The End of the F***ing World is Netflix’s first talked-about series other than Devilman: Crybaby to grace the month of January. If you have watched the trailer you would know this show has a crazy premise: a potential teenage murderer decides he wants his first victim to be a girl who has shown affection towards him. The trailer is insane and having finished the whole series, I can confirm this show goes to some crazy places.
This show is quite special because the trailers trick you into believing the show will focus on James (Alex Lawther) but we are given a dual perspective between him and Alyssa (Jessica Barden). This is the show’s first positive as each character narrates what is happening, and it is quite entertaining to watch.
The show is actually more tamed than the trailers give off, and the first few episodes might be the craziest when it comes to action, with the rest being more subdued. This isn’t the most negative point because a lot of shows tend to move too fast, and fail to give arcs time to breathe.
The End of the F***ing World is quite amazing because it is more than just a Bonnie & Clyde story. It is a coming of age story that also deals with tough subjects that most modern teens are familiar with. Just to give a sample, we are shown daddy issues, mommy issues, sexual abuse, and more. The way the story natural evolves past the premise of James killing Alyssa is handled well; you actually start to feel for both of these social rejects.
Before I move on to the negative, let’s talk about the marvelous cinematography. The show takes full advantage of the character’s road tripping across England to produce some amazing imagery. Even when they aren’t exploring landscapes, the close-up shots and close detail to scenery is something that will be noted by most. Everything about the show production wise is top notch, and along with the length makes The End of the F***ing World feel like a movie instead of a show.
What makes this show just a solid watch, and not groundbreaking is that some of the best stuff happens in the first few episodes. Afterwards, we are just left James and Alyssa being awkward teenagers narrating stuff they don’t quite understand. I appreciate the show taking time to flesh out our two central characters; I just wish it was more exciting to watch. Luckily the show is only eight episodes, each 22 minutes long.
Another thing that brings this show down for me is the resolution. The show ends on a cliffhanger, which is big enough to warrant the complaint. Since the director and creator intended for this be a one-off, the chance of us getting a sequel–and therefore resolution to the cliffhanger–is slim. I like that the ending leaves room for interpretation of what happens, but it is too bad the show leaves enough room for an elephant to fit through. For those looking for something to binge or talk about with friends, this is the show to watch. There is enough twist and plot development to get you invested, plus you can finish the show in one sitting. For those looking for the next groundbreaking Netflix original, or something that will be nominated, you are out of luck.