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Review: 'I Am Not Okay With This' has all the ingredients but little substance

Sophia Lillis' new Netflix show has all the teen cliches but is spread thin

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

Fill a blender with as many teen-interest terms — drugs, lesbian, super-powers, jock, bully, suicide, violence, high school, prom, etc. — and push the button. After everything has been whirled into easily digested goo, pour the results in seven tiny cups.

Chances are you’ll come up with something like the new Netflix show “I Am Not Okay with This.” Served up in 20-minute thimbles the series certainly can’t be called nutritious, substantial or in any way original, but one can easily imagine it as an after-school snack of sorts.

Sophia Lillis in "I Am Not Okay with This."

The central ingredient is Sydney (literal It girl Sophia Lillis, who’s starred in both “It” movies and played the young Amy Adams in “Sharp Objects”). The tomboyish Sydney lives in small town Pennsylvania, though she’s new to town at 17, with her waitress mother and little brother; Dad committed suicide in the basement a while back so all is not well.

As if her history, low-rent status and shyness aren’t problems enough, Sydney is also discovering she has some kind of superpower. She can toss material objects around with her mind. You think that sounds too much like “Carrie”? Well, early on we see Sydney running down the street in a dress covered with blood, so these people are shameless.

“Okay” suffers from the same bloat as far too many streaming shows; its 140 minutes contain at most 90 minutes worth of material. Which is too bad because Lillis is an oddly arresting actress and the use of super-powers as a metaphor for teen angst and raging hormones is at least time-tested. Then again, no one expects too much from after-school snacks.

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News. 

'I Am Not Okay with This'