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TV-Series Review: The End of the F***ing World Season 1 (2017)

added 10 jun 2020
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The End of the F***ing World Season 1 (2017)

Awkward teenage angst meets Pulp Fiction

(this review contains spoilers)

James' mum killed herself in front of him when he was a kid and now he's pretty sure he's a psychopath. He's been killing animals but it's not enough. He's ready for something ... bigger. Alyssa's dad abandoned her as a kid and now her paedophile stepdad is hitting on her. Together they steal James' dad's car and run away. Initially James plans to kill Alyssa but instead he falls in love with her and kills a famous philosopher who tries to rape her.

This is a British drama/dark-comedy. Not the type where you actually laugh much, but instead where you occasionally do a kind of snicker-exhale while thinking, "I'm glad that's not my life".

I got a strong Pulp Fiction vibe from the show, which makes sense, since it is based on a graphic novel:

  • The narrative is linear, so you feel like you are living in the spur of the moment with the protagonists - reacting as you face life's gritty hurdles head-on together.
  • The show is also very raw. It's like the directors went out of their way to emphasize the less glamorous parts of life:
    • The protagonists wear badly fitting clothes, no obvious make-up, don't bother to keep their hair neat and their bodily imperfections are proudly displayed (eg. James' scrawny figure, or Alyssa's eye-bags).
    • Most of the scenes take place in very plain surroundings rarely shown in movies, such as a scraggly field, a rundown house by the coast or a dingy street in a poor neighborhood.
    • No attempt is made to hide the cold and grey UK weather.
    • The dialogue is also very plain, and awkward silences are common.

I'm a fan of Pulp Fiction and I really enjoyed this show. The protagonists are surprisingly relatable and their rash choices, amidst realistic settings, make for exciting television.

added 10 jun 2020
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