The Wildcat Tribune

“End of the F***ing World” pierces the mind of a teenager

Vikram Balasubramanian and Skyler Spears

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The eight-part series based on the graphic novel by Charles S. Forman, “End of the F***ing World,” is a dark comedy and a perfect netflix binge. It’s a romance story for the twenty-first century: a classic boy-meets-girl. But this boy is a self-diagnosed psychopath, and he’s looking for his first kill.
We start by meeting James, who introduces himself as an emotionless teenager whose killing of small animals is his favorite hobby. Except animals aren’t quite good enough anymore, he’s looking for bigger prey. Cue Alyssa. She is almost the opposite of James and deemed a “rowdy, foul-mouthed rebel,” who lives with her distant mom and her creepy step dad. James decides she’ll be the perfect kill, so naturally he pretends to fall in love with her. This tryst leads them on a wild adventure when Alyssa decides she wants to go find her absent dad.

The show presents a beautifully framed coming-of-age story, filled with dark humor, sick twists and an anti-romantic romantic comedy. The show makes it obvious it’s going for the gritty, dark, middle-finger-to-the-world mindset right away, presenting characters who spontaneously and collectively hold all the traits society says a sharp no to. The first three episodes, all very brutal and deliciously dark, possibly to the point of overkill (no pun intended), introduce us to James and Alyssa’s unusual road trip.
The show is not only stunning in content, but it also exceeds the mark in all other aspects too. Using a combination of flashbacks, voice overs and creative shots the show becomes a new kind of masterpiece. The main character’s internal thoughts are often broadcasted out giving the viewer a unique insight that no one else on screen knows and offers brutal honesty that leaves onlookers laughing despite the shows dark tones.

DVHS junior Sara Dada said, “The show has a very unique aesthetic. The format of the 20-minute episodes, the retro vibe and music all separate ‘The End of the F***ing World’ from anything I’ve ever watched before.”

Unfortunately, the show falls flat with a poor side tangent with cops Teri Darego and Eunice Noon, played by Wunmi Mosaku and Gemma Whelan respectively. Representing female, LGBT cops, the characters’ love life provides such a cringey humorous sidebar it’d be better omitted. The “good cop, bad cop” trope leaves audiences wanting for less, and grateful for a transition back to the main characters.

The soundtrack was the cherry on top of this TV adaption. It integrates a combination of ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s music, setting the “End of the F***ing World” to a remarkably haunting soundtrack.
Director Jonathan Entwistle speaking to Billboard Magazine said, “We made an adult show about teenagers. The dawn of teenagers was the ‘50s and because we were playing that whole creepy, suburban thing, I automatically went to a ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s doo-wop thing. I think that’s the saddest music in the world.” The combination of grim scenery and cheerful music leaves you with an inexplicably sinister feeling.

In the era of teen dramas and reality TV, it’s easy to tune into a shows riddled with stereotypes and repetitive plot lines. “End of the F***ing World” provides the perfect alternative: a gritty, joyful and honest romance. It gives us a look into the tumultuous world of a teenager’s mind, and leaves the viewer with a hunger for more.

 

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About the Writers
Vikram Balasubramanian, Opinions Editor

Vikram is currently serving in his fourth year with the Tribune. He became involved with the Tribune first, in the club, then as a staff writer and satire editor. Vikram started the short-livedsatire section...

Skyler Spears, Photography Editor & Multimedia Editor

Skyler joined the Wildcat Tribune for the opportunity to voice her opinion on issues and topics important to her. Journalism provides the chance to learn new things about the world and the community around...

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“End of the F***ing World” pierces the mind of a teenager