With one of the oddest and wildest trailers for a TV show in 2018 so far, The End of the F**ing World sets itself up to be one of the weirdest releases this year. This Netflix Original follows two 17 year olds: James and Alyssa.
James is a self-proclaimed psychopath who acts like he does not feel any emotions and enjoys hunting rats, cats and dogs. However, his ultimate plan is to kill a human. Although a normal show would emphasize the horror of this plan, The End of the F***ing World uses a strong sense of normality, which gives the show this eery and unusual mood.
Alyssa is a rebellious, annoying, loud mouthed girl who is seeking love, both emotionally and somewhat physically. She picks James to fall in love with because he’s different than everyone else within their community. He’s awkward, silent, doesn’t have a phone and is antisocial, like her. She can relate to him.
To Alyssa, they are in a relationship and she thinks he’s the perfect person for her. However, he only stays with her because he thinks she is the perfect target to kill. The juxtaposition of her thoughts and his thoughts is something which the show highlights a lot in the beginning.
For example, James visualizes himself killing her with a knife while they are being intimate. On the other hand, she was only thinking of how he is the perfect guy for her.
They decide that they both do not like their lives with their parents, and they run away together. In order to do so, they steal James’ father’s car.
The show, as it progresses, takes turns that are generally expected at some point, but they happen at unusual times. The show is almost paradoxical in how what happens to James and Alyssa is foreseeable but very capricious.
In episode three, Alyssa and James break into a professor’s house by the name of Dr. Clive Koch (pronounced Cock). James searches around the house and finds out Koch is a serial rapist and murderer.
The show foreshadows some conflict happening next, especially because Alyssa goes to sleep in the rapist’s bed in only her underwear. Even though James is sleeping a few feet away on the floor, the suspense of something happening takes over the scene.
When Koch comes home, Alyssa is sleeping in the rapist’s bed in her underwear and James is on the floor, holding her hand. Koch sees this as an opportunity and attempts to rape her, but James, who is under the bed, gets up and stabs the rapist in the throat. This climactic event leads to Alyssa and James spending much of the show covering up this murder together, while also falling in love.
An important aspect of the show is its clear emphasis on modern day problems which many teenagers can relate to like sexual abuse, suicide, depression and PTSD.
For example, in episode five, which is a flashback, young James wants to go feed the ducks, and his mom insists that he doesn’t. His dad, however, says otherwise and convinces her to take James out to feed the ducks.
When they arrive at the waterbed, she stops him from getting out of the car and tells him she loves him. It’s clear that there is a deeper meaning to why she says it at that time.
Even the hug she gives him seems mournful. James gets out and his mom puts the car into drive and goes into the waterbed, drowning herself, committing suicide.
Young James just watches as it happens. He doesn’t do anything, yet what can he do? He just saw his mom commit suicide. It’s one of the most mind-boggling scenes in the entire season.
This gives the background of why James claims to have no emotional feeling. He is traumatized because of the scene of his mom dying in front of him. He didn’t know what to feel, so he didn’t “feel” and he hasn’t “felt” since that incident.
As you continue to watch, you can see Alyssa drawing James out of the shell he’s kept himself in for the past 11 years. Alyssa becomes a little more logical throughout the season.
They bond like a genuine couple, even though they murdered someone and are on the run.
This show is important because it brings attention to the mental health of teenagers and how they get past certain problems. At the beginning, it’s easy to assume that they are just teenagers and being dramatic for attention.
In the end, the message behind their actions is very important. It stresses how important mental health awareness is for teenagers and uses a very unusual method to create a connection between the audience and the show.