Why isn’t this getting more attention?
A dark, edgy teen romance? It sounds like something that should end up on the CW, sure, but this show is probably the first thing to do “teen romance” and “edgy” right in a really long time.
This isn’t a thorough review or an essay, and there’s no profound point that I will eventually get to. The End of the F***ing World is simply fantastic, and I wanted to sing its praises. If you haven’t seen this show, get on it.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it until now (or very recently despite its availability on Netflix for over six months already, like me) this show is a dark romantic comedy about a dysfunctional teen couple. Alyssa is a rebellious girl who goes on an adventure with her new boyfriend James — a closeted psychopath who may or may not want to kill her. The show is structured like a buddy-comedy road trip, and it evolves from a pessimistic coming-of-age story into an angsty romance with genuine heart.
You know those morose, indifferent teenagers that are always written into slasher films? The ones that are annoyingly stubborn and shallow, and tend to make decisions that get them killed? That’s Alyssa. James… well, James is the slasher. Despite these unlikeable descriptions, though, the show’s deadpan humor and witty internal monologues and fantastic performances will have these two win you over.
The characters possess some real emotional depth, and it’s extremely difficult not to sympathize with them over the course of their journey — even when they end up doing some pretty horrible and bloody things.
Not only is the writing and character work top-notch, but the rest of the show doesn’t slack at all. It has such a unique aesthetic. Between the appropriately grungy soundtrack, the gorgeous cinematography, the warm color palette — it’s like a Wes Anderson movie if Wes Anderson decided to shoot it while frustrated and high on methamphetamines. It’s dark, violent, sometimes disturbing, but it also feels innocent, wholesome, and child-like.
It also has the most quotable meet-cute in any romance story that I’ve ever seen.
Maybe I’m just a little too close to the material since I’ve finished it so recently, but I can’t even think of something to criticize about it off the top of my head. It’s funny, witty, moving, and perhaps most importantly, it’s brisk — eight half-hour episodes that fly by pretty fast during infrequent binge-sessions.
The End of the F***ing World is a romance that embodies the sensibilities of my generation, and it makes for a surprisingly great date night. It’s perfectly moody, joyously nihilistic, and more than worth four hours of your time.