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The Mother-Daughter Relationship in ‘I Am Not Okay With This’

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While I Am Not Okay With This is a superhero story, it explores many interesting aspects of life. On one hand, it explores different dimensions of friendship, on the other, the show digs deeper into the mother-daughter relationship.

On the surface, I Am Not Okay With This is a coming-of-age superhero story, but it has many layers to it

While dealing with her dad’s death, high school problems, her best friend’s new relationship and her own sexuality, Sydney Novak discovers superpowers. While it might be an amazing discovery for anyone, Sydney does not feel good about it. On top of that, her superpowers consists of destroying things when she gets angry. As a teenager who is dealing with a lot of trauma, she is not able to control her anger. And then there’s her mom who has shut herself up and is not communicating with Sydney. This is the complicated plot of I Am Not Okay With This.

Not only is the show about superpowers, but it also has a complicated mother-daughter relationship at the heart of it

When a child loses a loved one, parents are supposed to console them. However, that is not the case with the mother-daughter duo in I Am Not Okay With This. In the show, Sydney tries to communicate with her mom and get some kind of support from her. However, Maggie Novak seems to be in denial and bottling up her grief. In order to keep a strong face in front of her daughter, she busies herself with work. Not only that, many times she seems to be harsh with Sydney without any reason. This puts more strain on their relationship in I Am Not Okay With This.

While explaining the dynamic between the two, Kathleen Rose explains her favorite scene

In one of the scenes, Sydney tries to talk to her mom and open up. While talking about it, Kathleen Rose says:

She says “Sometimes I feel like the people I love don’t love me back.” And Maggie, which I think was my favorite line, and I know it’s a terrible thing to say to a young person but she says “Sometimes maybe you’re aiming too high, hun.” It’s just a brutal line. And I think that encapsulates the majority of their relationship through the course of the first season that she basically just doesn’t want to engage with her daughter, but also she wants to instruct her daughter to lower her standards.

However, she thinks that is Maggie’s way of telling herself to lower her expectations and just get by. Furthermore, she says:

That’s just terrible advice. But a lot of adults do that, especially when they’re dealing with their own stuff. So I thought that was quite interesting and that’s the reason why I really wanted to play the part because it’s just something you hadn’t seen in an adult before and a young adult type of a show. You haven’t seen the adult not wanting to engage with the child.

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This kid. @sophialillis @iamnotokaywiththis

A post shared by Kathleen Rose Perkins (@kathleenroseperkins) on

While that is her point of view, I think many times Maggie expects Sydney to take her role as well. She constantly tells her to do the groceries, look after her brother and the house, while she is at work. I think it is a bit unfair of her to put so much on her daughter. In this regard, we would love to see her side of the story in the next season.

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