Nostalgia-wise, the new Netflix series Everything Sucks! aims to capture for the '90s what Freaks and Geeks did for the '80s, reminding you of My So-Called Life, Singles, and all of your favorite classics from back in the day. One key element of perfecting that vintage vibe is music, and luckily, the Everything Sucks! end credits songs are made up of '90s tracks that perfectly set the scene.
Going in, you know the music is going to be good. There's a Cranberries song in the trailer, and there's already a Spotify playlist for the Everything Sucks! soundtrack featuring some obvious hits, deep cuts, and everything in between. The show takes place in suburban Oregon, and the West Coast setting begets some cooler musical choices — there's more alternative, grunge, and rock hits featured than boy band or pop fare, not that there's anything wrong with the Spice Girls and Celine Dion.
Angsty alt-rock is also perfect for sad teens. “Even though it’s in the ’90s," actor Peyton Kennedy said in an interview with Clevver, "people are still growing up, people have crushes, people are trying to figure out who they are. I really was able to relate to all the characters in the show.” Music is a huge part of that!
“If you look at the pattern of these things there’s a 20-year nostalgia gap,” co-creator Michael Mohan told the New York Post. “For shows like Happy Days or The Wonder Years, there’s a 20-year gap from when they took place and when they aired. [That’s] apparently how much hindsight we need before we can look back on something and define it — so right now, it’s natural that there’s nostalgia for the '90s.”
The music is not only specific to the era, it's specific to the year. “We wanted it to be very specifically 1996,” Mohan says in the same interview. “[That] was a transition year, where grunge was kind of on its way out and [music] was just starting to get into power pop. Oasis’ record [(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?] came out in ’96.”
As for the end credits, here are the '90s songs that cap off each episode — and more ironically than Alannis Morrissete ever imagined, these Everything Sucks! songs do not suck.
Episode 1: "Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasis
Just maybe, you might be more familiar with "Wonderwall," but the '90s Britpop band is essential to any playlist.
Episode 2: "Love Is Everywhere" by Cicero
In the '90s, this Scottish singer/songwriter worked with the Pet Shop Boys.
Episode 3: "Fire Water Burn" by Bloodhound Gang
You've probably been quoting these lyrics without even realizing it.
Episode 4: "Pink Triangle" by Weezer
Weezer is another essential. And of course this show couldn't resist the very on-the-nose lyric, "I'm done she's a lesbian."
Episode 6: "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos
Episode 5 ends with an instrumental score that has a bit of a Billy Joel or Elton John feel, but after that, we get a tune from alt-rock queen Tori Amos, who is main character Kate's favorite singer. As a result, this is far from the only Amos song in the show.
Episode 7: "Sforzando!" by Sebadoh
This jam comes from an indie band that's still making music today.
Episode 10: "In The Meantime" by Spacehog
Episodes 8 and 9 don't end with music, but the season finale brings this in — another English alternative smash.
When it comes to these songs, it's actually more than just nostalgia. Sure, everyone associates a certain feeling and a certain '90s look to Tori Amos and Oasis, and you'll have a lot of "oh yeah, that song" moments when a new track plays, but there's also something genuine about this soundtrack and how it sets the tone. That's fitting, since Everything Sucks! is more than just a '90s nostalgia show — underneath the Weezer songs, there's a whole lot of heart.