Netflix has made yet another show about a bunch of teenagers at high school. They may only have one location for their shows but luckily what they lack in settings, they make up for in plot and character design. With the broadcasters latest release, this is no exception. Everything Sucks (2018-) brings us once more, a story about youngsters overcoming something dramatic. However, unlike programmes such as ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Riverdale’ they are confronting believable problems, compared to aliens and murderers.
Plot: In 90’s Boring, Oregon, the AV and the drama club are rivals but must band together for a bigger cause. Meanwhile, Kate Messner (Peyton Kennedy) and Luke O’Neil (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), struggle with their relationship as Kate begins to accept her sexuality.
Review: As previously suggested, with a show like this, plot is a massive part of the success of a show (obviously). It is essentially based on a love triangle between a black kid and two lesbians. I love some great diverse representation when watching any show and Everything Sucks really pulls it off. As well as diverse characters, we are also given an number of themes, such as young love and the idea of accepting your own and others sexuality. This is done in a way that both provides supports and celebrates coming out. They even chuck issues of bullying and parental issues into the mix. Perhaps, a few more themes could have been adopted but maybe they didn’t want to remove the power of the few they do show. This method of acceptance is done through the characters making a science fiction movie about love between a human and an Alien (I was wrong, they are putting Aliens into the show). The production did mean that the show often felt similar to ‘Me and Earl and The Dying Girl’ but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Likewise, the live broadcasting of the morning announcements and the behind the scenes of their film was a nice addition to those interested in film and television. As someone who works in the industry, it was exciting to see.
The character development, like a lot of great shows, was well carried out over the 10 episodes. Everyone moved on from how they were at the beginning of the series in a way that was unpredictable. One great thing about the show was that you just didn’t know how it was going to end. Characters you hated, you ended up loving and most had a decent amount of screen time, which allowed their story to be told.This can be down to both brilliant storytelling and acting. Nevertheless, there are still some characters put into the background. They are only seen a few times and would make no difference to the plot. Everything Sucks, would be no different without them. However, from what you do see of them, you can tell that if given enough screen time, they could really shine. Maybe in season 2? It also doesn’t help that each episode is only 25 minutes long. This is great for binge watching but bad for story telling. I watched it in 2 days so now I have the ‘Now what?’ feeling. That’s the problem, you finish a show in a day then you need to wait a year for the next season. It doesn’t help that the series ended on a cliff hanger.
Much like ‘Stranger Things’, this Netflix original gives its audience a sense of nostalgia. However, instead of the 80’s, we are given 1996 (the year I was born). Us Millennials are given a little blast from the past with this feel good show. Everything from music to movies, clothes and technology. Someone whips a tamagotchi out of their overalls!
Even though they have the creative side down, I felt they struggled with the technical side. By this I mean the camera shots. Some of the angles and framing was unusual for the genre and didn’t seem to fit with the tone of the show. It just felt odd. Some shots were well known to documentary/mockumentary, copying the famous zoom from ‘The office’. Other shots were famously from the action genre with quick pans. Some were even from the horror genre, mainly the use of cameras lurking on their subject. It may have been a creative decision to incorporate a number of famous techniques but it just did not pay off. The average watcher may not have noticed but some hard core TV fans would have.
Overall, the show was great in terms of the genre. It is a feel good high school show with some great characters and ideologies. Does it make the show original? No, but it is a show to enjoy. I would suggest a watch to anyone who loves a bit of high school drama, just try to look past the filming techniques.