Zia Hassan

My Favorite Parts Of Eighth Grade

Spoilers below.

  1. There’s a moment where Kayla is about to walk out into a pool party in her bright green swimsuit. Right as she works up enough courage, she pulls the screen door to the side and it gets stuck, causing her to walk out sideways. Such a real moment. That element of surprise in an already intense moment is something Bo Burnham does exceedingly well.
  2. At one point, Kayla lies to a boy in her class about her oral sex skills, which results in her looking up a tutorial on YouTube, which results in her trying to practice on a banana, and her dad almost catches her. After that, the camera cuts to a scene where she’s googling “things shaped like a banana.” Small moment but absolutely perfect. It captures the ore sexual angst of middle school without oversexualizing it.
  3. She gives up making YouTube videos at one point, claiming to her nearly nonexistent audience that she talks about a lot of things but doesn’t actually do them. We later discover in her 6th grade time capsule that she’d made a video for her future self. And she follows that up with making a video for herself as a high school senior. She discovers what we as the audience kind of knew all along: the videos were for her, and no one else. The videos were her way of processing her own life. And really, doesn’t that describe most YouTubers? Most artists?