The End of the F***ing World (Season 1), 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
We've seen teen angst and existential dread, in movies and series such as The Breakfast Club, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Kids, but we've probably never seen it to such extremes—not often enough anyway. The End of the F***ing World unfolds like uncensored commentary. Hell, not even the word "uncensored" serves justice to this coal-black comedy.
As ballsy and bold as it is, the show is nicely layered with room for emotion and reflection. When the characters individually look into themselves, through narration, the audience is afforded the opportunity to feel, project if you will. The entire plot comes forth as a confrontation. It mocks what humans have established as morals, and other social formalities. It establishes the new normal, or at least tries to get us to chill out a bit and stop being fussy about what's the right or wrong way to be one's self.
The leads, Alyssa and James, are what you would call socially awkward. In the extreme sense, too. Upon been f**ked off with their own relentlessly terrible lives, they cross paths and eventually decide to hit the road together. They find themselves tangled in a dysfunctional romance. They commit crimes together. They are misfits together. They share a strange adoration for one another. All the while they're secretly assessing each other's behavioural traits. Picking at each other's personalities, and condemning each other for it, too. All of this unfolds while they're trying to track down Alyssa's deadbeat, criminal dad who might or might not help them—or even embrace Alyssa as his own; her biggest fear.
It's intoxicating to watch. Either you're so compelled by the plot as it unfolds that you want to rebel yourself, throw a finger at d**khead or two, or you feel a sense of relief; relief that your dark, horrible thoughts aren't so extreme after all. That you're not alone when you want to just scream and tear the world apart with your bear hands. The show more than anything helps put into perspective the world's moral values against our own. Alyssa and James are both deeply wounded. They each have problems at home where they're missing one blood-parent, while they're annoyed with the one that's present for various reasons. They're a mysterious coupling. The things they think about or get up to are just as unsettling. It's so much fun to watch what anarchic act Alyssa will commit to get under someone's skin, while James is in his head going through various murder plots.
The technical side of the show makes it that much more of an experience. It is shot and edited the same way as an indie you'd find randomly playing at the Cannes, or some big film festival of the sort. It looks crafty as hell, is what I mean. There's so much attention to detail here, especially paid to the location and landscape. The production and costume design are as fitting too.
This British dark comedy is quite... dark. As in the darkest shade of dark. The dialogue between Alyssa and James will probably make you feel like a dirty f**khead—that's if you already aren't one anyway. If you don't cringe or flinch watching this show, you're probably, like James states in the opening scene if the first episode, "a psychopath". It's visually unforgiving as well. Knives doing what knives do. Blood spraying at all angles. It's pretty sick. Anyone who has the gall for such physical and emotional torture, coupled with intense abstraction, will sure enjoy this.
Side note: if I didn't know any better, I'd say the show is inspired by the Coen Brother's momentus satirical crime drama, Fargo. But I know better than to draw parrells with no plans of articulating.
Cherry on top? "If this was a film, we'd probably be American", obviously jabbing at Hollywood. Netflix is what you'd call ballsy as f**k.
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