+- Recommended at Your Discretion – TV-MA, Drama, Comedy
Here it is. The first review where I am torn if I should recommend this or not; I created a new rating (+-) for this reason. I do recommend that you watch this, but beware of the reasons that I think you may not like it.
First, I had no idea that this show was even coming out on the 5th of this month. I opened Netflix to finish watching Black Mirror, you can read that review here, and saw the featured trailer displayed on the homepage. Wow! The initial trailer was gripping and boldly relentless. Why wouldn’t I have wanted to check it out? The End of the F***ing World is an adaptation based off the comic series of the same name created by Charles S. Forman.
Just shy of 3 hours, the show is perfect for a quick binge on Netflix. An eight episode order seemed to be the right fit for the style of storytelling. It’s fast-paced and quickly covers the content the creators Charlie Covell (writer) and Jonathan Entwistle (director) wish to cover. One thing that came as a pleasant surprise was the cinematography; at times it felt like I was watching an Oscar caliber show. Some stills are just plain stunning (much like the one above).
Half the reason for my rating is solely based off the fact that initially, it appears the story isn’t going anywhere and the writing almost feels artificial and too vulgar, serving no purpose. It isn’t until half-way through the series that we get some real substance. The End of the F***ing World tells the story of James and Alyssa, played by Alex Lawther (Black Mirror) and Jessica Barden (Penny Dreadful). James proclaims himself as a psychopath that likes little interaction with the outside world and Alyssa finds him intriguing.
Oddly enough, being the polar opposites of each other benefit both. While James simply wants to kill her, Alyssa needs a companion for her escape from her normal life. They hit the road together and during their travels they learn more of each other and themselves. Together, they are the perfect duo; the yin and yang of the crime world. Granted, they are awful at committing crimes because they are teenagers and the show is smart enough to know that; their actions are childish because they are children.
Once the story reveals itself it’s much smoother and you’ll find the true intentions and meaning of the characters and their actions. Where we travel in the story is dark but so delightfully hearty in it’s final message. For me, a whole story is only as good as its ending; and that’s partially why I can’t give this a full recommendation. I wanted more; more character growth, a resolution for supporting characters, and a resolution for our main characters. We don’t necessarily get that here, but at least James and Alyssa’s character growth is complete.
At the end of the day, The End of the F***ing World is worthy of a binge if you understand that the show doesn’t care if you feel offended or that they went too far. There is enough here to like even if you don’t like all of it.