Binge-A-Thon: The End of the Fucking World

Man, it’s been awhile since I binged a show. It’s been so long that I can’t even find the last Binge-A-Thon article during a quick search (I wanted to double check my house style on the headlines because, as I said, it’s been awhile since I did one).

But I’m back having completed the first binge of the new year (and, in fact, there were two binges that were pretty back to back, so hopefully I’ll get that second one up soon).

We’re here to talk about what might be the bingiest show to binge that’s ever been binged: The End of the Fucking World. Eight episodes of about 20 minutes each put this show at about the length of a long movie, so it can easily be consumed in a single sitting.

Mind you, it doesn’t need to be. There aren’t too many cliff-hanger moments that compel you to jump into the next episode right away. Instead, what drives you to continue is the dynamic of the two lead characters, and the curiosity about what they’re going to do, and where they’re going to go, next.

So let’s talk about those two leads. James is 17 years old and he’s pretty sure he’s a psychopath, on account of how likes to spend his time killing animals for fun. Alyssa is James’ age, she’s not having a good time with her mom and step-dad and wants to find her real father. James thinks he might want to murder Alyssa, but not before they hang out for awhile and go on a road trip.

It’s the story of two outcasts finding each other, and then finding themselves. It’s kind of an off-kilter romance, even though nothing particularly romantic happens. And best of all, it’s fucking brilliant.

All the performances are solid, but those two leads — played by Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden — are just goddamn pitch perfect. When I finished watching the first episode, I was convinced that Alyssa was my hands-down favorite TV character of the last few years. In fact, I still think she is.

Sure, it’s dark (which you could expect from any story featuring a budding serial killer), but it’s also funny, and weirdly sweet, and, well, dark. Let’s not forget that. So if you’re not into darkness, don’t go here.

But if you are, or if you’re into weird and lovely, then The End of the Fucking World is something that you absolutely have to see. It’s that good. I don’t give out star ratings on my binges, but if I did, it would have all of the stars. All of them.

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