I recently finished watching the Netflix original series “The End of the F***ing World”, and while I didn’t dislike it, I am not super impressed. I had heard from many people that this show was amazing, and despite my apprehensions, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it only has eight twenty-minute episodes, so at least I wasn’t committing myself to a multi-season show.
The show centers on two teenagers in England. One, James, believes he is a psychopath, as evidenced in flashbacks and a voice-over monologue showing how he feels no emotions and loves killing animals. He wants to try something new and kill an actual person, which is where Alyssa comes in. She is a rebel who shows few emotions other than anger and indifference, which is somewhat understandable given that her stepfather treats her terribly. She develops a sudden fascination with James and begins dating him, though he secretly plots to kill her. After an unpleasant interaction with her stepfather, she decides to run away, so she and James steal his dad’s car and take off.
The premise itself is interesting, but I felt something was lacking. I found the first couple episodes boring, partly because they were too short to develop the characters and story and partly because I didn’t like or care about James or Alyssa. This was a major letdown for me, given that I had heard such amazing things about the show. Nevertheless, I stuck with it, and it did get better over time. A second set of major characters came into the story a few episodes in, and I found the new characters and their storyline far more interesting than the main characters and their storyline, which I think is a big flaw. However, even the main characters slowly started to grow on me, and I found myself somewhat vested in what happened to them. I liked James better than I liked Alyssa; despite him being a budding psychopath, I found him much more likable and relatable. By the end of the season, I did like and care about Alyssa to an extent, but not as much as any of the other main characters.
The story itself was mildly entertaining. It was a good break from homework that allowed me to turn my brain off, but I didn’t see it as much more than that. The show fluctuates between being a comedy and a drama, which makes the tone somewhat inconsistent. Overall, I was not very impressed with the storyline, although it did become more interesting several episodes in, which is what made me continue watching the show.
The tumultuous first season ended on a cliffhanger, which is one of the main reasons why I will probably watch the second season when it comes out. The ending also brought about many interesting possibilities and directions in which the show could go, and I am interested to see what will happen and where the writers will take these characters. I am optimistic about the second season, as I expect it to be an improvement on the first in both storyline and characterization, which I am eagerly anticipating.
Overall, The End of the F***ing World is an alright show. It’s definitely not the best show out right now, and I do think it’s overrated, but it is entertaining and the second season seems promising. For that reason, I would rate it around 6.5/10 and tentatively recommend it to viewers if they can get past the first few episodes.