Everything Now Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online
What is your most abiding memory of sixth form? Perhaps it’s of that first bitter taste of alcohol, forced down with a grimace as you stand awkwardly at a house party. Maybe it’s of your first kiss, your first butterflies, even your first love. Maybe it’s the taste of something more illicit.
Or perhaps, like for millions of teenagers, it is of one overwhelming, all-consuming feeling – hunger. It is this topic that Everything Now, Netflix’s latest high school comedy-drama (perfectly timed to release within weeks of Sex Education’s finale), takes as its central premise.
The eight-part series follows London teenager Mia Polanco (Sophie Wilde), who returns home after seven months in an eating disorder clinic and is thrust back into the chaotic world of sixth form. “What would you do if, for the last seven months, your life had been made of walls?” Mia asks the audience, in the first of the internal monologues that run throughout the show. “Every morsel you eat had been monitored, every pound of weight chartered?” We first meet her on her final day in the ward, being discharged by the kindly Dr Nell (Stephen Fry) who walks her through her treatment plan. It is raw, vivid and devastating – and far from the typical opener to a teen drama.
While Mia’s best friends Becca (Lauryn Ajufo), Cam (Harry Cadby), and Will (Noah Thomas) are all ecstatic to have her back, she soon realises that they all seem to have grown up very quickly in her absence. When she suggests going to the skate park after school, Will quickly informs her that “no one goes there anymore” – house parties are in vogue now. Drugs and alcohol are a given, and even though the concept of virginity is “just some bullsh*t invention of the patriarchy anyway”, everyone else seems to have conveniently lost theirs in a tent at Reading festival.
So, to make up for lost time, Mia creates an ever-evolving bucket list of teenage experiences (the show was initially given the exceptionally cringey title The F**k it Bucket, good job to whoever vetoed that). She jumps headfirst into the dizzying world of alcohol, dating, and partying, with consequences so disastrously awkward that it is sometimes physically painful to watch. In typical teenage fashion, by the second episode she has already decided she is in love with the uber-cool and enigmatic new girl Carli – and her action plan is to completely overhaul her personality to fit Carli’s mold.
In some ways, Everything Now is guilty of the pitfalls of many other shows of the genre – casting actors who are obviously and jarringly not 16 (Wilde is 26), dressing them in outfits no teenager would ever have the confidence (or money) to wear, and sending them off to house parties which look like they have been scripted by ChatGPT.
But interspersed among the slightly cliched drunk dancing montages and high school friendship dramas is the very real and visceral journey of Mia’s anorexia recovery. Thoughtful and sensitive, there is no romanticisation of weight loss here, a mistake frequently made in TV portrayals of eating disorders (the 2017 drama To The Bone, was slammed for glamourising anorexia and encouraging Lily Collins to lose enough weight to look skeletal).
Rather than a potentially triggering focus on Mia’s body, it is her internal battle and the subtle, everyday burdens of her mental illness that the show’s writers choose to spotlight. The tricks of the dysmorphic brain, the lies Mia tells herself and others, the silent, midnight workouts – here, anorexia is not some “heroin chic” byproduct of an indie sleaze lifestyle, it is laid bare for what it is: a fatal disease.
Everything Now speaks to a very specific experience – a sixth form student coming out of an eating disorder clinic after seven months. But, like all good art, there is a profound universality at its core – that desperate adolescent desire to fit in, to be wanted, to be normal.