Ah, nostalgia – the theme which numerous series these days are based on. Seeing the kind of world we live in today, it’s no wonder so many people are craving the past. In this current climate of open misogyny, having to continue to fight gender inequality and, worst of all, having to endure crappy series that don’t seem to have a final end date, gazing upon the past seems to be the only way to escape our current reality. That’s why in this week’s segment of “For Your Consideration” we’re featuring Everything Sucks!, a brand new Netflix series set in a memorable era.
If you had to create bullet points of things that were said and done in the ’90s, Everything Sucks! would be the result of that list. Set in 1996, the series centers around two polar opposite groups of teenagers trying to wade the turbulent waves of high school in Boring, Oregon. The main protagonist, Luke (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), is eager to start his high school love story and easily falls head over heels for Kate (Peyton Kennedy), a girl he meets in A.V. club. Unfortunately for him, Kate is still figuring out her sexuality and forms a crush on Emaline (Sydney Sweeney), an over-dramatic girl from the drama club who is currently dating the king of the drama named Oliver (Elijah Stevenson). While Luke tries a million ways to get Kate to fall in love with him, he and his friends, McQuaid (Rio Mangini) and Tyler (Quinn Liebling), find themselves in more than one uncomfortable situation. When Luke and Kate accidentally ruin the drama club’s props, the drama kids’ long-awaited play is postponed. On the hinges of being a social pariah, Luke cuts a deal with the drama kids: He suggests that the A.V. club and the drama club team up to create an interstellar space romance movie.
Why You Should Watch
When I first saw the trailer for Everything Sucks! I was a little put off. I thought “how dare Netflix claim that the ’90s is so long gone that they could base an entire series on life in the ’90s!” Then I realized that 1996 was over 20 years ago and I’m forced to face the truth – things I considered to have happened “just yesterday” are now appearing in history books.
Even though this fact might frighten some into early quarter life crises, after watching episode one of Everything Sucks!, I stopped freaking out about the age thing and started laughing and reminiscing on the experiences that the kids in the show were having and how it vaguely mirrored my own childhood. And I fell in love with all the characters and their quirky traits, especially Luke.
Everything Sucks! does a great job at highlighting the ’90s. From Luke’s well-documented music video that is a parody of some of the most famous music videos of the era to learning to accept changing times like the adults in the show attempt to do. I can’t articulate how frightened my family must’ve been when they heard me hollering at the scene where the kids were trying to connect to the internet and waited forever for the web page to load.
A good plot can only bring a show so far, it’s the characters that really carry the show (insert lament about the dozens of shows that have amazing plots but suffer from poor execution and underdeveloped characters). While the characters in Everything Sucks! might occasionally come across as a compilation of ’90s trends (especially Emaline), you can’t help but love the show for simply being a way to transport you back to days where life felt simpler.
The entire first season is up on Netflix. I suggest you spend the night with a huge cup of coffee and binge watch the shit out of this series.
Fun Fact: rumor says that the show actually filmed a scene at a real Blockbuster right before it closed down.