The Netflix series The End of the F***ing World is completely screwed up and delightfully transgressive, mixing bloody violence with quirky humor, after an initially questionable pilot episode introduces some very unpredictable and potentially unlikable lead characters. Based on the graphic novel by Charles S. Forsman, this British bit of nastiness centers on a mentally unstable high school boy named James (Alex Lawther), who has come to the belief that he’s a psychopath and ready to take his first human life. A “meet-cute” occurs, and the rebellious and forward Alyssa (Jessica Barden) enters his orbit – he thinks that she’d make for a great first victim.
Until, of course, he starts to like her. And then something really fucked up happens which changes their lives forever, with the narrative taking the unintended form of a years-before-prequel to Ben Wheatley’s poisonously brilliant black comedy Sightseers. Lawther is creepy as the unstable yet potentially savable James, while Barden goes for broke playing a damaged girl looking for any reason to escape. Everyone in the supporting cast nails their roles, the show has a sharp visual style, and each episode lasts roughly 20-22 minutes, so this one goes by VERY quick.
Review by Nick Clement
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