THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD | TV REVIEW

RELEASED: October 24th 2017
DISTRIBUTED BY: Channel 4
SHOWRUNNER: Charlie Covell
WRITTEN BY: Charlie Covell
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Entwistle & Lucy Tcherniak
MUSIC BY: Graham Coxon
STARRING: Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, Gemma Whelan, Wunmi Mosaku, Steve Oram, Christine Bottomley, Navin Chowdhry, Barry Ward & Jonathan Aris

The End of the Fucking World is a dark comedy about two teenagers, a rebellious girl dissatisfied with her tedious existence (Alyssa), and an emotionless boy who dreams of becoming a serial killer (James).

The show follows the two after they become romantically involved, and set off on a road trip – one where James plans to murder Alyssa by the trip’s end.

The show is genuinely entertaining, and the two lead actors Lawther and Barden portray angsty volatile teenagers superbly. The only problem is that the main point drawing audiences in – James’ psychopathic tendencies – become largely irrelevant partway through the series, and by season two is perhaps detrimental to the plot (in my opinion, obviously), but we’ll save that for a later review.

Without getting too deep into spoilers, that seemingly central aspect to the plot, never actually becomes apparent to Alyssa (to my recollection) and thus skips out on what should be a rather obvious bit of dramatic tension. You know the thing television shows thrive on. And if it does, there wasn’t enough tension created for me to remember it happening.

Still, there is a lot going for the show. The bizarre, timeless aesthetic, gives the show a bit of an uneasy feeling, which definitely helps with the ‘dark’ aspects of this dark comedy.

The humour is also on point, which is again, obviously important. The back and forth between James and Alyssia is particularly good, and it is only amplified by the rest of the cast, all of whom do a stellar job in making you love or hate them respectively.

Bar the aforementioned ‘killer’ problem, the writing is generally quite on point. These characters all feel relatable and immensely human, and while some of them do come off as real scumbags, they’re ones you want to see more of.

At eight episodes, the series is also very manageable. You can fly through it rather quickly if you want to, but that also means that all the time is used properly.

It’s definitely worth a watch, whether you’re a comic-book fan, a comedy fan, or someone who just likes solid English drama.

If it weren’t for the dropped serial killer angle, that does have some payoff but does seem largely irrelevant, I’d consider giving this the full five stars.

But alas, that’s not the case.

So all-in-all, I give The End of the Fucking World:

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