The show starring Sophie Wilde explores one queer teen’s recovery from an eating disorder
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY NETFLIX
*Trigger Warning: This review will discuss eating disorders*
I was a queer teenager growing up in the 2010s. We lived off Channel 4 shows like Skins, asking your crush questions on ASKfm, and sneaking into parks at night time with bottles of Echo Falls. I lived on queer content from shows in different languages like the Norwegian cult classic Skam. I begged my mum for Topshop skinny jeans, tie-dyed sweatshirts, and strangely anything with a moustache print on it. (It was a dark time for fashion).
I’ve never felt like I truly saw this teenagehood expressed in queer teen dramas. Heartstopper made me weep for the experiences my baby queer self never got. Sex Education got me questioning whether anyone actually wears Letterman jackets in the UK (and where all the roadmen were).
So when Netflix released the trailer for their new sapphic show Everything Now, I prayed and manifested to the queer gods above for something that I could relate to. And they delivered.
Everything Now follows the story of Mia (Sophie Wilde) who has just been discharged from hospital after battling her eating disorder. The eight-episode series follows her life as she returns to sixth form and tries to catch up on everything that she’s missed. Suddenly all her friends are having sex, drinking, and smoking weed. She feels like she has been left behind. To fix this, she makes a bucket list of all the teenage canon events she wants to complete.
Written by Ripley Parker, the series was a masterpiece. Not only is it jam-packed with fantastic performances from literally every single character, but the storylines all felt so real they could have been people I knew from school. From a pair of friends navigating a complicated situationship to crushing on someone you can’t have, it handled the complexity of being a teenager with all the care and precision they needed to.
So often we’ve seen triggering and graphic depictions of eating disorders in films like 2019 To The Bone. Everything Now focuses on the human sides of Mia’s eating disorder, exploring her recovery as something which isn’t linear and certainly isn’t easy. Mia is complicated. She is a flawed character. Sophie Wilde’s deeply honest and raw portrayal is one of the shining wins of this series.
While a large number of the characters in Everything Now are canonically queer, there was something so refreshing about it not defining their characters. While having visible coming-out scenes is so important for representation, it was also nice to see queer characters just existing. Storylines like Theo’s (Robert Akodoto) fear of intimacy felt so deeply human. Sometimes it can feel like dramas about queer teens are too sanitised and sexless. Hearing him panic about anal sex felt like a watershed moment in the genre.
The reality is that Mia’s story didn’t feel unfamiliar to me. I grew up in the thigh gap generation where people were actively preaching about how “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Before we had body positivity influencers, we had people on Tumblr promoting their eating disorders. The sensitivity, the humanness, and the authenticity of Everything Now is its true power.
Everything Now is not afraid to confront the uncomfortable truths of teenagehood. It refuses to push its characters into tiny stereotypical boxes. It feels like it has been around since I was 17. (I’m glad they dressed the characters a bit better than my own teenage wardrobe though…)
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