The End of the F***ing World continues the awkwardly funny, yet traumatic driven angst, by having each character own up to their past.
Look, dealing with your personal demons isn’t easy. Whether it be the death of a loved one, former history with sexual abuse, or even just feeling lonely in an isolated world. Life can be hard without a human connection. Growing up without love, even harder. Especially when you have the burden of carrying your past and messed up shit with you.
Which is exactly what TEOTFW is all about in its second season.
In this week’s TV Talk, we talk and recap End of The F***ing World Season 2. Available here, iTunes, GooglePlay, and Spotify
Adapted from the comic by Charles Forsman, The End of the F***ing World Season One was the story about Alyssa and James, two kids with mundane lives, with borderline and near psychopathic teenage personalities, and their Bonnie and Clyde type adventure where they go out and find themselves.
I went over TEOTFW Season One in detail when it first came out but you can also recap with some of the best of moments of Season One below. For the sake of this review, I’ll go into detail about why you should check out the show, as its one of my favorites of all-time, but also will touch on what the series expanded upon from Season One.
A short recap and best of moments in Season One
TEOTFW Season 2 Review Spoiler-Free
“People do all kinds of shit when they fell bad about themselves,” Alyssa in Season Two.
So, minus the spoilers, this season of ‘The End of ‘The F***ing World’ is a lot of the same about what made Season one great: killer soundtrack akin to a Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino movie. Lots of teenage angst and apathy. Hard-hitting issues such as Murder and Trauma and Sexual Abuse. Some lowkey town and country scenes with the occasional explosive moments. And yet again, another murder. Also, a murderer.
All of which, was technically featured in Season One too. Comment below and I’ll give examples for scene proofs.
Where the season expands is that Alyssa deals with the trauma of what happened to her and sort of pushes the reset button on her life. A lot of changes happened in the two-year time gap, but you can also see, where certain characters are emotionally stunted and albeit stuck. A lot of which has to do with the crazy messed up things about season one, and the need to get over the trauma.
New elements are also added, including a new character which provides more depth into a bit of Season One and its backstory. We also talk about our problems. Sort of. As secrets and lies get revealed.
TEOTFW Season 2 Breakdown
Season two begins with Bonnie. A new character and ex-con who was in love with Clive, the serial rapist/murderer/professor James murdered to protect Alyssa. We quickly learn about her history: how she was a victim manipulated into thinking everything that happened between her and clive was okay, how she was in denial or ignorant of Clive’s atrocities, and why she actively pursued the role of the jealous and murderous girlfriend (because no one else loved her so she did anything for the one person who ‘did’).
She’s decided to get revenge on those she believes brutally and maliciously murdered Clive.
We then get into the pretty spoiler-heavy territory so fair warning.
“She wasn’t having sex with him she was killing him. Maybe both,” Alyssa in Season Two.
We immediately see a lot of the familiar beats from season one in Episode 2. The soundtrack’s killer and the characters are awkward and true to form.
Alyssa is still a bit spontaneous, though is also pretty hurt and traumatized by season one’s finale. A plot we thoroughly delve into deeper by midseason. She’s relocated her entire life after what happened and eventually gets a job as a waitress, boyfriend, and even gets engaged… because why not? Again this is a girl feeling more and more distant from the world who’s trying to do things just to feel something. Anything, besides the pain of what happened as it still haunts her.
Even bigger spoilers: James is alive. He eventually was found innocent thanks to the tape evidence, though he became paralyzed for a long while. His father helped him during his recovery and the two bonded, but he died of a heart attack shortly after. James is having a hard time letting go of his dad (quite literally carrying his ashes in a jar everywhere) and is trying to reconnect with the one person who also loved him: Alyssa. Definitely not a psychopath, we still see signs he’s still very awkward.
What’s special about this season, is that we see the characters with their roles reversed. As they deal with issues of attachment and loss of identity/loss of humanity, after the craziness of Season One.
Whereas many see this as an unnecessary rehash of a perfect series, I disagree in that I think it’s important that both characters address their issues. Because getting almost raped, almost dying, and watching your father die… that’s a lot of trauma to unpack. I enjoyed sitting in the dirt and emotionally dealing with these actions. I think it is a realistic portrayal of traumatized teenagers and I don’t think enough TV does this today (because it is all about sensationalism and not getting bored).
This season makes you deal with trauma. And it’s fantastic. It lets you see broken people making mistakes without excusing them for entertainment’s sake. Actions have consequences. Life is hard.
A lot of people complained that the series should have ended on Season One, but to me, that’s the easy way out. What’s harder, and what I think is the more difficult discourse, is owning up to your messed up shit and having to deal with it because that’s life. It doesn’t conveniently wrap up the way we’d like it too.
The Final Take of The End of the F***ing World Season 2
Excellent all-around I give it 9s in every feasible category.
Some of the final lines in the series are poetic and I really hope people watch the finale. I don’t think the series can continue with season 3, but this season was is a nice epilogue and sendoff in my opinion and I’ll leave it at that and some quotes taken in the final minutes of Season 2. But I’ll let you choose whether or not to watch it.
“I’m sorry. For trying to make you the answer. It’s not fair.”
“I love you, too.”
“Yeah, don’t go on about it.”
You can watch ‘The End of The F***ing World’ Season Two on Netflix Right Now