This “new” Netflix series is a grown-up Moonrise Kingdom.
by Claire Nunez
I have wondered what it would be like to be chased by the police, Hollywood-blockbuster style. I would probably last about 20 minutes before breaking down and crying with my hands up. How do all of those characters do it? Honestly, all of those movies and shows about this pursuit are so contrived– I am not a fan, but when I watched The End of the F***cking World on Netflix, I fell in love with the chase for the first time.
Recently, I had my wisdom teeth removed, so I have been Netflixing more than usual. When the 8-part, British series, The End of the F***cking World, came up as a suggested watch, I figured why the heck not? The premise of the show seemed a bit stupid to me: two kids running from the police. One is obsessed with killing, and the other is essentially the Bonnie to his Clyde. Hasn’t that been done before? Yes, but not as well as this short series did.
Both of the main characters, angsty in their teenage ways, are different from everyone around them. James (Alex Lawther) is odd-duck. He puts his hand in a fryer as a kid just so he can feel something– oh, and he originally only agrees to Alyssa’s (Jessica Barden) advances because he thinks she would be good to murder. James is obsessed with killing, and he murders small animals in his freetime, the typical stuff. James eventually warms up to Alyssa, who is rebellious with her words, after she casually convinces him to punch his dad in the face and steal his car. They then end up murdering a creepy professor which forces them to run.
The premise of the show is rather simple, but it is the smaller story arcs and character development that are so intriguing. Each 20 minute episode shows James recognizing that he actually has feelings and Alyssa realizing that she doesn’t have to be so harsh and absurd all of the time to get what she wants. I think this show really presents teenagers in a different light. It has been a hot second since I was 17, but I feel like I understand my 17 year-old-self a little better now (disclaimer: at 17, I was nothing like these characters mostly because I didn’t murder anyone).
The End of the F***cking World reminded me a bit of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which follows two kids who run away from home. Everything from the characters, to the film filter, to the ending of the series is very familiar. I feel like the kids from Moonrise Kingdom grew up and then decided to kill someone together. I kinda liked that vibe.
I would totally recommend this show to anyone who likes Moonrise Kingdom or police chases or some comedic drama. It is quick to watch and honestly, it kept my attention. I did not find myself scrolling through Twitter while I was watching. Some parts can get a little gore-y, so I would advise you to be wary if you are squeamish. But seriously, watch The End of the F***cking World it is one of the best shows on Netflix at the moment. You will not regret it.