Netflix has taken it upon themselves to start automatically playing the trailers of featured shows and movies once you open up the app or go to the website. Oh, you weren’t interested in Grace and Frankie? Well guess what, sucker! They don’t give a damn. Next thing you know the first episode has started playing and then oops! You just finished a show you had no intention of starting.
This is how I stumbled upon The End of the F***ing World. Now, before we get started with this review there are a few things that you, the reader, should know.
Firstly, the show, based on a comic book series by Charles Forsman, is only 8 painlessly short episodes. The twenty minute installations just beg to be binged.
Secondly, if you know me at all, you know that I was basically guaranteed to like this show. After convincing a friend to give it a try, I promptly received this text which felt like a compliment but probably shouldn’t:
Yeah, I studied abroad in London for a semester 4 years ago, and no, I won’t let you forget it.
Now to the good stuff.
The show follows self-diagnosed psychopath James as he navigates the stereotypical hell that is existing as a weird and awkward teenager with a traumatic childhood. James, who has formed a morbid obsession with death (naturally), has decided to level up from killing animals to humans. He decides that fellow outcast, middle-finger-in-the-air Alyssa might be an interesting first victim. Alyssa, desperate to escape her sleazy step dad and idle mother, gladly welcomes seemingly innocent and awkward James as a distraction and means of transportation.
What started out as a relationship of mutual convenience quickly develops into one of true camaraderie as the two embark on a quest that leaves the audience highly invested in the two anti-heroes. A crime here and there, a murder sprinkled in, a bit of self discovery and a whole lot of teen angst make for an entertaining and easy to watch show from start to finish.
Not only is the storyline a dark and unique play on the clichéd coming of age story, but it’s also hard not to get swept up in the outstanding performance from the two leads (Jessica Barden, I’m looking at you), and the colorful stylistic elements of the show. The voiceovers provided throughout the series really give the audience a look at the vulnerable state the character’s are simultaneously experiencing regardless of the hard and confident exterior they both share.
The End of the F***ing World has mastered the portrayal of an inarguably dysfunctional and yet pure kind of love. A dark drama and somehow also a heartwarming comedy, this one’s worth checking out.
“I’ve just turned 18. And I think I understand… what people mean to each other.”