Friday, January 12, 2018

Pilot Review: The End of the F***ing World

The End of the F***ing World (Netflix)
Premiered January 5

I’m not sure this is the time that the world needs a show about a teenager who wants to murder his classmate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea. I had no idea what to expect from this show, and I was pleased to find a highly original, highly entertaining, and very British show about two misfits who actually are perfect for each other, even though one of them wants to kill the other. While I’m sure Alyssa wants to stay alive, something tells me that, should she discover her newfound amour’s true intentions, she wouldn’t mind all that much since it at least means he wants to spend time with her and she’s more than ready to run off to experience the world with someone who will pay her attention. I’m not familiar with lead actor Alex Lawther, who plays James, but I was tremendously excited to immediately recognize Jessica Barden as Alyssa. I first saw her in “Tamara Drewe” and then again in “Hanna” and “The Lobster,” and I think she’s a formidable choice to play this talkative, eager rebel who’s just gone on a wild ride with a new friend that is constantly daydreaming about ways to murder her. I’m looking forward to seeing where this show goes, and though the meaning behind its title isn’t completely clear to me just yet, I think it’s off to a tremendous start and has some great ground to cover next as it gets to know these two already memorable protagonists.

How will it work as a series? It’s based on a comic book series, so there’s obviously some reliable source material from which to draw. James just punching his dad in the face and taking his car shows that he doesn’t have a plan anymore, he just knows that he needs to be alone with Alyssa, because she’s going to keep him going, alive or dead. Where things go from here, who knows, but I’m thrilled to stick around and find out.
How long will it last? Reviews have been terrific both in the UK where this show premiered in October and in the United States after its Netflix debut last week. I don’t know if there’s more of a story to tell, but my assumption is that this show will be back if the creative forces behind it decide they want to continue.

Pilot grade: B+

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