When The End of the F***ing World hit television screens across the United Kingdom back in 2017, a small but mighty audience took notice. Though the series began on Channel 4, Netflix has handled all international distribution. So, don’t be fooled, this isn’t a Netflix original. No matter where it has come from, it’s worked perfectly for its target audience. The first series was refreshing, incredibly dark, and insightfully funny. The series ended with a pretty big cliffhanger, and nobody was sure if a second season would follow. But it did, and we’re here to review The End of the F***ing World season 2. This review will contain significant spoilers for the first season and will spoil the first 2 episodes of season 2 only.
An End Of The F***ing World Refresher
The first season follows the bizarre relationship of James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden). James, 17, is pretty sure he’s a psychopath. After his mother’s suicide and his cold relationship with his father, he sees his only way out to be murdering someone. And he’s picked Alyssa. Alyssa, also 17, is a bold and daring girl who wants to leave her boring life at home and have fun. James slowly realizes that he isn’t capable of killing, and has the capacity to feel love. The fast-paced love story sees the pair forced to kill a real psychopath. They’re forced to run and are eventually caught by police.
The series is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman. The general theme of the comic is intact through the series, with a few major changes. Specifically, Forsman’s story takes place in the United States, while the series is in the UK. The comic also takes place over a longer time span, whereas both seasons of the show are fast, days-only events. What the series has chosen to do beyond the comics is to continue the story of James and Alyssa. Because Forsman decided to kill James. And while the season 1 finale may have you thinking that they’ve done the same, James is very much alive.
Season 2 of The End of the F***ing World Is Different But Lovable
Aside from the storyline, season 2 delivers on some of our favorite things from the first season. The soundtrack is to die for, and the visuals are haunting and beautiful. Season 1 moved quickly, and it was impossible to look away from the fast-paced journey. Season 2 is slower and takes more time to explore characters. But what really makes the season great is that James is alive. I won’t spoil how James and Alyssa navigate their lives after what they’ve been through, but it’s not easy for them. As much as I just wanted to see them be happy together and move on with their lives, they’ve got some stuff to deal with. It is the end of the f***ing world, after all.
Image via Channel 4.
Season 1 was quite dark. They dealt with a rapist, murderous ideations, and abusive parents. Season 2 is slightly less so, but with even more dark humor. It’s so subtle that for those who aren’t invested in the characters, they may find it to be boring, passive, or just depressing conversation. But somehow, it’s hilarious. No matter how bleak the lives of these characters have become, we root for them. Even the not-so-favorites, like newcomer Bonnie (Naomi Ackie) who wants to kill James and Alyssa. And how could we root for someone who wants to kill our favorite twisted love story? Because she’s given some understandable motivations of her own.
A Special Shout Out To Alex Lawther In Season 2
Every character is given a chance to act out frustrations and deliver some deadpan lines. But it’s Alex Lawther’s James that steals the show this time around. Last season had James spend the first half unable to express emotions, and deliver every line with a straight face and complicated thought processing. Now that he’s cracked his psychopathic mystery and discovered that feeling things is worth the hardship, he’s breakable. But more than breakable, he’s capable of intense love and desire. Even his most brief smiles and eye contractions have you understanding his utter joys, despairs, and heartbreaks over his complicated time with Alyssa. She might be louder and scene-stealing through dialogue, but his expressive acting is the epitome of a good character study on James.
Image via Channel 4.
The End of the F***ing World Is Probably F***ing Over
Honestly, we’re lucky we even got a second season. Despite how heartbreaking it was to spend the years-long break between seasons thinking that James was dead, it still delivered a full story. It left us able to finish it off with our own imaginations, no matter what route we took. Season 2 similarly wraps up the storylines, with less need to know what happens next. And so, it’s even more unlikely that we’ll ever see a third season. And even though this is my #1 show from the past few years, I don’t think I need more. So, goodbye to James and Alyssa, and may they forever live on in their own little dark romance.
Season 2 of The End of the F***ing World is available for streaming on Netflix now. It’s 8 short episodes and moves quickly enough to finish in one sitting. So, readers, have you finished it yet? Let us know what you think, and whether or not you think a third season is necessary!
Featured image via Channel 4.
Meghan Hale is a graduate student living right outside of Toronto, Canada. She has always been the go-to gal for talking about anything film related and has a frustratingly long list of movie trivia up her sleeve. She is currently working on her first screenplay, as well as a horror novel, with the goal of publishing it while Stephen King is still around to read it.