Netflix’s Everything Sucks reminds us of being gay in ’90s
Netflix keeps coming up with new stuff to watch, and one of the new series out that we’re currently checking out is the retrospective look of high school life circa 1990s, Everything Sucks.
Specifically, one of the stars of this coming-of-age series is 14-year old Peyton Kennedy, who plays Kate Messner, high school sophomore, principal’s daughter, and lesbian.
Kate comes to term with her own sexuality during the series– and also discovers love with another girl.
(Now, if you know how Netflix works, you can binge-watch the episodes and back. So here’s a warning: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.)
Everything Sucks, the TV series
Everything Sucks is set in the real-life town of Boring, Oregon during the 1990s. And because of the period, we get a whole lot of 1990s references.
These include 1990s’ artists like Spin Doctors, Oasis, Alanis Morisette, Blues Traveler, Tori Amos, Gin Blossoms, Weezer, and Deep Blue Something, to references to Zima, Fruitopia, and Jim Carrey.
However, what makes Everything Sucks different is that instead of the usual white cast, we have two minority characters as the major leads: Kate and a black kid named Luke O’Neil, played by Jahi Di’Allo Winston.
In this series, which was created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan, both characters Kate and Luke are also raised by single parents.
While Luke develops a crush on Peyton, this ain’t your regular coming-of-age story as Peyton has her own heart.
Everything Sucks, except first love
During the series, Kate gets to meet Emaline, played by Sydney Sweeney, who goes from picking on Kate to returning her affection.
Kennedy knows that despite being set in the 1990s, having Kate as a lesbian would make this story timeless for many teens who are also undergoing the same experience.
“I think her coming-out story is a beautiful story, and it was a beautiful story that I was able to tell,” Kennedy said in an interview with TV Guide.
“And I think that [way] because so many people are able to relate to it and it’s still something that’s going on now. And there’s still more acceptance that we can accomplish, it was really important for me to be able to tell that story,” she said.
Noting the differences in character between Kate and Emaline, Sweeney said: “I think it’s a beautiful thing to see two people bond that are the complete opposite. Kate teaches Emaline what love is.”
Everything Sucks, especially discrimination
Kate and Emaline also experience problems faced by kids who want to be true to themselves in the ’90s– which while having improved now, is still a problem facing kids today.
Kate first realizes her feelings about herself when she sees two girls making out during a Tori Amos concert.
“I think it’s more accepted now, you know, coming out, but there’s still stigma around it and then there are still people saying it’s a trend or people are faking it, or it’s just a phase, which is a terrible thing,” Kennedy said.
She added: “It’s not the exact same thing as not acceptance as it was back then, it’s still– we can still improve.”
Check out the trailer of the series below and tell us what you think. Is this something you went through back in the day?