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Review: The End of the F***ing World (2017)

If you happen to have about 3 hours to spare and are in the mood for some binge watching, I highly suggest taking a look at The End of the F***ing World on Netflix. The series features 8 episodes clocking in at about 20 minutes a piece, which doesn't sound like much. But. This. Show. Gets. Intense. 

 

 

Based on the graphic novel The End of the Fucking World by Charles S. Forsman, the series follows James (Alex Lawther), a self proclaimed but not-quite psychopath, and his new girlfriend, Alyssa (Jessica Barden), who he is continuously planning to murder. We learn in James’ voice-over that he stuck his hand in boiling water as a child because he wanted to “feel something," and that he slaughters small animals in his spare time. 

 

James sits alone in the school cafeteria one day when he is approached by Alyssa, an angry, rebellious girl from a tumultuous home life that she is trying to escape. Alyssa mistakes James’ indifference for playing hard to get and does not notice his many darkly comedic attempts to kill her during their first couple of dates. Their relationship is odd and intense but strangely endearing, because over the course of the show we see James’ transformation. He slowly begins to care for Alyssa and even seems protective of her, as he reluctantly starts to address a traumatic event of his childhood.

Feeling fed up, the two embark on an unintended crime spree that begins with James punching his dad in the face and stealing his car to run away with Alyssa, evading capture by the never-very-far-behind police and getting into deeper and deeper trouble as their crimes become higher stakes. James' past is revealed as he learns to see life from a new perspective because of Alyssa. The series culminates in an infuriatingly ambiguous, yet tragically beautiful ending (I’m doing my best to avoid spoilers here).

 

The show is gritty, quirky, and irreverent, featuring a soundtrack of oldies that will evoke nostalgia in even the most seasoned hipster. Each episode is so well-paced that you won’t be able to stop watching. It is one of the most convincing teen love stories I have seen in a long time, and with talk of a possible second season in the works, you might as well catch up now.

 

 

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