“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” presents the idea FreeForm can still be groundbreaking without necessarily being political.
|Created By||Josh Thomas|
|Directed By||Rebecca Thomas|
|Written By||Josh Thomas|
|Genre(s)||Young Adult, Comedy, Family, Drama, LGBT|
|Introduced This Episode|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay Plot Overview
Nicholas is 25, is an entomologist, and is from Australia. A place his father, Darren, abandoned him and his mother after his sister Matilda was born in America. Following her was Genevieve and ever since Darren hasn’t seemed to have spent much, if any, time in Australia but has tried to have some sort of connection with Nicholas. One close enough where he may have some daddy issues but they aren’t an overbearing part of his person.
But, what matters for the show is that Nicholas, who was just visiting his father and sisters, learns Darren has pancreatic cancer, and Nicholas is on the shortlist of potential guardians. This, despite how sudden the information comes, isn’t an issue for Nicholas despite his life in Australia. Partly because he met this cute guy named Alex, but also because Nicholas has grown to love his sisters and they him.
However, between Genevieve just getting her period, among other teen issues, and Matilda’s high functioning autism, being with his sisters full-time might be more than Nicholas was prepped for.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay Review
How Easily It Switches From Bringing You To Tears To Laughing – 95
It’s strange how a show can go from a dad revealing his cancer diagnosis to his daughters, to a moment that makes you laugh despite the tears in your eyes. I honestly can’t recall another show doing that or, since “Anne With An E” that drew me in so quickly into the strangle world of the characters. Yet, it is in knowing how to balance tragedy with laughter, yet the jokes never feeling like comic relief which is part of the show’s charm. It figures a way to build you up to tears, let them flow, them dab them for you and elevate your mood back to a stable state.
The Way It Handles The Father And His Death – 94
Easily, Darren could be perceived and made out to be a terrible person. He had an international affair, abandoned his oldest child, refused to have a second child with his first wife but did his second, and then has the audacity to bring up the idea of his oldest raising his new set of kids. Yet, Darren is painted as someone you aren’t necessarily supposed to hate – long term. Now, as for how he was as a dad after leaving Nicholas’ mom? Well, it is clear that Nicholas was brought over to America to spend time with him and his sisters, and the kinks of their relationship were worked out. However, it is really amazing how Darren was allowed to be human. Someone who could have been treated as a selfish, and possibly wealthy, man thinking with his genitals, yet instead was not so much given a break but allowed to be multi-dimensional. Even if he may only show up for this one episode.
The Siblings – 89
Each sibling gives you so much that you didn’t know you needed. Nicholas, being unapologetically gay, is probably the most political thing of this whole show. Especially since he is gay and effeminate. Then, moving onto his sisters, you have Matilda, who is another character with high functioning autism on the brink of adulthood and then Genevieve.
To me, Genevieve taps into that hard to balance perception of being a teenager. For Genevieve isn’t necessarily popular, but she has friends. Yet, her friends aren’t the most reliable bunch, before her dad dies, and there is something about her which doesn’t trek into the realm of awkward, yet she isn’t made out to be one of the cool kids or someone who is meant to be seen as a joke.
If anything, while Nicholas and Matilda can be seen as pillars of representation of queer young man and those with autism, Genevieve gets to be the girl who we don’t see enough of. The one who is different, but not some manic pixie girl quirky. Instead, she is normal without normal meaning utterly boring.
On The Fence
It Seems A Little Too Manicured – 75
Perhaps the sole thing you can ding “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” for is none of it feels messy or challenging. Unlike most of its peers on FreeForm, it doesn’t have some soapbox it wants to stand on. It isn’t trying to preach about gay rights or how people with autism can do anything. Instead, it is very slice of life with some comedic elements and dramatic moments. Which, in many ways, is why we praise it.
However, there also comes the need to ask if the point of making it almost middle of the road is so it can be different enough to stand out but safe enough so that it can allow for such characters. Since, the way it is now, it seems what will make or break “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” is a very committed fanbase of the groups it represents. Hence it not venturing to have the appearance of any sort of agenda beyond representation.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay First Impression: Optimistic
I can’t imagine “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” as a huge hit for FreeForm, but I do think similar to “Better Things,” it’ll be appreciated that its aim is to present the kind of drama and laughs that don’t have some underlining message or political motivation. Instead, they just want to show the type of people who don’t often get seen on television, without them being treated as so brave or spectacular due to them not being the norm to those they find themselves surrounded by.
Hence the optimistic impression. “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” taps into what makes FreeForm different, in terms of characters, but doesn’t have the political statement(s) many of its shows have. Thus allowing you to get your sense of diversity and inclusion, without having to feel it is beating a dead horse in terms of any topical issue in modern American society.
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