by Sheelan Mohammed
(WARNING: SPOILER ALERT)
Dreary. Dangerous. Sardonically humorous. The “End of the F***ing World” features 17-year-old self-proclaimed psychopath, James—played by Alex Lawther—and the brazen-mouthed Alyssa, played by Jessica Barden in her breakout role. The first and so far only season is eight episodes long, but it is just as binge-watch worthy as Black Mirror or Stranger Things. The show has an airy and creepy atmosphere to it, but is comforting once you settle into it.
The show takes off when Alyssa suggests to James that they run away together, given the notion that they both have unsatisfying home lives. Alyssa’s seemingly uncaring and crazy mother has married a man that she is supposed to call her step-father who inappropriately rakes his eyes over her and touches sensually. James’ mother died a while back and is left with his childish father, who doesn’t have a clue what is going on with James.
There’s a crime spree between the two that features a car that catches on fire, a gas station debacle presenting a fake gun, a murder and a hilarious yet heart-warming starter into James and Alyssa growing affection for one another. Their quirky romance deals with non-committal responses from James that doesn’t deter a seemingly unaffected Alyssa.
You’ll start the show thinking all James cares for is killing Alyssa. He talked about killing animals as a boy and decides for his next victim to be a human: Alyssa. There’s equally frightening and hilarious scenes where Alyssa would go to the bathroom and James would quickly pull out his secret pocket knife, hiding behind the door to catch her off guard. However, he hears her crying and stops, and it is then clear that James is not a psychopath at all.
The show takes an even more disturbing turn when they break into a random person’s home, who ends up being a serial rapist when he forces himself onto Alyssa. James uses the pocket knife on the rapist, killing him and saving Alyssa. They’ve got another dilemma. They’re both involved in a murder. So, they take off again, but not before cleaning up and burning the body.
The show delves deep into the two characters you can’t help but love—James and Alyssa—and you start to sympathize even with James, who you feared at one point.
The show isn’t only focused on those two. There’s also an interracial, lesbian couple, who happen to be the cops who are helping find the two—knowing about the crimes that they have committed, too.
This show is not at all what you would expect. It dives deep into the adolescent mind and family struggles, along with mental awareness. You realize how much their parents truly care about them once they go missing.
The ending, additionally, is not at all what you would expect. We see just how much James and Alyssa love one another when they’re willing to sacrifice giving each other up for the other. When the both of them appear on the beach where the cops are looking for them, James offers that Alyssa blame everything on him. Of course, when Alyssa refuses, James knocks her out with the butt of a gun, running off on the shore, gun shots surrounding the area from the cops. The season comes to an end in slow motion: Alyssa yelling out for James and James running off with a gun in his hand. It ends with a bang; literally, a piercing gun shot is let out. Then the screen goes black.
Note: There’s talk about a season 2, but no confirmation. You can watch the first season of “The End of the F***ing World” on Netflix.