The Netflix original series, I Am Not Okay with This, is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama web television series, based on the comic book by Charles Forsman. The second episode of the first season is called “The Master of One F**k”, isn’t that a charming title? This episode takes place directly after the last one. In the beginning of the episode Syd, the protagonist, convinces herself that the reason the wall collapsed was because the house is old, although the real reason is due to her telekinetic powers. When Syd learns her best friend Dina can’t take her to the store, she feels betrayed because Dina chooses to go to the pep rally with Bradley and then to the football game to watch him play. Earlier in the episode Syd’s mom asks her to go to the store to get groceries and she talks Stan into taking her. When paying for the groceries, Syd doesn’t have enough money and is forced to put the groceries back. While returning the food back on the shelves Syd can feel herself becoming more aggravated and tries to calms herself down but can’t. Her telekinetic powers overwhelm her and the food on the shelves is blown off causing Sydney to run out of the store. Stan witnesses this and believes that Syd experienced a panic attack. Afterwards, they go to the football game, just because Stan is entertained by the notion that most of the players like Bradley will not have promising futures. They then go to Stan’s house where they get high and hang out
In Victoria O’Donnell’s “Guidelines for Television Criticism” she outlines questions to consider when reviewing a television series. One area to review is “How is time presented?”. This episode takes place, one day after the last one, showing Syd sprinting down the street covered in blood. This same opening scene in episode two suggests that every episode begins with Syd on this specific night and then flashing back to what the episode is about and might build up to later. She once again intones “Dear Diary” implying that the entire series will be told from Syd’s perspective, expressing her emotions in her diary. She also expresses “Happy F**cking Friday”. When Sydney flashes back to moments that upset her she feels her powers rising, and the audience sees an interesting side of her personality and psyche.
The second question I chose was “Is there closure or a delay until the next episode?” This episode definitely ends on an interesting note to say the least. The majority of the episode focuses on how Sydney is starting to feel alone with Dina spending all her time with Bradley and her neglectful mother still not able to understand her. Instead she finds solace in Stanley after trying to use him for his car to get her groceries home. After making a mess in the store Stan tries to comfort Syd and she starts to realize there might be more to him than she initially thought. The two bond while smoking weed, making fun of the status quo, vhs tapes and even their leg and back acne. They share secrets, laughs and a spontaneous kiss. When the credits roll, it is pretty obvious that Syd and Stan might have feelings for each other and this will be another dynamic that will play out in future episodes. Intrigued viewers will have to keep watching to see where this relationship goes.
“What do you think is the expected reaction from the audience? is another question O’ Donnell suggests. I think the audience would be looking for more of a dive into Syd’s relationship with Stan or Dina and maybe a little bit more with her mother. The main focus of this episode, though, is the development of Stan and Syd’s relationship.
The fourth and last question I chose was “How do the physical actions of the characters reveal their personalities and/or motives?” In this episode, we see that there is much more to Syd’s powers than initially shown in the first episode. Syd’s telekinetic powers are tied to her emotions, and her reaction is based on how emotional she is at the moment. In this episode we see Syd throw a rock at a railroad sign in frustration with such power that it flies out of the ground and she is shocked at her power. Stan’s actions show that he’s trying to be a nice guy, smooth and suave when he shakes the female cashier’s hand and introduces himself to her. We can also see Stan’s soft side when he steps outside the grocery store to comfort Syd. It is clear that Stan wants to have a relationship of some kind with Syd and she seems to reciprocate.