The End of the F***ing World or the Start of a New Binge
by Alexis Martinez
From “Stranger Things” to “Bojack Horseman” to “Black Mirror,” Netflix knows exactly what we want to binge on. Beyond the brash title, “The End of the F***ing World” is one of the hottest shows streaming on the internet right now. Despite having only eight 22 minute episodes, the show is intensely captivating.
“The End of the F***ing World” is roughly based on the similarly named comic series by Charles Forsman. James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) are the show’s most prominent characters. The title of the show is a good indicator of the show’s harrowing nature. “The End of the F***ing World” is a very dark show because it does much more than trying to get shock value through nasty, graphic scenes. What hits the hardest is the black humour. “I’m James,” a skinny British adolescent kid announces at the beginning of the show. “I’m 17, and I’m pretty sure I’m a psychopath.” The premise is simple. The first half of the show is not frustrating because the characters are unlikable; it is difficult because everything about the plot feels forced. Two messed-up teenagers bond over their frustrated family lives: one is an apparent psychopath ready to progress from murdering animals, and the second suffers from an abusive relationship with her stepfather. James is determined to cold bloodedly kill this temperamental teenage girl. She proposes they run away together, hoping for an adventure away from her home life. James agrees with the intention of finding an opportunity to kill her. They embark on a road trip across England and eventually develop a relationship after a series of mishaps. This is when the show opens up and starts to flow in a more natural manner. It’s fascinating, fresh, and exposes the viewer to the characters’ surprising emotional depths.
This series does contain a lot of vulgar language and dark content. Avoid diving immediately into the show. Because of the show’s grim themes, it is not for everyone. Watching the trailers that are available will give a better picture of what one can expect from the show.
Since its release on Netflix, “The End of the F***ing World” has received critical acclaim. The series currently holds an approval rating of 97% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 30 reviews, and has an average rating of 8.24/10. This is not your typical romantic series; all of its earnest moments illuminating first love, repressed childhood trauma and identity, coupled with the show’s typically British sardonic tone, mask the unshakable reality that these two wayward teens are in deep trouble with the law. Sammi Maria, a Youtube blogger, said the series was “So good, it was like ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ X ‘Pulp Fiction’ X ‘Something Wes Anderson.’” All of this high praise indicates that the hype surrounding “The End F***ing World” will not be dying down anytime soon.