A sucker-punch of heavy-handed nostalgia, Everything Sucks! also highlights the stuff that was wrong with the ’90s. A great story of young kids navigating love, “fitting in” and sexuality in the midst of a harsh and unaccepting culture. The young actors nail the roles and if you told me this was a more focused relaunch of Freaks and Geeks I’d believe you (and I mean this as a compliment). The soundtrack feeds off this nostalgia and may be one of the better soundtracks to come out last year.
The acting is superb across the board, which is saying a lot for a relatively young and inexperienced cast. The fact that almost all of the teenagers in this series are played by actual teenagers (at least at the time of filming) is another big step that the series takes to create authenticity within the story. However, there was one misstep in filming that has some folks critical of the series, as they had one 20-year-old actor kiss a 14-year-old actor. (We won’t spoil with details, but it’s a pretty important part of the love story.)
The directing is paced perfectly, and the writing is succinct and each scene holds weight. Ben York Jones both co-created and co-wrote the series as well as acted in the role of Mr. Stargrove. Other co-writer/creator is Michael Mohan who sat in the director chair for 7 of the 10 episodes.
I am beyond upset that this show got canceled by Netflix after one season (despite the controversy). I am hoping another production company or service will pick it up or if enough fans complain Netflix will shape up their act. Regardless, this series shows so much promise from the entire cast and crew that It has made a fan out of me. I’ll be sure to check out Jones and Mohan’s next creation, whatever that may be.
Everything Sucks! – 8/10