By Dave B.
The second season of The End of The F***ing World (Netflix) takes place about two years after the dramatic conclusion of Season One. James and Alyssa have not seen each other since the culmination of their adventure. Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is engaged to be married and James (Alex Lawther) is recovering from partial paralysis and the loss of his father. But fate is not done with these two yet, as the first season’s most pivotal event comes back to haunt them in the form of Bonnie (Wunmi Mosaku), a deeply disturbed foe with an implacable grudge against the two teens.
First of all, watching Season One of The End of The F***ing World is a prerequisite for understanding anything that happens in this season. Season Two largely revolves around how James and Alyssa’s journey has impacted each of them individually and how they are managing to cope with (or failing to cope with) their respective traumas. That said, Season Two is a masterpiece. It’s one of the most well-directed shows that I have ever seen. The score, lighting, shot selection…all the technical components that a director uses to set a tone, are executed to near-perfection. The show is filled with darkly humorous situations and dialogue. And overall, the performances are excellent: Barden is masterful, Mosaku is great, and Lawther is solid, if unspectacular. I watched the first episode of The End of The F***ing World’s eight episode season at about midnight on a Tuesday, I figured that since each episode is only about 20 minutes long, I could watch one episode, go to sleep, and watch the remaining episodes over the next day or two. Instead, I ended up watching the entire thing in one sitting, due in large part to the show’s ability to skillfully manipulate my emotions in nearly every scene.
As I previously alluded to, The End of The F***ing World’s second season is about broken people trying to do the best that they can to find some peace in the world. And where it’s greatest success lies, is in forcing viewers to have empathy for these deeply flawed people. Through a combination of wry humor and unbelievably good character development, The End of The F***ing World makes all of its main characters fully three-dimensional people who we viewers want things to work out for, despite the horrible things that they may have done or experienced.
I had assumed that I would go through 2019 without giving a perfect score to any show or movie (unlike in 2018, when I gave that rating to two shows), despite how impressed I was with “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”. I was wrong. To be honest, I enjoyed the first season of this show a bit more than the second. It was more of a surprise to me that it was as good as it was. But what sets Season Two apart is that, although I didn’t realize it until the final credits were rolling, once it was over, I realized that this sequel season was exactly what I wanted and needed it to be. The End of The F***ing World: Season Two is undoubtedly my favorite show of the year (thus far), and I highly recommend it to anyone. No caveats, no exceptions. Watch this show.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.