Everything Sucks! Except This New ’90s High School Show On Netflix
Everything Sucks! Is The Latest Binge-Worthy Netflix Original Show
The ten-episode first season of Everything Sucks! quietly debuted on Netflix over the weekend and it’s a show that needs to be on your schedule soon.
Billed as a “coming-of-age comedy-drama,” Everything Sucks! focuses on a group of teenagers attending Boring High School in Boring, Oregon in the mid-1990s. The show has quickly won fans with its heavy doses of teen angst and ’90s nostalgia. It’s been compared to Freaks and Geeks, the Judd Apatow comedy-drama that famously lasted just 12 episodes on NBC almost 20 years ago, yet helped launch the careers of James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Everything Sucks! was created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan and stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Peyton Kennedy, Patch Darragh and Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako, among others.
Watch the first ten episodes of Everything Sucks! on Netflix now. Scroll down for more on the show and my review of the show.
I binge-watched all ten thirty-minute episodes of Everything Sucks! over the weekend and I loved it. I immediately asked multiple people if they had seen it yet, I thought it was that good.
I didn’t know at the time that the episodes had just popped up on Netflix on February 16. I just saw the show when I opened Netflix on Friday or Saturday and thought it sounded like something I would enjoy.
The Boring High Universe
As with any high school, the Boring High universe is a complicated one. It’s also filled with people you’ll swear you recognize from somewhere else.
Jahi Di’Allo Winston, fresh off his role opposite Taraji P. Henson in Proud Mary, stars as Luke O’Neil. Luke and his friends McQuaid (Rio Mangini General Hospital) and Tyler (Quinn Liebling) are freshmen at Boring High School. The three best friends decide to join the A.V. Club to try and improve their social status. Creator Ben York Jones portrays the club’s adviser, Mr. Stargrove.
Luke almost immediately develops a crush on sophomore Kate Messner, played by Peyton Kennedy (Taken). Messner happens to be the daughter of school principal Ken Messner. Ken (Darragh) may remind some people of Glenn from Superstore. Thankfully, Ken seems much more intelligent and is easier to like and you may recognize Darragh from The Path and Longmire.
Ken Messner and Luke’s single mother Sherry (Mboligikpelani Nako) begin dating early on in the season, as you can see from the trailer. Their budding romance adds an enjoyable adult aspect to the show and its otherwise teen-focused plot.
Luke’s issues with Ken becoming part of his life outside the walls of the school are compounded by a discovery Kate makes during an after-school visit to his house.
Speaking of Kate, a personal issues of hers is a major story line throughout the ten episodes. She and her father also share a family secret that comes out in somewhat jarring fashion late in the season.
Couple Emaline (Sydney Sweeney The Handmaid’s Tale) and Oliver (Elijah Stevenson Captain Fantastic) are the stars of the Boring drama club, although Emaline may have eyes for someone else.
Jessica Betts (Nicole McCullough Leverage, Grimm), Leslie (Abi Brittle), Scott Pocket (Connor Muhl) and Cedric (Jalon Howard) are among the other students at Boring High who show up often throughout the episodes.
The Last Three Episodes
I loved Everything Sucks! My Netflix queue is filled with shows that I started and just stopped watching after an episode or two. At only thirty minutes for each episode, these episodes fly be. There was probably a lull during the middle of the binge, but I really don’t remember there being much of one.
The last three episodes of season one of Everything Sucks! are pretty fantastic in my opinion. A whole lot happens and the only letdown comes after the curtains come down on episode ten.
It’s not a feeling of “oh that ending sucked” it’s the letdown after you go to Google and can’t get a good answer to when you can binge-watch season two.
In case you were wondering, nothing has been confirmed for season two. The first ten episodes of the show haven’t even been available on the streaming service a full ten days yet after all.
Not Everyone Loves Everything Sucks!
There’s plenty of love out there in the interwebs for this show. There are also folks out there who don’t like the show.
Or maybe they just came up with a headline they liked and tried to write a piece around it?
A student a Boston College wrote a piece for the school newspaper titled “Everything Sucks! Lives Up To Its Name.” The first line of the story calls the show a “nostalgia-trap Netflix series.” I assumed at that point that she probably hated Fuller House too so I quit reading.
Don’t hate on the Tanner-Fullers. The writer also likely wasn’t even able to walk in the ’90s and and thus can’t appreciate it.
Caroline Framke of Vox seemed mildly annoyed in her piece on the show at the heavy dose of Alanis Morrisette and company in the first part of the season. She felt that the show came around by the end of the season though.
“These teens are selfish, sure, but they’re also more ambitious and earnest than they ever want to admit. When Everything Sucks! lets them realize that and let go of the idea that everything might just suck, it becomes much more comfortably quirky in its own way, its unabashedly bleeding heart in the right place.”
An appreciation for the ’90s nostalgia comes from the University of Connecticut student paper, The Daily Campus. Writer Daniel Cohn notes that ” every undergrad at Storrs either wasn’t alive for or wasn’t aware during” the decade to appreciate the references.
Cohn concludes that this show isn’t as good as Stranger Things, but shows promise.
I would agree that Everything Sucks! isn’t Stranger Things.
Personally, I enjoyed Everything Sucks! more.
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