The End of the F***ing World is the first hit Netflix series of 2018. The series began as a British adaptation of a comic by the same name created by Charles Forsman. Channel 4 then sold the exclusive international distribution rights to Netflix, and it now seems that both networks have a lot to be happy about given the critical success and buzz among subscribers.
If you're not already familiar with the television or comics series, The End of the F***ing World follows James and Alyssa, a pair of delinquent teenagers, when they run away from home together. James believes he is a sociopath and plans to kill Alyssa, while Alyssa simply wants to escape the unhappiness of her home life. Thing go awry very quickly in both incredibly dark and oddly funny fashions.
Unlike many comics adaptations, The End of the F***ing World is very dedicated to its source material. With only a few exceptions, the Netflix series traces the steps of the comic perfectly, primarily adding additional background or expanding on scenes. The result is an adaptation that is both faithful and good in its own right. Whether you're interested in checking out the story on TV, comics, or both, the reasons remain the same.
We've compiled a list of the 10 best reasons to both read and watch The End of the F***ing World. Click ahead to see what all of the fuss is about and how these two excellent versions of the story offer excellent entertainment in both mediums.
The End of the F***ing World is best described as a black comedy. While the series synopsis might seem overly bleak, each installment is packed with humor. It makes sense that the American comic was adapted in Britain too, as its deadpan style is often best exemplified on networks like the BBC. While there's no laugh track in either format, you'll find it difficult to not provide your own. There's plenty of fun to be found in its absurdist nature.prevnext
Two Excellent Leads
Alyssa and James aren't obviously likable characters on paper, and their adventure together is mundane with a few key exceptions. It's the charm of the pair that must carry the story though, and it does. In Forsman's comic, there's an everyman appeal to them both that comes across through blunt honesty and an unflinching look at their lives. Those elements are present in the show as well, but it's Jessica Barden (Alyssa) and Alex Lawther (James) who bring the pair to life immediately. In either case, you're bound to fall in love, even if it feels like you shouldn't.prevnext
Charles Forsman originally published The End of the F***ing World as a mini-comic in eight-page installments. This resulted in small segments of story that accomplished a lot in very little space. As a collection it still makes for a very quick read. This approach to storytelling can be found in the Netflix series as well with only eight episodes that range between 19 and 22 minutes. There is none of the decompression that plagues some Netflix adaptations. You can enjoy a single episode over a quick lunch or binge the entire series in a single evening.prevnext
The End of the F***ing World is certainly a coming-of-age tale, but it's as far from a John Hughes film as you can get too. Both series focus on the difficult subject matter of learning empathy and accepting the world as a deeply imperfect place. It's lessons are bittersweet, but plainly true. Forsman's comic remains more focused on the development of a single relationship and how this alters people, while the show expands more on subject matter like understanding one's parents. In both cases, it's well handled and honest.prevnext
The action in both series is one of their biggest differences, but both manage to pack a punch. Forsman's comic delivers violence quickly and without hesitation. Knives and fists make their impact known immediately and plainly between panels, taking full advantage of unadorned layouts to make readers flinch. On television, the color of blood and sound of action are much easier to show. As a result holdups and far more disturbing incidents feel real, resulting in some very gripping moments.prevnext
A Disturbing Mystery
Before either series reaches its halfway point, James and Alyssa encounter a very dangerous character who unveils a larger mystery. The details vary between the comic and the Netflix series, but both feel like something that would be at home in True Detective. The television adaptation even adds a pair of detectives who unveil the mystery as they track the children, which also proves to be an interesting case.prevnext
Realistic Character Growth
Part of what makes The End of the F***ing World so engaging is that its characters resemble real people, which makes their ability to change all the more surprising. James and Alyssa are very different characters at the end of both versions, but the lessons they've learned come in believable and difficult fashions. They are still recognizable, only altered just enough to make a difference in their lives and upon the viewer or reader's feelings.prevnext
Almost every great story of adolescence deals with sex in some form, and The End of the F***ing World is no exception. James' initial lack of humanity makes for an interesting dynamic between the two. This is explored to varying degrees in both versions in an open and frank fashion. While there are no moments that would put an R rating on the series, there's open discussion and acknowledgement of sex and related subject matter. Both versions' willingness to engage with teenage sexuality in a realistic manner is refreshing.prevnext
Not every episode or chapter ends with a cliffhanger, but when the status quo of The End of the F***ing World changes, it tends to change irrevocably. People die suddenly and without much anticipation. Betrayals are made with only minimal foreshadowing. Every twist is based in character rather than plot, which makes all of them hurt that much more. From start to finish The End of the F***ing World is capable of surprising its audience in a genuine fashion.prevnext
A Truly Unique Story For Our Times
The number one reason to check out The End of the F***ing World in comics stores and on Netflix is that there's simply nothing else like it out there today. It tackles subject matter that feels relevant to this moment in a unique fashion. Forsman's blend of humor and violence has made him a well-loved voice in indie comics and this adaptation of his work has captured that voice wonderfully. The End of the F***ing World is well-equipped to surprise, entertain, and upset audiences. More importantly, it does all of this in a fashion unlike anything else in comics or on television.prev