English-import limited series The End of the F***ing World, based upon a dark comic book, is as insane as TV generally gets. If you like your humor dark, dark, dark, this will suit you just fine.
Jessica Barden (The Lobster) and Alex Lawther (Black Mirror) are incredible as Alyssa and James. Alyssa is the new girl at school; Alex is the strange kid who sits alone in the cafeteria, fantasizing about one day killing a person. Alyssa walks up to him and immediately qualifies herself as his potential first murder (not counting a slew of animals in his backyard). He fakes being interested in her, and they go out on a few dates, while James secretly fantasizes about slitting Alyssa’s throat.
This is not your average set up for a standard rom-com, now, is it?
Somehow, these two performers not only pull off the premise; they do so in grand fashion. The eight-episode series (each show is about 20 minutes long) breezes by, and somehow, Alex winds up being more heroic than psychotic. Don’t get me wrong—he’s still nuts. Yet somehow, somehow, he winds up being strangely sweet.
As for Barden, she’s a star in the making, and this show wouldn’t be the success it is without her. Her comic timing is impeccable; she will break your heart. Steve Oram chips in as James’ dad, and he does a beautiful job of portraying a well-meaning doofus.
We’ll see if this is a one-season-and-done season show. If so, the way it ends is perfect. If not, I would not mind seeing the further adventures of Alyssa and James.
The End of the F***ing World is now streaming on Netflix.