding making the show appeal. Through the use of a brown/orange colour palette, the creators provided us with a warm feel to the show. The visuals add to the throwback theme, which is also established with props and costuming. Furthermore, the creators did an amazing job regarding music. They included a range of 20th-century bands including The Kinks, Pixies and the show’s own band, “Bloodwitch.” This not only added to the throwback feel, but also worked well in creating personality and character for Syd and Stan.

The Acting

Although Sophia Lillis did an amazing job as Syd, I did find the character in general pretty annoying due to the amount of selfishness and pessimism she maintained. Nonetheless, I don’t think the writers intended for us to like the character necessarily. In a way, this creates an interesting relationship dynamic between the audience and the main protagonist.

That aside, one character which I think we can all agree our love is Stan. Interestingly enough both Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff have previously worked together on Stephen King’s It. Despite this, there characters played are very different in this series than King’s movie. Wyatt Oleff did an amazing job at creating the humour throughout the entire show, yet also allowing us to creating more of a relationship with himself than perhaps the main protagonist.

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Our Final Verdict

Overall, this show did well to portray a coming-of-age teen drama which involves mysterious superpower. As of yet, I Am Not Okay With This has reached No.1 of Netflix’s TV shows this week and has reached 7.8/10 on IMDb. Personally, I felt that areas of the show could have had a little more insight and clarity, such as how Dina’s ex found Syd’s diary. One aspect that I thought was sweet, however, was when Syd learns her dad was quite similar to her.

Despite this, the ending provided quite the confusion regarding the evil shadow spirit. Syd’s mom reveals that her dad was scared of something that was following him, something Syd could relate to completely, but was yet to discover what. However, in the ending scene, the dark spirit appears to Syd and reveals that she shouldn’t be afraid. It then claims ‘they should be afraid’, and then follows with ‘let’s begin’.

So… What’s Next?

The lack of information leaves us with many questions regarding who should be afraid. What are they going to begin? Is Syd now going to start some form of training regarding her magic. Is that what the next season will be centered around? Nonetheless, this is a clever way in which the creators have their audience now wanting more, so all we can do now is sit back and wait until Netflix hopefully announces a second season.

I Am Not Okay With This is now available to watch on Netflix.

Featured Image via IMDb.

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