Everything Now is a new comedy-drama series on Netflix that tries to stick out from the numerous teen shows on the streaming platform but seems to lose its footing by the end. The show follows a teenager named Mia Polanco, who recently came out of a long hospital stay due to her eating disorder and now wishes to make up for the lost time. While the central idea and the message that the series is built on are interesting and praiseworthy, they simply get lost in the silly teenage things that Netflix is perhaps famous for by now. Ultimately, Everything Now might be a good watch if you can sit through eight episodes of everyone kissing everyone and major, stupendous twists with regard to who’s dating whom.
Plot Summary: What is the Series about?
Everything Now begins at a rehab hospital where Mia Polanco is sitting with her father, Rick, answering questions from the man who has treated her for the past many months, Dr. Nell. We are given access to a secret voice inside Mia’s mind from the very start, though, as it becomes clear that the girl is lying to most of the doctor’s queries. Mia has just spent seven long months at the hospital, getting treated for her severe eating disorder, and is now desperate to leave the place. She wants to return to her home and her life, from which she had been suddenly pulled away and is now willing to lie about her condition to be released from the hospital.
Mia does get released, as Dr. Nell deems her fit, and Rick drives his daughter home. We are introduced to the rest of the family, too, as her mother, Viv, and younger brother, Alex, welcome the girl home. The next morning, as she makes her way towards school, we are also introduced to the girl’s close friends, Cam, Becca, and Will, who are all very excited to meet her again. Another girl, Alison, also welcomes Mia back in her strangely straightforward manner, and she also seems to kind of be a part of the group. Sometime later, at a party, Mia sees a new student, Carli, and immediately feels an attraction towards her. But instead of any positive pursuit, Mia makes a mess of herself at the party, driven by her obsession to make up for all the crucial time she had lost, during which all of her friends have had all the teenager experiences. As Mia continues to check through a literal bucket list, though, her eating disorder genuinely keeps peeping back, and she seems vulnerable to breaking down again at any time.
What are the struggles in Mia’s life?
The biggest and most troubling worry in Mia Polanco’s life is definitely her eating disorder, which is rooted in her struggle with body dysmorphia and the subsequent anorexia. Even at this considerably young age, Mia is extremely conscious of her body and fearful of getting fat and being perceived as ugly. She is fixated on the flaws of her appearance and carries a certain belief in her mind that she is going to lose people around her if she does not look a particular way. This had given rise to a terrible anorexic habit in her, which meant that she either did not eat food properly, skipping meals most of the time, or would throw up the food after meals before her body could get nourishment from it. As Mia says at one point in the series, the worst problem she faced was the fear and anxiety that her recently eaten meal would change her body terribly and make her unattractive, which would then make her throw up all the food immediately.
Mia’s parents originally did not have any idea about this struggle of their daughter, and they mostly remained inattentive to what she did with her food. The younger brother Alex had found out about this when he found a garbage bag full of thrown-up food hidden in Mia’s room. But the boy could not tell his parents about it, and he only tried in his own way to stop his sister from the act by going to use the washroom every time after their meal. This obviously did not stop Mia from actively throwing up all her food in garbage bags, and her situation got worse with each passing day. It was her best friend Cam who had decided to act against Mia’s anorexic behavior, since the two had been closest to each other ever since their childhood. Cam revealed everything to Viv and Rick, which led to them putting restrictions on the girl’s activity and movement. Only a short while later, Mia passed out at her home one night, as her body could no longer support her, and it was then that her parents frightenedly got her admitted to the hospital.
At present, Mia is upset with Cam and sees him as a traitor who spilled out her secrets to her parents, which essentially led to all her freedom being taken away. The girl had to spend the last seven months under extreme supervision and a strict diet in the hospital, all of which seemed terrible to her because of her mental illness. Thus, to the teenager, Cam’s betrayal could never be forgiven. It genuinely takes Mia quite a few episodes to realize that her childhood friend had actually saved her life and that he should be thanked and not hated for it.
Upon her return to her usual life, Mia’s biggest complaint is that all her friends have suddenly grown up and have done all the teenage stuff in the last seven months, because of which she is lagging behind all of them. Cam has suddenly become very popular among girls and has even had sex. Similarly, her best friend Becca has also had a similar experience with someone whom she claims to be a stranger she had come across. Will, who is openly gay, says that he has been regularly getting intimate with his boss at the grocery store where he currently works after school hours. It is because of these experiences of her friends that Mia makes a literal bucket list of things she must do at the earliest possible time so that she can get even with her friends. The three friends also agree to help her out once they learn of this list, but none of her attempts actually work for Mia.
Eventually, though, Mia feels let down by her friends as well, as she learns that they have been lying to her. Becca had actually gotten intimate with Cam, and the two had started a relationship behind everyone’s backs. Although Will knew about this, the three had kept it a secret from Mia, possibly feeling that she would not be able to take the news very well. Will had also been lying to all of his friends about his affair with his boss, as nothing like this was actually taking place.
Everything Now also puts focus on these friends as well, as Becca gets pregnant with Cam’s child and then eventually gets support from her mother in dropping the child. She does not say any of this to Cam, though, and instead breaks up with him. Although both start new relationships (Cam’s new girlfriend is notably Mia’s crush, Carli), the boy still remains in love with Becca. Will’s boss learns of the rumors and approaches the boy, but then Will turns him down and instead gets involved with a schoolmate, Theo. But Will also starts to feel claustrophobic in his new relationship, for Theo is always very caring and sensitive and also wants to spend all his time with Will.
Finally, another one of Mia’s struggles is her parents’ relationship, for she sees Viv having an affair with another man. But when she confronts her mother, Mia learns that it was actually Rick who had gotten involved with a different woman, because of which they were in the process of getting a divorce, and Viv was only looking for love in recent times. Alex had known about this, but he had not told Mia about their parents’ divorce, causing the girl to be angry at him as well. It does seem strange that everyone around Mia had decided to keep everything that had happened in the last seven months secret from the girl, and the only explanation might be that everyone deemed her too sensitive and a bit self-obsessed to accept either of these changes.
Differences between the parents leading to issues in their children’s lives are a recurrent theme in Everything Now, as it happens with the other characters as well. Viv and Rick have their own problems, mostly because of how their perspectives on life differ so much, and they are also subconsciously still very riled up about their divorce. In an almost obvious manner, Mia’s issues with body dysmorphia and anorexia are linked to how Viv would put pressure on her appearance and physical attributes when the girl was a child. When Mia’s issues are highlighted, and the parents get involved with her, they fail to support or understand the younger child, Alex. Similarly, Cam is also shown to have similar troubles with his parents, leading to his personal issues as well.
Does Mia succumb to her addiction in the end?
Even though Mia goes through these many changing scenarios throughout this entire time, the one constant that remains is her struggle with dysmorphia. Even though she is always kept under observation at home, Viv fails to give that much attention as she now has to handle both her profession and the house by herself, following Rick’s leaving the home. Mia makes use of this chance, and she keeps throwing up her food and storing it in garbage bags inside her room, as going to the washroom after meals would raise alarms. Eventually, Viv finds out about this, and she confronts Mia. The woman wants to get her daughter admitted to the rehab hospital once again, which would once again take away all her freedom from Mia.
Instead of giving her mother the chance, Mia runs away from her house and meets up with Carli at the grocery store, asking her to go out with her. Carli agrees, and the two girls have fun together, even sharing a kiss. Ultimately, a time comes when Carli wants to have some food, but Mia refuses to eat as her issues catch up with her. The girl leaves Carli and is seen returning to the hospital, where she meets Dr. Nell to have a discussion. At the end of Everything Now, Mia realizes the mistakes she has been making in life, and instead of succumbing to her addiction to throwing up after meals, the girl decides to fight back against the harmful anorexic tendencies that pushed her to these actions.
During one of the check-ups earlier at the hospital, the protagonist learned that a girl named Jenna, whom she had known during her time at the place, had also been released recently. Mia and Jenna were actually roommates at the hospital, and the two girls had become very close friends. Jenna always spoke about how the little things in life, like being able to eat and drink without having any fear or living life normally without any complex anxieties, were the most important and enjoyable aspects of life. Mia now learned that Jenna had actually taken her own life after being released from the hospital, as the girl could not bear with the outside world. Reminded of this during her getaway with Carli, Mia decides to work against her issues and hold on to her dear life.
In Everything Now‘s ending, Mia finally reunites with Viv and Alex, who come to pick her up from the hospital, and she promises to be more resolute in her fight. Mia then also visits Carli at the store and asks her to be her girlfriend, but Carli does not agree to the proposal. She speaks about how both of them would need to understand each other more before taking such a step, as Carli does not simply want to be a fantastical remedy for Mia’s problems, who would magically solve everything only through her presence. The girl knows that such a fix to Mia’s situation is not possible, and so they remain friends as of now. On the other side, Becca seems more accepting of the idea of being with Cam, as she breaks up with her current boyfriend, but she does not know that Cam has recently gotten involved with Alison. Will makes up with Theo, and the two restart their relationship. In the last scene of Everything Now, Mia bites into a sandwich willingly, signifying her attempt to actively resolve the problems in her life.