New, unmissable Netflix show was released early January
By Veronnica MacKillop, Columnist
Not many teenage love stories start out with the male protagonist planning to kill the female love interest, but Netflix’s new show The End of the F***ing World (TEOTFW) does just that, and still manages to be one of the best things to watch on Netflix right now.
Earning itself a 97 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, TEOTFW is extremely popular among both audiences and critics. It was originally released in the UK in October, yet didn’t do so well there. However, its Netflix release on January 5 had a much better response. Based on the graphic novel series by Charles Forsman, the show follows two teenagers in England, James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), as they end up on a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde-esque adventure. James is pretty sure he’s a psychopath, and Alyssa is dealing with issues stemming from her home life. She convinces James to run away with her, and he comes along because, well, he wants to murder her.
The show has a very cool old-fashioned feeling to it. Both characters don’t have cell phones by choice—Alyssa smashes hers in the school cafeteria after someone who is sitting at the same table sends her a text. The show actually contains very little modern technology. The two protagonists listen to music on CDs and records, they use pay phones and maps, and they rely on stealing cars or simply walking to get around. Even the other characters in the show seem to be living in a different era. There is very little focus on technology, and apart from a few necessary mentions, it really does feel like a show that took place before modern technology existed.
The music is honestly its own reason to watch the show. Mazzy Star, Fleetwood Mac, Bernadette Carroll, the Vocaleers, and Hank Williams are just a few of the artists to be featured on the beautiful soundtrack. The music in TEOTFW makes you feel like you’re on a road trip with James and Alyssa, and it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re watching a show about two teenagers in 2018.
Another great thing about the show is the accurate and appropriate representation of a teenage relationship. There is so much over-sexualization of teenagers in today’s media, and TEOTFW is as far from that as possible. Throughout the show, Alyssa often expresses her desire to have sex, but when it comes down to it, she gets nervous and decides not to, a choice that James respects every time. The two have an amazing connection without sex, and a relationship that—although strange—is very endearing and touching.
In an interview with Thrillist, TEOTFW creator Jonathan Entwistle said that sex was the least important part of the show: “I was adamant from the beginning that we weren’t going to make a show with teenagers with six-packs, taking off their shirts, and making out. There are too many shows like that. I wanted to make a show where they didn’t have sex.”
The season wraps up with an intense cliffhanger ending. It is left open-ended, so there could potentially be a season two, but many fans are saying that they don’t want one. Since the first season was based on a graphic novel, there would be no source material for a second season. As nice as it would be to definitively find out what exactly happened at the end of season one, it’s not completely necessary. Sometimes it’s better to speculate, rather than know for sure. Creators have said that a second season is not off the table, so we may get more James and Alyssa after all.