Move over 80s, we’ve reached the point where the 90s are becoming the popular nostalgic era. And forget about Stranger Things, the new Netflix hotness is Everything Sucks, an ode to geeks who grew up before the millennium. Landing on Netflix Friday, February 16, Everything Sucks is good binge worthy tv at its best.
Set in 1996 in a town called Boring, Oregon (yes, it is a real place, I checked), the show follows the high school misfits in the AV and drama clubs as they brave the ups and downs of teenage life. I’m assuming the shows title is a reference to the 1996 Descendents album of the same name (it fits with 90s disgruntled grunge, but I don’t recognize their songs).
Channeling pop culture moments from the forgotten decade, Everything Sucks echoes a bit of Freaks & Geeks. If you can watch the trailer and get most of the jokes, the references to Beavis & Butthead, Nirvana, Blind Melon’s No Rain, or recognize the Cranberries, then this show is for you. Just watch the special ‘pop-up video’ trailer — and seriously never mind the jokes inside the pop-ups, if you remember ‘pop-up videos’ then you’re a child of the 90s.
Everything Sucks really appeals to the outcast teens. For everyone who lived through the mid-90s like I did, despite how cool and accepted you were in high school (not me), it was an awkward time I could easily forget, but watch others struggle through it is reassuring. I wasn’t just not out in high school, I was hopelessly clueless that I liked guys, even if I obsessed over a few of them.
The show could have settled on any decade, but the 80s are over done and the 90s haven’t been tapped enough, yet the decade is now far enough away to be nostalgic. Apart from the pop culture references, the show makes fun of the things that became popular later — clue the joke about dialling up the internet to view animated gifs. (clue an animated gif).
Now at the moment, especially with the trailer focused on setting up the premise and love of the love stories (well two, but I’m ignoring the parents), we can’t immediately tell if there will be any gay characters on the show. As I said before, there were gay teens attending high school in the 90s, plenty of which were in the closet, so they’d be there. And it stands to reason those kids would be part of the outcasts, if not in the AV club then definitely in the drama club, I mean HELLO, drama!
Starring some relatively unknown young actors (it worked for Stranger Things), the cast are in three groupings. The AV Club: Jahi Winston (Luke O’Neil, our love-sick video geek), Quinn Liebling as Tyler and Rio Mangini (McQuaid). In the drama club we have Elijah Stevenson (Oliver, sporting the long army jacket with anarchy patches — my vote for the queer student), his gal-pal Sydney Sweeney (Emaline), and Peyton Kennedy (Kate Messner and the object of Luke’s obsession). Finally there are some single parents, Patch Darragh (Kate’s dad and the principal) and Claudine Nako (Luke’s mom).
Tune in this Friday for Netflix’s latest original programme, and considering the lack of decent television to watch this month (thank you sporting events), Netflix has really come to the rescue.