Boring, Oregon – the town in which I live and the location in which a new Netflix series, “Everything Sucks!” takes place. Set in 1996, this series explores sexuality and nontraditional family structures, and debunks many stereotypes and social norms while being centered around the lives of students at Boring High School.
As any resident of Boring would know, Boring High School does not exist. For the most part, your options may be Sam Barlow or Sandy.
When I saw the trailer (which everyone who knows where I live told me to watch), and I realized the high school would be fictional and that filming took place in Oregon City, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed and wonder what else would be inaccurate.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it wasn’t so much the location that matters for “Everything” as it is the people who live there. Though I would’ve loved to see scenes actually filmed in Boring, the plot of this show is too good for me to care much in the end.
In the beginning, we’re introduced to freshman Luke O’Neil and his friends McQuaid and Tyler who all decide to join A/V club. Another member of the club, who also happens to be the principal’s daughter, Kate Messner, leaves O’Neil lovestruck, but it’s not long before we realize Messner may have absolutely no interest in O’Neil because she has little to no interest in boys. Instead, she has her eyes on Emaline Addario, a dramatic star of the theater club.
While it’s the relationships and love triangles that reel viewers in, it is really the underlying, more-complex issues that keep everyone watching. O’Neil has a single mother who isn’t around often, and he doesn’t know much about his dad aside from the documentary style videotapes he finds of him. On the other hand, Messner has a single, widowed father who ends up taking a liking for O’Neil’s mother the two have a meeting in the principal’s office.
Throughout the show, the A/V club works on creating a film after the school’s scheduled play is cancelled, and all of the drama unfolds around it. We see a lot of growth in Messner as she learns more about herself and her sexuality, and also get to watch Ms. O’Neil and Mr. Messner learn how to love again as they fool around as if they also were high school students, as well.
“Everything Sucks!” deals with topical issues in an appropriate way, given the setting and how LGBTQ folks were treated at that point in the ’90s. Although sexuality is an important piece of this show, it’s not the only takeaway, and there’s definitely a character that each and every viewer can identify with.
It’s not perfect, as it is in its first season. But, if you’re like me and enjoy simple, touching shows, then it’ll be hard to find too many negative things to say. Maybe some parts seem unrealistic, but if you’re a daydreamer and get swept up in the world of the show, then you’ll forget it even matters.
Though I felt mostly compelled to watch in order to understand future references people will make when I tell them where I’m from, it ended up being a heartwarming and captivating show and I loved watching it. Boring, honestly, is quite boring – although beautiful in real life, and “Everything Sucks!” is a great reminder that it’s the people who live here who give the town its life.
I highly recommend everyone check out this show because the more people who watch it, the more likely it will be renewed for another season.