Friday, January 19, 2018

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

One of the weirdest and most delightful new series on Netlfix, this wild love story has charm and plenty of great comedy. James (Alex Lawther) believes he's a psychopath and needs to kill someone. Alyssa (Jessica Barden) needs someone in her life and looks like a perfect victim for James. Their courtship is awkward and funny as James tries to enact his plan to murder and Alyssa wants to rebel against her posh mother Gwen (Christine Bottomley) and father-in-law. Instead of murdering her, Alyssa convinces James to steal the car from his dad Phil (Steve Oram) and take off on a wild road trip. 

The episodes are short but a lot happens. The second episode begins as the couple stand outside the wrecked car and then recounts how they got there. Without any actual money, the two of them are quickly broke because they waste Alyssa's last few pounds on laser tag. They leave restaurants without paying growing quickly accustomed to being thieves. A strange man Martin (Geoff Bell) picks them up and takes them to another diner. Martin molests James who allows it to happen until Alyssa catches them and blackmails Martin by threatening to tell his family. This gives them enough money for a night at a hotel. 

After they leave the hotel, they find an empty house belonging to a professor. They dance and drink until Alyssa grows bored with James's strange behavior. She goes out and finds a young man who she brings back to have sex with until she decides that she isn't into him. James discovers horrifying pictures of murdered women belonging to the owner of the house. The professor comes home and nearly kills Alyssa until James stabs him in the neck. They burn their clothes and set off again but a police investigation commences with DC Teri Darego (Wunmi Mosaku) and DC Eunice Noon (Gemma Whelan) on the case. 

James and Alyssa leave behind incriminating photos but the professor's mother burns them before calling the police. James finds murder displeasing and not what he expected while Layssa suspects something weird is up with him for conveniently having a knife on him. The couple split up going their separate ways. Alyssa is caught shoplifting while James goes to the police to tell them about how his mother committed suicide in front of him when he was younger. The investigation proceeds as the detectives learn about Alyssa and James from various interviews and begin pursuing their suspects. The couple moves on highjacking a car and robbing a gas station. Their destination is Alyssa's father Leslie (Barry Ward) but he is a drug dealer who will easily turn them over for the reward. 

The End of the F***ing World ends with a heartfelt realization on James's part as he learns about love just as he is pursued by the police across the beach and possibly shot. The sudden ending came as a shock as I wasn't totally sure this was a limited series but the complete story is charming and hilarious. Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther are great young talents who should have bright careers ahead of them. The story is so silly and an enjoyable romp against authority that I found myself engaged from the second episode. I would recommend this to those who can take a few psychopath jokes and can understand thick British accents. 

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