When I clicked on the first episode of Netflix’s new original series, Everything Sucks, I had low expectations. The first few minutes had me thinking that the entire show would follow the lives of three boys as they navigated their first year of high school and dealt with dating and being uncool– the usual teen comedy stuff.
Enter, Kate Messner (played by Peyton Kennedy)
We first see her in AV club. She is behind the camera, filming the morning announcements. Luke (one of the leads) asks her to come over to his house after school, so he can help her fix her lens. He gets so excited when she agrees, that I genuinely feel sorry for him. Maybe it’s her outfit, maybe it’s her demeanor, maybe it’s something else, but I know from the first scene that she appears in that she is definitely not into boys.
One of the things that this show gets right is the way that they handle Kate’s coming out process. All of it feels so real. At first, she gets teased for being a “dyke” before she has even had her first kiss. A well-meaning person asks her if she is a “homo” and then offers to pray for her. These things make her go into denial. In a later episode, she goes to a Tori Amos concert, and sees a lesbian couple being affectionate in the crowd. That’s when she realizes that she’s not a freak and she doesn’t need to pretend to like boys in order to be happy. Her life gets even better as the show progresses. There’s no way to write about it without spoiling what should come as a sweet surprise when you watch the show. Just know that Kate ends up happy. A lesbian character on a teen show, ends up happy!