Review: The End of the F***ing World

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Photo courtesy Clerkenwell Films

(Content warning: This show contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing such as themes of suicide, sexual violence, and violence. There may be spoilers below.)

At first glance, The End of the F***ing World plays across like a new age Skins. Two teens are lost in a big world full of angst, misunderstanding, and delusions of different realities. The show starts with the immediate breakdown of the main characters, James and Alyssa. Their descriptions might turn you off the show, although with only eight 20-minute episodes, it’s not hard to push through the exposition.

The End of the F***ing World is based on a comic book with the same title by Charles Forman, published in 2011. The comic was then adapted into the Netflix series produced by Channel 4, a British television network.

James and Alyssa are portrayed by Alex Lawther (Black Mirror) (22) and Jessica Barden (25), respectively. If you are hesitant about 20 year olds playing high school seniors, don’t. These two are so good at what they do, these will surely be their breakout roles.

The show also features Wunmi Mosaku and Gemma Whelan, two cops who bring morality to the show. You might also recognize Sherlock’s Jonathan Aris who holds a key part in James and Alyssa’s storyline.

The story’s progression follows Alyssa as she ropes James into finding her birth father while James has other sinister motives. Even though the show whips by, it leaves room for background information without distracting from the story. The show is easily digestible and thoroughly gripping.

Audiences will fall in love with these characters as they come to understand their past and revel in their triumphs. Overall, this show deserves every recommendation and if you have about 2.5 hours to spare, sit down and enjoy this dark comedy.

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