“I Am Not Ok With This” is a coming of age series that gives the audience real insight into the everyday life of a teenage girl with telekinetic powers and her friends. The protagonist, Syd, is a 17 year old teenager who is usually misunderstood by her friends, ignored by her stressed out mother and has telekinetic powers that she can’t control. This review will cover Episode 4 “Stan By Me” and Episode 5 “Another Day in Paradise”.
In both episodes, we see more situations where Syd is not able to control her emotions and her outbursts lead to destruction. In the opening scene of Episode 4, Syd’s friend, Stan, finally gets up the courage to ask her to homecoming and she agrees but her real feelings are for her best friend, Dina. Dina, however, is going out with Brad. Syd is a figurative hero on one hand because she looks to do the right thing such as taking care of her brother Liam while her mom works; on the other hand, she has the potential to be a villain because she has a tragic backstory. This is demonstrated when Syd Syd’s secret is revealed when Stan watches her destroy a forest after she attempts to kiss Dina and is rebuffed. The storyline is advanced as Syd comes to realize that “this thing happens” whenever she is angry, embarrassed or scared and she is unable to control the destruction that ensues. She decides to trust Stan and let him into her world a little bit and much like M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, Stan thinks that Syd might be a superhero. He decides he is going to be Syd’s mentor and help her channel her powers, although he has no clue what that involves and quickly realizes it’s a lot more complicated than he knows. Syd has an argument with her mom who reveals to Syd that her dad was “funny, sweet, but mostly vacant” foreshadowing what we are most likely going to learn in upcoming episodes. Syd experiences multiple times where she is unable to control her emotions; at the bowling alley Stan makes her so angry that bowling balls fly around; in Chemistry lab bottles rattle and Syd runs to the bathroom to calm down by thinking “nice thoughts”. The relationship between the characters continues to evolve and we start to see where loyalties really lie and the set up for the last episodes. Intriguingly, at the end of this episode a mysterious figure is introduced. A shadowy, dark figure is seen hovering by Syd and following her as the episode closes.
Episode 5 opens with Syd not speaking to Stan following the “bowling ball”incident where he purposely made her angry; Syd thought this was such a dangerous thing to do that she stopped talking to him. Syd and all of her friends (Stan, Brad, Dina) land in detention for cheating on a test; they are joined by the class drug addict, Jenny. This scene is reminiscent of director John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, where students come together for detention and each student is from a different clique (Jock, Brain, Goth/Bully, Beauty). The characters loosely fit these stereotypes as well which shows that elements from older stories (or movies) continue to resonate with audiences. During detention we see another outburst occur, where the library is destroyed. Syd is responsible but it happens because she is scared this time and not angry or embarrassed; this shows the audience the different emotions that cause Syd to spin out of control. Syd feels there was another presence in the library with her because she can “feel it” and we can’t help but think of the mysterious shadowy figure. This could be a spiritual entity or the manifestation of Syd’s emotions – her anger, fear and hopelessness. She confides in Stan and they concoct a plan to steal the security video that recorded the explosion. This involves breaking into the principal’s office and enlisting Dina to help them. They pull off the break in without any problems. Following the successful breakin, Dina and Syd are once again BFFs and Stan is comfortable in his role as Syd’s buddy and not her love interest.
The relationships have once again evolved, matured and you get to see what they are really made of. This is demonstrated once again towards the end of episode where we see Syd overhears Brad and Jenny discussing their one night stand and how Brad cheated on Dina. Brad threatens Syd and demands she not tell Dina, but she does. Brad is angry, Dina is upset, Jenny could care less and Stas is amused; it is clear to see what the character is feeling and thinking but not saying just based on their facial expression. The dialogue expressed by the characters is very honest and portrays their feelings which we mostly see with Stan and Syd during their self-narration scenes. At other times the dialogue is dramatic and over the top which may be okay for a show based on a comic book story.
Once again we see the mysterious shadowy figure in the closing scene. This mystery figure could be a number of things; a hallucination, a vision, or someone real. The mysterious man could be her dead father who has been watching over her instead of stalking her; if he is her father, maybe he had the same powers as Syd does and he has come to guide her.