New show serves as modern-day Bonnie and Clyde
End of the F***ing world is instant F***ing hit
Think of all of the charming details of an indie flick, add beautiful cinematography, richly complex characters, and dark humor about a high school psychopath, and viewers will get the British TV show The End of the F***ing World.
James (Alex Lawther)—a high schooler who is a self-diagnosed psychopath—is ready to kill his first human after a lifetime of killing animals. In the school lunchroom, he meets rebellious Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a girl who thinks suburban life is a bore and is ready to experience the world on her own terms. Together, the two run away, both equipped with conflicting purposes of their journey. As Alyssa feeds off of the excitement of leaving her old life behind, James is turning over his hunting knife, waiting for the prime opportunity to claim his victim, all the while battling new feelings he is starting to develop for her. And, that’s all before everything goes wrong.
Released in the UK in October of 2017, the show has recently sprung to international fame with its addition to Netflix earlier this year. The season is based off of a graphic novel by Charles Forsman with the same title, focusing on each character and the personal impacts of James’ psychopathy.
The editing of the show is the main source of success. The End of the F***ing World ties together the essence of a road trip movie, a classic coming-of-age story for emotionally unstable teenagers, and a sinister tale of murder. While James finds himself staring at Alyssa, images of his fantasy of killing her, drenched in blood splatter simultaneously flash across the screen. The contrast is created by a voiceover of Alyssa saying, “I feel safe with him. Well, sort of,” while viewers see images of James sharpening his hunting knife. All the shots are artistically framed and filmed, creating a sinfully satisfying blend of emotions.
The End of the F***ing World balances the disturbing and the humorous, resulting in an expertly made show that feels like a three-hour long movie. Characters may first come across as irrational, but they unfold alongside the story—and viewers even take a liking to them. James may appear to be emotionally void, but his heartbreaking background reveals why he expresses emotions in the way that he does. Even the less involved characters, like Alyssa’s mom, are given a tremendous amount of depth in the few short scenes they appear in by creating an incredible amount of subtext—characters have thoughts they need to express, but cannot find the right words. Her mom is clearly unhappy in her new marriage to a man who ignores Alyssa, but she is unable to give her feelings a name.
The show perfectly ties together emotional and dark aspects. The duo of James and Alyssa becomes a 21st century Bonnie and Clyde, running away from the law together and falling in love. While watching, viewers are guaranteed to laugh so hard their sides ache and have the air removed from their lungs with grief. Is it too early to name the best TV show of the year? The End of the F***ing World encapsulates everything that entertainment needs to be and is a