Everything Sucks!: Season 1
February 19, 2018 4:41 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A coming-of-age story, set in the 1990s, that revolves around the A/V and drama clubs at a Boring, Ore., high school; the two crews of outsiders join forces to make a movie and endure the purgatory that is high school. Think Freaks & Geeks, but a bit more diverse. Most critics aren't particularly fond of this show, and they are wrong.

Unlike Freaks & Geeks, this is actually about just two people, Kate and Luke, and the rest of the ensemble provides tangential narrative. The critics seem to think this show is about nostalgia. I would argue it's about a relationship that takes place in a time that's not today, and the focus is the relationship and not the time. If you want to see a great show about two teen kids who meet and connect and grow, this is your show. If you're looking for a show that will make you long for the 90s, perhaps there's a better option.
posted by Stanczyk (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most critics aren't particularly fond of this show, and they are wrong.

I concur whole-heartedly that they are wrong. This show was delightful and unexpected.
posted by Pryde at 5:09 PM on February 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I wasn’t impressed by the trailer, but watched the first episode out of sheer boredom and because I was snowed in. I then proceeded to binge the entire season in one sitting, something I haven’t done since the first season of Stranger Things. This one doesn’t hook you in as fast as some other shows of its kind, but it really grows on you as you get to know the characters. And the nostalgia isn’t as in your face as it was with Stranger Things. Really hoping this gets a second season.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:47 PM on February 19, 2018

What tics me about the criticism I'm seeing is the critics are obsessed with the nostalgia angle, and I get that Netflix seems to have a thing about retro, but while this show takes place in the 90s, it's about as much about the 90s as Catcher in the Rye is about the 50s.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:16 PM on February 19, 2018

I'm about halfway through season 1 as I write this. I was a high school freshman in 1996 in an Oregon town about 40 miles from Boring and about the same size, and I was a similar variety of dork to the dorks in this show. I am surprised and sad to report that I feel basically no nostalgia. The show is fine. It's sort of sweet. It just doesn't feel that specific to the time and place to me. Also, I cannot believe there were that many black kids at Boring HS in 1996.
posted by juliapangolin at 7:04 PM on February 19, 2018

I thought it was pretty great. Sweet is a good way to describe it. A nice break from the more intense shows I've been watching.

In some ways I relate more to it than to Freaks and Geeks, even if F&G is objectively better. Part of it might be because these kids are only a few years "older" than me, but mainly I feel a ton of affinity for both Kate and Emaline... even though in high school I was much more like Leslie.

I like that the adults have depth and aren't the villains. I loved the soundtrack choices. I like that the story was kind of small. It leaves a lot of room for future seasons to develop the world (and maybe grow the cast).
posted by itesser at 12:01 AM on February 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I did like the two leads and their story. They were good kids and the actors were great.

But! I was in high school at this exact time (although a year or so older) and while I will allow for some differences in geography/demographics (I went to high school in the suburbs of Richmond, Va.), none of this really felt like the '90s to me. At least not the '90s I knew. The setting just felt like dressing from someone who wasn't there -- there didn't feel to be a lot of point to it.

It's charming enough. I just kept waiting to see more of myself in it and I never did.
posted by darksong at 5:27 AM on February 20, 2018

Kate is way more assured than I was when I was in high school and trying to pretend I wasn't a lesbian, but she manages still to convey the fear and longing and hope - her expression at the Tori Amos concert, where she sees two girls kiss, and her speech afterwards about being able to seea real future for herself where she can be a person made me cry.
posted by rtha at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yes, this feels like a constructed world, like Saved by the Bell rather than Freaks &Geeks, which felt reported. It knows it’s a TV show, but it’s using that world to tell a different kind of story than this kind of show would traditionally tell.
posted by rikschell at 5:23 AM on February 24, 2018

Also, I cannot believe there were that many black kids at Boring HS in 1996.

I'm almost done with the first season and I think we've seen 3 so far?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:42 AM on February 24, 2018

I don't think Boring has a high school. Kids there probably go to Gresham or something.

I quite enjoyed this show. It wasn't groundbreaking and I agree it didn't really evoke the 90s (except the soundtrack and Emaline -- the bindi, twisting her hair into little knots on her head, the thrift-store dresses; she gave me flashbacks to the cool girls at my high school) but it was sweet and a fun watch for a weekend.

I have a feeling there's going to be a glut of high school shows set in slightly earlier eras just because teenage life has changed so much so quickly, and most adults don't know how to tell stories in that world. Today's kids seem to live 85% of their social lives online and it's a pretty profound shift.
posted by retrograde at 9:39 PM on February 24, 2018

This was fun. I started the first episode and stopped when Luke hit on Kate, because it was irritating. After reading a few comments here I decided to go back to it and I’m glad I did. My tween daughter watched with me and she loved it. I was in my 20s in the 90s, but that was the “lesbian chic” era so it seemed fitting to have that as a back story. I pierced my nose and shaved my head right around that time period, largely because my first girlfriend had done the same thing :/

While I wouldn’t claim the show is entirely true to the era there were some fun details. I had to explain what a pager was to my kid and she was legitimately horrified at the early web dial up and page loading. And I never get tired of watching shows with my kids that have queer love interests that are just fun parts of the larger narrative. My daughter is now very frustrated that she’ll have to wait a year for season 2.
posted by Cuke at 7:33 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I liked that it gave a satisfying ending with most of the characters mostly happy. The last scene though, I guess they had to follow through on the title.

That said, it's hard to see how they'll pay it off if there's a season 2. With young actors, they'll have to have a time jump, which means the confrontation with Luke's dad will be in the past and there will be a new normal. And if they want to follow through on the plot "Kate can't figure out how to tell her dad she's a lesbian" that will have to get put off through the time jump, too. Which seems unrealistic considering how close she just got, and how quickly she told Luke.

That was my favorite thing in the show, to have Kate tell Luke in, what, episode 2 or 3?! I was sure they'd drag it out through the whole season, but it turned out to be about something different and better. So here's hoping season 2 can subvert my expectations again.
posted by rikschell at 2:54 PM on February 27, 2018

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