Netflix has made headlines of late for its forays into big-budget original genre movies, most notably with last December’s critically reviled (but, according to the company, extremely popular) Bright, and then again this past Super Bowl Sunday with the equally maligned The Cloverfield Paradox. Those moves further underline Netflix’s designs to become a movie-industry power player. However, that’s not the streaming service’s only grand ambition—as evidenced by its latest episodic effort.
Looking to entice those who previously binge-watched its Fuller House and 13 Reasons Why, Everything Sucks!, premiering Friday, Feb. 16, is additional proof of Netflix’s aim to be a one-stop entertainment shop for the younger end of the coveted 18-49 demographic.
A teen dramedy cut in a Freaks and Geeks mold, Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan’s series—running ten installments, each approximately twenty minutes long—is a story about boys and girls navigating the ins and outs of high school in a town whose name says everything you need to know about its reputation: Boring, Oregon. Often less laugh-out-loud funny than aw-shucks sweet, the show delivers comedy and pathos of a breezy, easygoing sort. And while it has some blind spots, its action is layered with life lessons that are as resonant as is the show’s nominal calling card—namely, that it’s set in 1996.