Roush Review: ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’ in an Edgy Family Comedy
Those who are easily shocked may not be OK with Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, a wildly offbeat, genuinely original and remarkably frank family comedy for the Euphoria generation. While it tackles formerly third-rail topics like cancer, death, autism, menstruation, gay sex, teenage sexuality and drugs in its first few episodes—the show launches with back-to-back episodes in a 90-minute premiere—it all somehow never feels heavy-handed.
Credit for that goes to the giddy, goofily impish auteur Josh Thomas, whose acclaimed cult comedy Please Like Me is currently streaming all four seasons on Hulu. He created, writes and blissfully stars in Okay as Nicholas, a gay Australian free spirit and entomology buff (watch out for spiders!) whose trip to America to see his dad—unbeknownst to him, dying of cancer—takes an unexpected turn: This “man-sized baby” (dad’s words) suddenly becomes guardian of his teenage half sisters, and it’s not always clear just who’s the adult in the house.
Matilda (neurodiverse charmer Kayla Cromer) is autistic, bright and sexually curious; Genevieve (Maeve Press, a pint-size Sarah Silverman in the making) is self-consciously, heartbreakingly awkward. Reeling from loss, these siblings are all about the growing pains, especially Nicholas, who’s forced to deal with adult responsibilities when all he wants to do is make out with his hot new boyfriend, Alex (Adam Faison).
Silly, sweet, poignant and unapologetic in its saucy sex-positive attitudes, Okay is the second terrific Freeform series in as many weeks (joining the reimagined Party of Five as an early 2020 standout). Nicholas is a beyond-unconventional sitcom hero, who in even the heavier scenes—as when he tries to help Matilda sort out the tricky complications from her first sexual experience—tends to undercut his panic with nervous giggles.
You may laugh, cry or even gasp, but with this show, it’s never OK to be neutral.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Series Premiere, Thursday, January 16, 8:30/7:30c, Freeform