Is Boring, Oregon A Real Town? 'Everything Sucks!' Had A Genuine Inspiration
Netflix's newest show, Everything Sucks!, is a nostalgic nod to growing up as a teen in the 1990s, complete with slow dial-up internet, plenty of Alanis Morissette-related debates, and wide assortments of interesting denim get-ups. The show takes place in the town of Boring, Oregon, a name that the angsty teens who live there find appropriate. It's certainly an interesting name, but is Boring, Oregon, a real town?
There is, in fact, a town called Boring that exists about 40 minutes east of Portland. Its website says it was established in 1903 and remains a hub of business to this day. According to an article from the Oregonian, locals to the region are likely to recognize some spots in scenes from Everything Sucks!, as the production filmed in the Portland area. But even though the town is real, you don't have to be from the area to enjoy the atmosphere of the show. It seems even from promos that Everything Sucks! retains a lot of the Pacific Northwest's charm, which viewers of everything from Grey's Anatomy to Portlandia will be familiar with, even if they've never actually visited. That familiarity adds to the nostalgic, relatable tone that Everything Sucks! seems to strike.
Even though the majority of the show's viewers likely haven't visited Boring or its surrounding towns where the show filmed, the idea of a small town that's unstimulating for the misfit teens who inhabit it is definitely something that will resonate with a wide audience. And, those who weren't necessarily teenagers in the '90s will also likely still see some of their adolescence within Everything Sucks! as well.
"I think the stories and the characters are characters you can find in today’s world, so everything that they’re going through, everything they went through, are things that kids are going through right now, [that] adults have gone through," star Sydney Sweeney, who plays Emaline, said at a Netflix press event. "I don’t think the time period was a construct for the characters," actor Peyton Kennedy, who plays Kate, added. "I think the characters could be found no matter what time period it is, and the ‘90s are just a backdrop."
In an interview with Variety, the show's co-creator Ben York Jones said that the setting was ultimately just the vessel in which to tell the stories they wanted to tell. "The '90s aspect is surface. It’s music, Tamagotchis, it’s snap bracelets, yes, but ultimately the show is about our characters and their interpersonal relationships," he said. "Human emotions haven’t changed over time, emotions are the same."
The time period is significant in some ways, though — it coincides with the span of years in which Jones and co-creator Michael Mohan were actually in high school, which made them feel like it was the most genuine setting in which to authentically explore the characters' experiences. “We come from the world of independent film, and everything we do, we try to make it as honest as possible," he said in the same Variety interview. "If we’re going to make a show about high school, we wanted to set it in the time we were in high school, which was the '90s. We knew we could make it the most honest show possible.”
The fact that Boring is a real town, paired with the knowledge the show's creators bring to the table from actually going to high school during the show's time period, will likely come together to root this show in a nostalgic reality, allowing us all to relive our awkward, confusing, wonderful high school years in a poignant and sentimental way.