The Gaucho Gazette (Petaluma, California)
Yet another new Netflix original is making its way to the top of many people’s watch list. Rather than being a typical feel-good series about two teenagers struggling to find their identity, “The End of the F***ing World” is a quirky and slightly disturbing series. Based off the comic book series by Charles Forsman, the story follows two teenagers who leave home to explore their own identities while committing several crimes along the way ranging from assault and theft to a murder under their belt. The story begins with protagonist James plotting a murder while sharpening his knife. Flashes of bloodied bodies and stabbed victims are strewn across the screen, while female protagonist Alyssa explains through voice-over how she feels incredibly safe with him.
James and Alyssa have portrayed throughout the series in such a way that it becomes incredibly difficult to clearly judge these characters for the crimes they’ve committed, especially as we follow them amidst their attempt to outrun the law. On one hand, the crimes they’ve committed were fairly brutal and they are both on the brink of adulthood; however, they both have justifications for their actions that permitted them to break these laws and naively trying to escape their responsibilities.
Furthermore, the audience is lured into the progressive romantic entails of the protagonists as their relationship transitions from a one-sided rebellious move and a dark urge for killing to a development of true passionate emotion toward one another. Alyssa matures as she realizes her fantasies of living a better life away from home are false and the self-prescribed psychopath comes to the realization that he is not one and that the feelings he developed toward Alyssa prove otherwise.
The fast pace of the narration helps to propel the plot: a quick and easy binge that is sufficient in its number of cliffhangers and twists to compel one to watch the next episode. It is a show that should be acknowledged for its depth in characters, unpredictable plot and continuous allurement into the subsequent episode.