Weekly Review: The End of the F***ing World (season 1)

A rebellious teenager pairs with a self diagnosed psychopath to venture on an increasingly violent road trip and find her estranged father. While the rebel just wants to get away, she has no idea that her partner has other plans, and those plans are to kill her.

The End of the F***ing World is a British dark comedy series based off of a series of comics of the same name by Charles S. Forsman. The season first aired on Channel 4 and All 4 in the United Kingdom before being exclusively released to Netflix.

The series stars Jessica Barden (Hanna, Mindhorn) as Alyssa, the young rebel with a crappy home life who just wants to break away, and Alex Lawther (Black Mirror, The Imitation Game) as James, the teenager who believes he may be a psychopath. The show mainly focuses on these two characters, while often checking back in on their families and the detectives who are looking for them.

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I first saw the trailer for this series while in a theater to see another movie. At the time, I wasn’t really interested in it. The End of the F***ing World just seemed like one of those shows that was going to try to be trendy by swearing. Now, I’m not a prude by any means. I enjoy a good F Bomb now and again. I’m just not a fan of them being thrown around haphazardly, and when a lot of people are writing swearing teenagers, that’s pretty much what ends up happening.

For this reason, the first few episodes of this show were pretty painful for me. Swear words are all over the place, and it’s not just the F Bomb. If you’re sensitive to that kind of language, then you might want to skip the show. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the monotone performances from both of the leads. I’ve seen a lot of people applauding them for it, but I just wasn’t digging it.

Each episode is less than 30 minutes long, and this definitely helps make the show more digestible. If the episodes were a full hour, I think I would have been burned out very early on. There are only 8 episodes, and with their short length, it’s very easy to binge.

As the series progresses, I found that it becomes easier to watch. As the plot starts to unfold, it provides a lot more story to carry you along. I found there was more feeling to the performances as the series progressed. It still wasn’t my particular cup of tea, but it got better for me.

There are a lot of interesting things about the show. This became apparent to me when I tried explaining the plot to another person who hadn’t watched it. It approaches the topic of sexual consent on many occasions, which I liked seeing. I’m not a huge fan of coming of age stories, but there are a lot of points in this show that I really liked.

I was a fan of the dark comedy. It has the dead pan affect to it. A lot of the comedic delivery is given through voiceover. Some of the other comedy comes from dropping something shocking and viewing it as if it weren’t shocking. It’s a bit difficult to describe.

Overall, I think the biggest thing I like about The End of the F***ing World is how they ended it. The season ends in such a bittersweet way. After the events that these two teenagers have been through, it makes sense. It’s fitting. If they ended the show all together at this point, I would say it’s quite beautiful, to be honest.

As we’ve seen with another Netflix series, however, a perfect ending to a first season does not mean that a possibly ruinous second season isn’t right around the corner. There is already talk of a follow up to the first season of The End of the F***ing World. I will say right now that I do not agree with that from a writing and cinematic standpoint.

The first season of this show seems to have been a hit though, so a second season will probably happen. I don’t know exactly what direction they’ll take. I don’t know if it’ll be any good. It will most likely happen though.

The End of the F***ing World is definitely not a show for everyone. Even after watching it, I’m still on the fence. Luckily, if you want to give it a try, it’s short enough to not take up much more time than a modern blockbuster. It ended up being much better than I originally thought it was going to be. It definitely has its moments.

Check out the trailer for season 1 of The End of the F***ing World below!


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