Netflix has a new period-piece show from creators Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan about dorks in the ‘90s, and it’s premiering on February 16th. Naturally, Everything Sucks! is already drawing comparisons to Stranger Things, because… ?? I guess because it also revolves around a group dynamic of geeky outsider kids who find girls scary, but are obsessed with the one who’s willing to talk to them. So far no one seems to have supernatural powers or even nosebleeds, but I’m a wait-and-see kind of woman.
Just kidding, my dudes, because everything about this show makes me wonder why we need yet another nostalgia-bait teen drama about the ‘90s when we already have perfect shows like My So-Called Life or Dawson’s Creek to reflect on fondly. Everything Sucks! follows “high school misfits” in the A/V club during 1996, aka “the VHS era,” in a town called “Boring.” Hm.
Even within the general constraints of “high school romp,” who’s going to watch this show, when it means looking away from any of today’s far more outrageous options? When a network show like Riverdale is birthing memes left and right, or earnestly walking through plotlines about a street drug called Jingle Jangle, ‘90s nostalgia feels quaint in a laughable way. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a few suggestions for the show’s creators to take into consideration. I humbly propose that incorporating any single one of these ideas would spice up an otherwise mediocre and incredibly familiar premise, but feel free to mix ’n’ match. Overindulgence is the spice of life, or however that saying goes:
Ways to improve Everything Sucks!, based on this trailer:
- Play off of beloved genre or TV show, instead of just the general concept of “‘90s irony and angst.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Wonder Years. Charmed, but if everyone was a high school nerd in A/V club.
- Find a way to incorporate at least one beloved ‘90s icon, who is then allowed to use their patented catchphrase at least once while looking knowingly into the camera.
- A spooky mystery, possibly involving murder.
- A love quadrangle, because love triangles are passé.
- One of the characters is secretly a ghost.
- One of the characters is secretly a ghost who develops a drug habit they have to kick.
- Gritty, perhaps even haunting, covers of famous ‘90s songs.
- Extramarital affairs.
- At least one character is eaten by a monster of the creators’ choosing, be it hell monster, mythical monster, or something completely original.
- More attractive people taking off their shirts.
- Lamenting the slow internet of the ‘90s, one character devises a plan to enhance their connection that goes terribly wrong and teleports them into the body of the infamous dancing baby for an entire season.
- The town’s adults are actually part of a cult that the teenage heroes must thwart.
I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about the possibilities. Netflix, I’m available to consult on any of your projects! My email is under my profile, and my DMs are open for you.