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Series / Everything's Gonna Be Okay

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Everything's Gonna Be Okay is a comedy series created by and starring Josh Thomas (of Please Like Me fame). It aired for two seasons on Freeform from 2020-2021.

When his father announces that he's terminally ill, Nicholas Moss finds himself Promotion to Parent for his two half-sisters, autistic Matilda and temperamental Genevieve. Things are Played for Laughs as Nicholas finds he has to grow up quickly.

This series contains examples of:

  • Affair? Blame the Bastard: When they were younger, Nicholas resented the hell out of Matilda and Genevieve because Matilda's birth caused his dad to move to Los Angeles. For her part, Genevieve resented Nicholas for years because their father doted on him as a compensation for all the time he spent caring for Matilda.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Nicholas regularly uses "babe" as an affectionate towards his sisters. Genevieve later calls Tellulah "babe" while apologizing for getting her in a jam.
  • Bad Bedroom, Bad Life: Matilda's room is a barometer for her current mood. When she's doing okay, it's presentable, but when she gets depressed, it becomes progressively dirtier; at the opening of season 2, when she's mired in depression, it's absolutely disgusting. According to Kayla Cromer, it's a subconscious defense mechanism; the accumulated filth is Matilda's way of telling her siblings to leave her alone when she's unhappy.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Parodied in "Monarch Butterflies", when Matilda lovingly watches Drea sleep... while the latter is wearing heavy earmuffs and sleep mask and breathing through her mouth.
  • Bedmate Reveal: "Blue Death-Feigning Beetles" offers a platonic version, when normally-Hates Being Touched Matilda is discovered cuddled up to Drea.
  • Big Applesauce: In the season one finale, after Matilda is accepted into prestigious Julliard, Nicholas and Genevieve accompany her on a "test-trip" to Manhattan and spend time practicing the subway, navigating the city, and getting hotdogs. It doesn't exactly turn out well.
  • Big Brother Instinct: While he's usually too self-absorbed and incompetent to be of much help to his sisters, Nicholas does love them and tries his best to take care of them.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: In "Blue Death-Feigning Beetles", Alex self-deprecatingly jokes that Nicholas puts up with him mainly because he has a large penis.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Matilda successfully marrying Drea and moving out. Meanwhile, Nicholas rejects Alex's attempts to rekindle their relationship. The last scene shows Nicholas and Genevieve alone in their dad's house, with no idea what to do with themselves now.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: In "Giant Asian Mantises", Genevieve tries to throw herself a "low-key" birthday party, but then Nicholas gets involved and overdoes the decorations, while Tellulah raids Genevieve's dad's medicine cabinet and goads Genevieve and Barb into taking prescription drugs with her... which turns out to be high blood pressure medication. Meanwhile, Genevieve banishes Nicholas, Alex, and Matilda to the guest house, where they decide to get trashed on peach schnapps so that Matilda can experience being "white-girl wasted" before going to college.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: In "Monarch Butterflies", Genevieve's teacher tells Nicholas that Genevieve is actually a smart girl, but she's been blowing off her assignments for months.
  • Butch Lesbian: Lyndsey has short hair and knows how to fence.
  • Camping Episode: In "Regal Jumping Spider", Matilda and Drea spend the night at a cabin, where Drea hopes to prove to her parents that she and Matilda could survive without them hovering around all the time. Naturally, things go wrong.
  • Can Not Tell A Lie: Matilda can't lie, to the point that if she thinks she's accidentally lied about something, she goes into a meltdown. She is, however, capable of withholding the truth.
  • Creator's Culture Carryover: The fact that the show was created by an Australian and is written by Australians, despite being set in California, occasionally bleeds through, most notably in American Suze's enthusiasm for baking Pavlovas and Lamingtons, both of which are distinctly Australian desserts.
  • Cringe Comedy: "Uncomfortable" is the operative word for this show. It's about an emotionally unstable manchild who becomes the legal guardian of his two estranged teenage half-sisters, one of whom is equally as unstable due to her teen angst while the other is dealing with both teen angst and being autistic, all while the guardian is overcompensating for his immaturity and dealing with his own gayngst, both of which rather poorly. And it's all presented in a hyper-realistic tone that it makes The Office look mawkish and sentimental by comparison.
  • Cure Your Gays: In the first episode, as Nicholas and his father try to go over alternative guardians for Matilda and Genevieve, Nicholas dismisses the idea of giving them to a pair of relatives who tried to force him into conversion therapy.
  • Cute Mute: Matilda was apparently mute when she was little. Her dad pushed her to practice speaking and now the tricky part is getting her to shut up.
  • Driven to Suicide: Genevieve apparently tried to kill herself as a kid because Nicholas was so mean to her. Fortunately, her chosen method of suicide didn't work.
    Nick: For some reason, you thought that leaving the heater on in the car was a way to commit suicide.
    Genevieve: It works on dogs!
  • Dropped After the Pilot: In the first episode, there's another girl hanging out with Genevieve, Barb, and Tellulah — named Nikita — who never appeared again afterwards.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Darren slept around, Nicholas and Alex drive each other crazy, Matilda drinks and schedules bi-curious threesomes, and Genevieve writes poems to the family dog and sexts with boys using vagina pictures that she got off of the Internet. To say that the Moss family is dysfunctional might be a bit of an understatement.
  • Early Personality Signs:
    • Nicholas tells a story about how Genevieve once threw a tantrum and tried to kill herself when she was little. Fast forward to the present where Genevieve is still an angry and self-destructive girl, albeit less prone to suicide.
      Genevieve: I don't remember this, but I stand by my tantrum.
    • In season 2, Nicholas starts to realize that he's also autistic, and starts thinking back to some of his past behavior to see where there might have been signs of this that everyone missed.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Luke is horrified when he finds out that his buddy Zane may have taken advantage of Matilda while she was drunk.
  • Extreme Doormat:
    • Alex has a desperate need for everyone to like him. In "Maggots", he spends a whole day stewing in anxiety when Nicholas tells him that there are times when he doesn't love him.
    • On the surface, Drea looks like a doormat, as Matilda openly takes other sexual partners, but it's actually part of an arrangement between the two of them; Drea is asexual, but understands that Matilda is not, and thus allows her to have her trysts as long as Matilda remains transparent about it and uses protection.
  • First Period Panic: Genevieve suffers through her first period in the first episode, made all the worse after Matilda innocently reveals that she's on her first period to her friends, not understanding that it's something that Genevieve would prefer not to reveal.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate:
    • After learning that their dad has cancer, Nicholas, Genevieve, and Matilda cuddle up to him in bed. After his death, Matilda and Genevieve take to sharing his bed, while Nicholas sleeps on a love seat at the foot of the bed.
    • In "Emperor Scorpion", which takes place on the anniversary of Darren's death, Genevieve requests that Matilda stay in her bed, as she doesn't want to be alone that night.
  • Funeral Cut: After Darren reveals to his daughters that he's dying of cancer, the next scene is the three of them cuddled up together in bed. And then the scene after that is Matilda, Genevieve, and Nicholas preparing for his funeral.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • Beneath his immature exterior, Nicholas is actually a fairly knowledgeable entomologist.
    • Matilda is a brilliant pianist and composer... when she's focused. Unfortunately, over the course of the first season, she gets distracted by her pursuit of "real life" experiences and falls behind on practicing.
  • Haplessly Hiding: In the "Maggots" episode, Matilda invites Drea and Jeremy over to her house for an experimental threesome, but Jeremy quickly realizes that he's not really comfortable with any aspect of sex and flees after realizing that Matilda and Drea are going to make out with each other, hiding behind a wall in the hallway. Unfortunately for him, Matilda's big brother Nicholas and his boyfriend Alex are fooling around on the other side of the wall, and don't realize that he can hear them.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Nick tells his sisters they can't wallow in self-pity, even if it's completely justified and their dad literally died recently. They have to be charming or interesting and have something to offer the world, or the world's not going to want anything to do with them.
    Nick: I'm family. You can treat me like trash and I'm gonna turn up. But you're gonna want other people to turn up, right? What I'm worried about it is what you're offering the rest of the world. The world isn't listening, okay? The universe doesn't care about your problems. All people are interested in is what you are offering them. People will tell you to follow your bliss. It's not true. You need to follow their bliss. You need to turn up to the party, you need to bring wine or a mixed drink. Or if you're a child, which you are, you bring, like, a book or a Tamagotchi, bring an anecdote — be interesting. Other people, they're not gonna give you report cards. They're not gonna sequester you on a hike like this and give you feedback. They're just gonna ghost you. If you don't figure out what you have to offer the world and then offer it, you are gonna be poor, you are gonna be alone, and you are gonna be sexually frustrated. I know this isn't, like, an inspiring, uplifting piece of life advice you'll read on a poster with a happy dolphin, but this is capitalism, bitch. What do you bring to the party?
  • Hates Being Touched: Like a lot of autistic people, Matilda does not like giving or receiving hugs. When Nicholas asks for one after their father's funeral, she agrees to dance with him instead. In "Giant Asian Mantises", when Matilda breaks down crying after getting a little too drunk, Nicholas comforts her by sitting next to her on the floor, letting her know that he is there without violating her personal space. In "Maggots", Drea teaches Matilda how to manage her aversion to touch by having a partner squeeze her sides. This allows them to be intimate with each other.
  • Hidden Depths: Genevieve likes writing poetry, but she doesn't really have anyone in her life to share this with.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: In the first episode, Nicolas tells his boyfriend that, until the age of 12, his mother paid him not to leave her.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Matilda and Drea's cabin trip is mostly a disaster, as they don't realize how cold the night gets and are unable to chop any firewood to heat the cabin, and they accidentally leave their food supply outside, causing the meat to reach room temperature and nearly spoil.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after species of Insects e.g 'Harvester Ants', 'Monarch Butterflies' etc.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Matilda being autistic desperately wants to do normal stuff but often lacks the social skills to both achieve and understand them which leads to her jumping headfirst into what the other kids are doing like drinking and having sex. It also leads to her and Drea getting married.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In "West African Giant Black Millipedes", Matilda goes to a party and drinks heavily to try and control her social anxiety. It doesn't end well for her.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Matilda calls Nick's room the "master boudoir," boudoir as in Gratuitous French. It sounds like masturbater.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Matilda often struggles with being appropriate, like when she tells Luke about the time her sister threatened to kill herself, and doesn't understand why he doesn't find it funny. She also rather bluntly rejects Drea's initial promposal because it does not occur to her how much going to the prom together would mean to Drea.
  • It's All About Me: The Mosses being self-involved is a Running Gag.
    • Nicholas tends to make everything about him.
    • Matilda also has this problem, although she at least has an excuse in that she is autistic, and she readily owns up to her self-absorption.
  • Let Me Grow Up, Dammit: In "Harvester Ants", Nicholas and Matilda have a long conversation about whether or not Matilda should be required to keep Nicholas informed about her sex life. Matilda favors being able to have sex without asking permission, whereas Nicholas is squeamish at the idea of his little sister becoming sexually active.
  • Liquid Courage:
    • In "West African Giant Black Millipedes", Matilda gets a bit drunk in order to fight her social anxiety at a party. It backfires badly, as she gets belligerent with Lucas and then does something very, very stupid with Zane.
    • In "Banded Argiope Spider", Genevieve gets drunk in order to steel herself to tell Matilda to call off her plans to propose to Drea, thinking that the alcohol will make her surly enough to withstand Matilda's ensuing meltdown. As with Matilda, it backfires; it turns out that Genevieve is way more cuddly and affectionate when she's drunk, and in her utterly sozzled state, she adores the idea of her big sister getting married.
  • Little Sister Instinct: After finding out what he did to Matilda, Genevieve tries to beat the crap out of Zane. Considering that he's much bigger than her and she's not terribly athletic, she doesn't get very far.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: In the second episode, Nicholas struggles to be intimate with Alex, either because of stress or because he feels guilty about having sex at his dad's house.
  • Love Hurts: In "West African Giant Black Millipedes", Luke rejects Matilda's advances.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Drea is never without her loyal service dog Duke.
  • Marriage of Convenience: Downplayed Trope. Matilda and Drea are fond of each other, but their decision to get married has more to do with wanting to move out of their family homes. They're both autistic and think its unlikely they'll be able to live alone, but relying on each other could give them more freedom than relying on their sometimes overbearing families of origin. Their decision to get married at 18, rather than just be roommates, also has something to do with wanting to subvert the statistic than most autistics don't get married.
    Drea: I wanted to show you that we can live normal lives without grown-ups because together we are grown-ups. Even if we can't be independent alone, I thought maybe we could be independent together.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the first half of "West African Giant Black Millipedes", Nicholas and Alex have some friends over and Nicholas tries to remember how to act like an adult. In the second half, Matilda gets drunk at a party, is rejected by her crush, suffers a meltdown, and loses her virginity to Zane, leading to Genevieve accusing him of raping Matilda.
    • "Jungle Centipede" swings back and forth between farce and tragedy as the Moss family deals with Drea's profoundly quirky parents at the same time that Matilda struggles with the realization that she and Drea are not sexually incompatible.
  • Moving-Away Ending: The show ends with Matilda marrying Drea and moving away, leaving Nicholas and Genevieve as the sole remaining occupants of the Moss household.
  • Moving Beyond Bereavement: In the episode "Emperor Scorpion", the Moss family marks the one-year anniversary of the death of their patriarch, Darren. While younger siblings Matilda and Genevieve have made their peace with the death of their dad, Nicholas struggles to express his grief appropriately, because he has spent years having to pretend that he had no feelings about his father in order to survive living with his mother, who hated Darren. Alex encourages him to start embracing his feelings so that he can start to grieve properly and then move on.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the premiere, when Genevieve gets her first period, which creates problems for her because she told her friends that she already had her first period when she was 12.
  • No Social Skills
    • Matilda is... not great at social situations due to her autism. In the first episode, she has a meltdown after accidentally revealing an embarrassing secret about Genevieve in front of her friends.
    • Nicolas isn't that much better. His very first scene in the show has him sharing Too Much Information about his Hilariously Abusive Childhood with his new boyfriend. While they're making out. Genevieve outright tells him that he gives a bad response when she announces her first period and he immediately responds by asking why it took so long for her to start getting it. Nicholas realizes that he is autistic too.
  • Open-Minded Parent:
    • Darren has no qualms about his son inviting his new boyfriend over for sex. In fact, he's so open about it that he does a 180 and manages to still make it embarrassing for Nicholas.
      Darren: I already know my son does anal sex. Probably terribly.
    • Nicholas himself promised Matilda and Genevieve that he would give them a freer hand than Darren did, but finds this ethos tested when Matilda's love life and Genevieve's friendship with Tellulah and Barb cause their grades to go down.
    • Played with in the case of Suze and Toby, Drea's parents. On the one hand, they are entirely supportive of Drea possibly being a lesbian or bisexual. On the other hand, they heavily regulate her life (somewhat justified, as Drea has a number of health issues), and when Drea goes over to the Moss house to visit Matilda, Suze and Toby insist on sitting out in the driveway and watching.
  • Previously Overlooked Paramour: Drea harbors a crush on classmate Matilda, but Matilda initially brushes her off in favor of Luke. After being rejected by Luke, Matilda decides to settle for Drea so that she won't graduate high school dateless, but ultimately grows to genuinely love Drea.
  • Promoted to Parent: Nicholas becomes Matilda and Genevieve's legal guardian after their dad's death. Alex quickly finds himself roped into co-parenting by virtue of being Nicholas' boyfriend.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Played with. Matilda and Drea conceptualize and describe their relationship in a queer-theory type framework, as befitting their demographic as Gen-Z'ers. Another framework to view it through, however, would be this. They're close. They cuddle and sometimes kiss, but don't have sex. They plan to live their lives together — although they're only 18 when they say this and the adults around them are rather more skeptical this will actually work out.
  • Psychological Projection: Alex goes to visit his newly divorced dad. When he complains about his relationship problems with Nick, and his dad says he should leave and relationships never improve.
  • Questionable Consent: In "Harvester Ants", Matilda is baffled at the debate around how questionable her sex with Zane was. Matilda says it was consensual, she had no issue with it, and openly admits that she strong-armed Zane into it. Her family acts like Zane raped her because Matilda was crying and possibly inebriated enough for her judgement to be compromised. There's also the fact that Zane was a legal adult while Matilda was underage — which is to say, he was 18 and she was 17.
    Nick: Drunk, underage, crying. Also, Matilda has autism. So the optics here, they're not great for Zac.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Nicholas' dad Darren cheated on his mother with Matilda and Genevieve's mom, married the other woman... and then, after her death, had a string of other girlfriends.
    • Matilda seems to have inherited this from her dad, as she has a string of hookups with men.
  • Secretly-Gay Activity: Drea has a crush on classmate Matilda, and thus comes up with every pretense imaginable to get close to her - sleepovers, practice kisses, even at one point convincing Matilda to take a shower at school while she "keeps an eye out" for any peeping toms. Matilda, not being completely oblivious, eventually asks Drea if she'd like to come around to her house to fool around.
    • When Matilda and Drea were briefly broken up in season 2 over perceived Incompatible Orientation, Matilda agreed to let Drea test out her chakra stones on her as an excuse to keep hanging out before admitting that they both still have romantic feelings for each other.
  • Shown Their Work: Matilda and her classmates are autistic. Unlike the vast majority of media portrayals, the series accurately depicts many aspects of their autism. This is aided by the fact that Kayla Cromer, is autistic and the autistic actors were encouraged to incorporate their own experiences into their characters. Matilda struggles to read social cues, such as when someone is being sarcastic or lying. She has a very blunt way of speaking in general, with no filter for her inner thoughts (up to and including sexual topics). She experiences meltdowns in response to embarrassment, pacing back and forth nervously and then fleeing from the room. She is often uncomfortable making casual physical contact with people, particularly people she doesn't know. Matilda was outright non-verbal until she was three years old, and her doctors thought she might never learn to speak. Refusing to accept this, her father devoted a lot of time to giving her therapy. While Matilda might not fully comprehend social cues, she comprehends when she's done something wrong, and is haunted by feelings of inadequacy note . Moreover, she's repeatedly lamented that she knows she's a burden on her loved ones and is ashamed about everything she puts them through. She desperately wants to be "high functioning" and tries to hide her meltdowns from them.
  • Sleep Cute: After Nicholas and Genevieve have an argument about whether or not Matilda could survive in New York City on her own with her various neuroses, they come back into the house to find her cuddled up with Drea, which they thought would be impossible because Matilda is so touch-averse.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jeremy is entirely open about his crush on Matilda, and keeps bothering her about it.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Season 1 ends with Matilda abandoning her plans to go to Juilliard.
    • The first two episodes of season 2 do a further reset, with Matilda realizing that while she has feelings for Drea, those feeling are not sexual, and thus she breaks up with Drea in "Jungle Centipede". This itself gets reset in "Cave Cockroaches", when Drea realizes that her feelings for Matilda were romantic, but she is asexual; Matilda decides that she can work with that and they end up getting back together.
  • Tempting Fate: Throughout "Discoid Cockroaches", Nicholas, Alex, and Genevieve talk about how much easier their lives will be once Matilda is off at college. Naturally, she ends up abandoning those plans and returning to California with Nicholas and Genevieve.
  • Tough Love: In "Monarch Butterflies", after learning that Matilda and Genevieve are both doing poorly in school, Nicholas drags them out on a camping trip in order to force them to discuss their problems.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In "Giant Asian Mantises", Tellulah goads Genevieve into raiding her dad's medicine cabinet and getting high on prescription drugs. Fortunately, Tellulah's not as smart as she thinks she is, and thus she, Genevieve, and Barb end up taking blood-pressure medicine and they all end up faking being high... until Barb fakes having an overdose and Genevieve summons Nicholas to intervene. In "West African Giant Black Millipedes", she also goads Genevieve into picking a fight with Zane, and in "Blue Death-Feigning Beetles", she convinces Genevieve to throw a party while they wait to find out if Matilda got into Juilliard, fully expecting Matilda to be rejected so that they can make fun of her.
  • Transparent Closet: Nicholas was in the closet until he was in his twenties. By the time he came out, his sisters had already long realized that he was gay.
  • Twofer Token Minority:
    • Alex is a gay Black man. As a bonus, season 2 reveals that his dad is both Black and deaf.
    • Matilda's teacher Sam is a Korean-American Butch Lesbian.
    • Alex's friends include Latina lesbian Lyndsey and Black trans woman Rosie.
    • Drea is both autistic and asexual. note 
  • The Unfavorite: Genevieve believes that she is this. Much of her father's attention was taken up with either trying to compensate with Nicholas after leaving him and his mother behind, or helping Matilda, and there just never seemed to be enough time for him to be a dad to her.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Tellulah and Barb's first scene shows them as alpha bitches picking on Genevieve for trying to cover up that she's on her period, but are later shown comforting her when she's hiding in the hallway at school and crying after Darren's death.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: In "Silkmoths", Genevieve gets cranky after Nicholas and Alex drag her along to an outing and lets slip that she thinks Alex tries too hard to get people to like him. Unable to countenance his sister's disapproval, Nicholas dumps Alex... and promptly becomes even less functional than usual. Genevieve finally tells him to just take Alex back, because as much as Alex's people-pleasing annoys her, Nicholas' wallowing in self-pity is worse.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Silkmoths", Matilda calls Genevieve out for badmouthing Alex, because all she's done is give their brother a new reason to wallow in self-pity.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: In the latter half of season 2, Matilda gets it into her head to propose to Drea. Everyone else realizes that letting two unemployed autistic 18-year-olds marry is a terrible idea, but nobody wants to be the one to step in and tell Matilda this. Nicholas tries to suggest that maybe Matilda should wait, but screws it up so badly that Matilda gets upset and he ends up giving her her mother's engagement ring to try and cheer her up, which she mistakes as him giving his permission. Genevieve contemplates putting her foot down, but decides to take some Liquid Courage first and ends up so toasted that she gives her blessing instead. Suze, Drea's mother, refuses to be the one to say no because she knows that Drea would hate her for it. And Toby, Drea's dad, ends up being useless because he adores the prospect of his little girl getting married. By the time Genevieve finally steels herself enough to tell Matilda to call it off, it's the day of the ceremony and Suze is ready to murder them all if they don't go through with it.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The first-season finale sees the Mosses go off to New York City to prepare Matilda for college. Matilda ends up in tears after trying to take the subway on her own and they go home.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Played with. Genevieve makes a YouTube video and runs it by her family for feedback. They all praise it, and it makes her very uncomfortable, so she deletes it.