It takes precisely zero seconds for the new Netflix show “Everything Sucks!” to lean into its ’90s soundtrack. The opening horns of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “The Impression That I Get” start up before we even get to see any of the series regulars, much less know them.
That commitment to ubiquitous ’90s classics is probably the reason that it’s almost impossible for any review of “Everything Sucks!” to avoid using the word “nostalgia.” But with a little more screentime under the show’s belt, music actually plays a pivotal role in how the show evolves. One character finds their emotional and romantic awakening in the sounds of Tori Amos, while one particular cassette tape makes a memorable appearance towards the end of the season.
Sure, the series has a few tracks that would get you Alternative Radio Bingo before you watched for even an hour. (For the life of me, I can believe that a show about first-year high school students would use The Verge’s “The Freshmen.” And if they really wanted to use some Spin Doctors, they should have gone for the “Sesame Street” version of “Two Princes.”)
But much like the show overall, the music choices get sharper as the season goes on. The later episodes do have their obvious picks too, but for every “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” there’s a choice Ride or Elastica cut right on its heels.
Out of context, not many of these songs aren’t necessarily big spoilers. So if you’re looking for a primer before diving headfirst into the throwback high school world of Boring, Oregon, here’s an overview of what you should expect to hear.
[Note: Even though a few more songs come up in conversation (or are played/sung by one of the characters), we stuck to recordings that the audience actually hears.]
Picked out any tunes in the background that we may have overlooked? Let us know in the comments. Either way, “Everything Sucks!” Season 1 is now available to stream on Netflix.