Netflix’s Everything Sucks! Captures the 90s in All its Flannel, Alt Rock Glory

Netflix recently capitalized on America’s need for more 90s nostalgia in its new original series, Everything Sucks. Taking place in Boring, Oregon (a real-life place, near-ish Portland), the show centers around the teens attending Boring High, as well as the adults working there. It’s a pretty accurate flashback in terms of soundtrack and setting, and especially wardrobe – so much flannel! Buckle up, it’s 1996!

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The characters tend to embody a lot of stereotypes early on: There’s the mean girl who dresses like Gwen Stefani; the drama kid who wears Kurt Cobain sunglasses his grandma gave him; the A/V club kids who don’t expect to meet girls through their hobbies. But, as the show goes on, the characters get more three-dimensional. Naturally I identify most with the queer girl art nerd whose super into Tori Amos, but there are so many great and realistic characters among the teens and parents alike.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Speaking of Amos, the show’s soundtrack is killer: Ranging from The Offspring and Weezer to the Gin Blossoms and New Radicals, it was made for the era of Spotify playlists. The second album by Oasis plays a pivotal role early on, with one character beginning a long tradition of men serenading uninterested women with acoustic guitar renditions of “Wonderwall.”

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The show never, ever wants you to forget it’s happening in the 90s. Characters drop references left and right and break down the lyrics of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” all while reminding us that slang like “all that and a bag of chips” sounds even more silly in 2018 than it did 20 years ago. At some point a character swears to another that one day Jim Carrey will win an Oscar and I had to Google it to see if this was a giant wink to the camera or not. (It wasn’t – he’s never been nominated.)

The show is a slow burn, but it’s a lot of fun. Watch it for the aesthetic, music, and throwback clothing choices if nothing else. Just don’t forget to feed your Tamagotchi!



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