If you’ve been scrolling through Netflix in the last day or so- you might have come across this show, based on a graphic novel- called ‘The end of the f***king world.” Although it’s been out on Channel 4 for a while- I’ve only recently had the chance to binge it to my heart’s content- and oh my fuck.
The story follows teenage outcasts, James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), as they embark on a road trip to find Alyssa’s father, all the while- James is planning to murder her, to ‘see what it feels like.’ However- things don’t totally go to plan from the moment they leave their dreary suburban life behind.
In manageable and binge-worthy 20 minute episodes (8 in total) this is a rare gem and something that doesn’t fail to surprise in the first 10 minutes. It’s gritty, it’s gory and it’s totally out-there. It’s unafraid to turn the plot to the darker side, but still retains a sense of wit and underlying self-mockery. (A prime example being Alyssa noting that the car wouldn’t explode because they weren’t in a film- and they didn’t have American accents)
I found myself a little bemused after the first episode- and wondering if it was something that I wanted to continue with- but I have to say ultimately the story gripped me from the word go.
The real charm of this programme is not just it’s indie quirks, the unique storytelling voice or even the total ridiculous nature of the plot- it’s the lead characters.
Lawther is literally a self-confessed psychopath- who murders animals for fun… and Barden is obnoxious, rude and generally dislikable. However, the interior monologues and voice-overs of the characters, plus the way that they are portrayed give them such a beautiful vulnerability. The performances are absolutely superb, as the actors seem to flip from deadpan to anxious in a matter of moments. The supporting cast is also brilliant, but the real standouts are our two leads.