With such a bold title – asterisks included – The End of the F***ing World masquerades as your typical “edgy” teen show. However, the complex character dynamics and intense themes that make up the storyline (complete with a killer throwback soundtrack) make it a must-watch for 2018.
The show is based on the comic book of the same name created by Charles Forman; however, there are several differences between them.
For one, the writers decided that the graphic ending in the comic wouldn’t convey the right message on-screen, Abraham Riesman explained in an article by Vulture.
In episode one, James (Alex Lawther) introduces himself as a psychopath, tone monotonous as he describes the various times he’d felt nothing while killing small animals. Alyssa (Jessica Barden), on the other hand, is fiery, defiant, and comes from a less-than-ideal family.
When they meet, Alyssa boldly pushes her way into James’s life, and so begins an off-kilter romance with the pair having wildly different motives.
Fed up with her creepy stepfather and complacent mother, Alyssa pursues her biological father.
In a strangely calm way, James starts planning ways to kill Alyssa as he gets to know her better.
Together, they go on a road trip, each hiding their true intentions.
This begins an unpredictable, hilariously nonsensical series of events; on the trip, James and Alyssa start to understand each other and the traumatic childhood events that resulted in their unstable demeanors. James even realizes he might not be a psychopath after all as Alyssa brings him out of his shell.
Despite the seemingly finite ending, however, Alex Lawther reports that a season 2 is possible.
Just after its release on Jan. 5, critics were already praising The End of the F***ing World – on Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has a rare 100% rating.
The End of the F***ing World breaks the stereotype of gritty teen shows being too forced, instead delivering a passionate story about two outcasts who find solace in each other along a turbulent ride.