A British dark Comedy about a 17 year old psychopath and a 17 year old nymphomaniac running away from their lives whom encounter the worst of society and on the way are involved in numerous crimes. End of the F***ing World, even from the title, is like nothing out, at the moment.
The show starts off with narration from James, a 17 year old boy who believes he is a psychopath and plans on killing someone. His chosen target is 17 year old, Alyssa. They decide to run away from their rubbish lives and just go somewhere.
The premise is simple but effective. The whole show is centred round an off kilt tone. James and Alyssa are outcasts and weird. James is incessant to killing Alyssa and this ongoing motive is hilarious and it creates the dark comedic tone that is throughout each episode. Alyssa is a fractured soul that is distant from her family and people at school and uses sex appeal as something to fill the void. The premise may seem simple but the characters are complex and layered.
As the first episode starts we are believed to be invested into two simple characters but as the show progresses we start to learn how they have became who they are. It is that progress that is the most enjoyable. The growth of the characters and the lessons they learn while away from authority figures kind of resembles a John Hughes coming of age drama but with a more British background and social realist tone.
This will not attract a wide audience as it is quirky and charmingly dark. The performances of the two leads took time to get used to. At first it seemed a bit wooden and I understand that was the point but it was impossible to be invested into the characters. However as the show went on, you understood the actions and events that happened. End of the F***ing World is a short series but it is heavily layered and complex in the web of actions that occur.
Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden, who play James and Alyssa, are explicit in their don’t care attitude but what really impresses is the slight cracks in emotion they portray. The subtle pain that is fraught inside of them brings a more real and relevant tone to the proceedings. These two have great things to look forward too from their performances here.
The dark comedic tone didn’t always hit, some moments were so off kilt that it pulled you out of the world and the balance between the realist tone and quirky feel, didn’t work at some points. Also the cop subplot didn’t really seem necessary and for a show to be short, I would of rather it focused more on the two main characters. When the episode focused on the cop storyline, I kind of lost interest.
However, the tone was fun to watch, the unabashed nature of each episode was a joy and it was like two youths throwing a spanner in the works of societal norms. The loud, crazy nature of two young love hearts, like Bonnie and Clyde, driving through England creating chaos was exciting and I only wish it was longer. The two characters had a good chemistry and it was just refreshing to see something so loud and different compared to the usual fare that is released.
End of the F***ing World, knows it’s different, it doesn’t hold back. It is full of quirky and dark comedy that is needed to stand out from the wealth of content that audiences have available to them. It is something different that has some flaws in it’s tone and delivery but overall it is a wild, chaotic and sweet story of two people wanting to escape from the world.