Monday, March 5, 2018

Now on Netflix: The End of the F***ing World (2018)

The End of the F***ing World (2018) - Directed by Jonathan Entwistle, Lucy Tcherniak; Written by Charlie Covell, Charles S. Forman; Starring Jessica Barden, Alex Lawther, Steve Oram.

By Kenny Howell

The classic story of a psychopath and the girl who he wants to kill even though she likes him is told once again in this fantastic series on Netflix.

James (Alex Lawther) has suspected that he might be a psychopath for a long time. He started killing animals with a hunting knife he got as a present years ago, but now he thinks he is ready to take the next step. He wants to kill a human.

Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is tired of all the fake people at her school. They are all so boring, so she seeks out the only person she knows isn't - an outcast named James. She goes over to him and tells him that they are going to hang out. She thinks he will be great for her. He thinks she'll make a great person to kill. They start to hang out and agree that exactly what they need is to escape their horrible home lives. They go on the run, and things spin horribly out of control.

Did I mention this is a comedy? Well at least partially, and it is a very dark one at that. Writer Charlie Covell adapts the comic book from Charles S. Forman, and sets up the story well. The dynamic between James and Alyssa, him looking for someone to kill, her thinking that he will work out great as a boyfriend, is utterly original, and it would have been good enough if the show just ran with that only.

But luckily for The End of the F***ing World has Lawther and Barden as the leads. They are both terrific, him a weirdo that feels uncomfortable in his body and the world, her a ball of punk angst.  They totally inhabit these characters living on the fringe. They are the only characters that appear in every episode, and that is totally OK. They are the show, a stunningly innovative story of teenagers in love and on the run. It is also incredibly stylish with one of the better soundtracks I have heard on a TV show. It is definitely one of the gems of the first part of 2018.

The first season of The End of the F***ing World is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ****

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