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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

Most teens probably feel a little lost and alone at some point. Weird and unloved. They look in the mirror, stare deeply at the face staring back at them and think to themselves, sincerely, "Boy, am I messed up!" (Or some variation thereof).

Yes, most teens feel this way sometimes. But for some, they're absolutely, positively telling the truth.

Take James, a 17-year-old with an apparent fondness for murder. Oh, he hasn't gone all the way yet. His victims have been small animals thus far. But he's ready to graduate to bigger prey. "Much bigger," he says.

That's when Alyssa walks into his life. She's a young classmate whom even James admits "had some issues." Alyssa's birth father walked out on her and her family when she was 8, and she hasn't seen him since. Her mom's new hubby, Tony, has taken to Alyssa in a more-than-fatherly way. Alyssa doesn't trust anyone who fits in, and man, does James not fit in.

She quickly claims him for her boyfriend and pushes things along at the speed of a Golden State fast break. The two fractured lovebirds run off together, as fractured lovebirds in prestige dark comedies are wont to do, stealing James' dad's car to make their less-than-clean getaway.

"I feel, I dunno, comfortable with him," Alyssa tells us. "Sort of safe."

Meanwhile, James literally sharpens his murder knife.

The Beginning of The End

The whole "will they or won't they" dynamic has been a television trope for years—probably ever since television censors deemed it permissible to show two people in one bed. But here, the trope isn't predicated so much on whether these underage lovers will sleep together (though there's that, too), but whether James'll turn his young femme fatale into a femme fatality.

As the show progresses, though, viewers find that James and Alyssa just might not be as permanently screwed up as they imagine, that a little love and companionship might go a long way toward healing their long-festering emotional wounds. Then again, maybe they just begin to look a little more sane compared to the hideously unhinged individuals they run into, or—especially in Alyssa's case—the loutish parents she's left behind.

And in truth, End of the F*ing World offers some interesting insights into that world. When he's 9, James sticks his hand in a deep-fat fryer to "make myself feel something." But some of the folks he and Alyssa encounter seem as if they're actively working at deadening themselves from all sensation, shutting the door on discomforting truths and uncomfortable moments. Others are ever more emotionally disturbed, seeking pleasure in the darkest recesses of the human imagination.

And I suppose that's as an appropriate place as any to get into this show's litany of issues.

Judge This Show by Its Title

Look, when a series slaps the f-word in its title—censored by asterisks but really obscuring nothing—you don't need a Plugged In review to tell you that it's gonna have problems.

Based on a book of the same (uncensored) name by Charles S. Forsman, this very British, very dark comedy was released Oct. 24, 2017 in the United Kingdom and received its international debut the following January. On Facebook, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called it the "most engaging addictive original wild show in a long time." He's not alone: The acclaim it has received has been fairly universal … 'til now.

Yes, End is well-written and clever. Yes, it offers moments of poignancy and hope as it tracks its underage lovers across southern England. But let us not lose sight of how abysmally terrible the content here is. It blends lots of sexual content (though no explicit nudity) with lots of violent content, and then augments all that with lots and lots of language. (One waggish IMDb reviewer said that it includes "pretty much all the profanity known to man.") Alcohol and drugs are common accoutrements, as well.

And while this twisted comedy does have isolated moments of insight, they're nestled within a bleak worldview and devastating, pitch-black tone. Hope? Forget it. This show suggests that every day is the end of the world, that our only solace is in the few friends we may find as we dance toward oblivion.

And let's not forget that this show, despite its TV-MA rating, seems squarely aimed at teens—teens who may look into this virtual looking glass and see a little of themselves in Alyssa and James. Given the content we see here and the worldview peddled, that's a mirror best kept covered.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

End of the F*ing World: Jan 5, 2018 "Episode 1"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Alex Lawther as James; Jessica Barden as Alyssa; Gemma Whelan as DC Eunice Noon; Wunmi Mosaku as DC Teri Donoghue; Steve Oram as Phil; Christine Bottomley as Gwen; Navin Chowdhry as Tony; Barry Ward as Leslie

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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