Sweet, sensitive, funny, and authentic, this series will worm its way into the hearts of viewers whether they're currently dealing with high school angst or just remember it well. Like other well-loved teen dramedies, Everything Sucks! scores by giving every character humanity. We expect that Luke and his friends will be the center of the action and our sympathies, much like Bill, Sam, and Neal were one of the geeky hearts on Freaks and Geeks, and Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas anchor Stranger Things. What other, lesser shows get wrong, Everything Sucks! gets right: Parents are also shown as whole people with inner lives and feelings, and the characters who come off at first as tough bullies are only acting tough because they're so vulnerable inside.
Everything Sucks! also has a secret weapon in Kate, sensitively and compellingly played by Peyton Kennedy. As a young woman with more to worry about than what's for school lunch, she's mercurial and yearning and real in a way female characters seldom are. Viewers old enough to remember My So-Called Life will immediately recall the mesmerizing Angela Chase, and how she conveyed her complicated feelings with pained gazes and meaningful pauses. Kennedy has the same appeal, and will reach other teens struggling to make sense of their feelings. So despite the could-be-ironic 1990s trappings -- there are slap bracelets and hacky sacks and scrunchies galore -- Everything Sucks! is deeply unironic, and moving, sweet, and funny, destined to take its place in the pantheon of high school classics.