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06 November 2019 04:32

The End of the fun***in World 2

The End of the F***ing World Season 2 Review

Brace yourselves, The End of the F***ing World is back for another season of brutal emotional truths, sporadic fits of shocking violence, and absolutely killer needle drops, and against the odds, they've almost gone and lived up to the electric first season. The End of the F***ing World's first season did just fine when it debuted on Channel 4, but like so many imports, the UK series absolutely caught fire worldwide when it landed on Netflix. A breakout hit with the kind of buzz no marketing machine can buy, The End of the F***ing World's first season took us on a deeply dark and perversely funny road trip with two lawless teens; Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a rebellious young woman with so much pent-up rage she practically spits venom with her words and shoots lasers with her eyes, and James (Alex Lawther), a boy who thinks he's a psychopath and decides to join Alyssa on the road with the intention of killing her. Instead, the two fell sloppily, dangerously in love on a Bonnie & Clyde road trip to meet Alyssa's father and start a new life together. Instead, it says "F*** you" to romanticized tragedy and makes the surprising decision to grow up, face consequences, and still make room for that spark of searing heart and humor that made Season 1 so special.

Netflix has asked the press not to reveal whether or not James lives, which makes it pretty hard to discuss the season at all, but suffice it to say, if Season 1 was built on the frenzy of first love and two teenagers learning that self-isolation has fruitless rewards, Season 2 takes us through the thrumming hollow of heartbreak, the cold calm of depression, and once again, how it's the spark of hard-won human connection that can pull us through. The bad news is, it was the philosophy professor that James and Alyssa killed (in self-defense) in the first season and Bonnie's hell-bent on old-fashioned eye for an eye vengeance. The first season of The End of the F***ing World felt like a dazzling magic trick, zipping by in eight trim 20-minute episodes that thrust you face-first into the world's carnal cruelty while lighting hearts aflame with a passionate story of emotional rebirth and first love. Season 2 feels like picking up the pieces after the magic trick set the whole damn theater on fire, taking a look at the damage in the clear light of day, and deciding "I'd never do that again. The End of the F***ing World Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

The ending of the first season of The End of the F—ing World—the sleeper hit from Netflix (and the U.K.'s Channel 4)—left us with an almighty cliffhanger: After murdering a serial rapist in his home, our lovers on the run, the combative Alyssa (Jessica Barden) and the aspiring psychopath James (Alex Lawther), were torn apart when the latter was shot by police. Writer Charlie Covell's pitch-black comedy plays like nihilist fun at first glance—like American Psycho by way of Wes Anderson, the show revels in the angsty schemes of two kids with a stick-it-to-the-man outlook on life—but as James and Alyssa begin to fall for each other, the show's robust walls give way to a much sweeter center. Where the show leaves on uncertainty, its source material ends on a definitive note: In the epilogue, James is gone and Alyssa is left to grieve alone over her ephemeral love affair. But before we even reunite with Alyssa, the show pulls off its most audacious feat yet: dedicating the entire first episode of the season to Bonnie (Naomi Ackie, devastating and terrifying), a laconic woman on a one-track mission to seek vengeance against Alyssa. The End of the F**king World is a bleak series filled with blood and depravity, but you wouldn't know that from its Season 2 soundtrack.

"The End Of The World" - Julie London (What happened to James after Season 1) "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - Fairpoint Convention (James and Alyssa drinking in a hotel room) "Trouble Is My Middle Name" - Bobby Vinton (Alyssa, James, and Bonnie's night at the hotel come to an end) "I'm A Dreamer" - Josephine Foster (Alyssa and James wrestle Bonnie's gun away from her) It would've been fine as a one-season series, but after James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) became the internet's favorite emo couple, Netflix decided to give it another go with this bonus round. Based on the events of the first season finale, it was a bit hard to see how the show could recapture the odd magic of two nihilists falling in love, but the second season makes the answer clear within its first couple of episodes. One thing the trailer did make plain is that the second season involves a significant time jump; Alyssa has moved back in with her mother and siblings after being sentenced to community service, and she does indeed find someone new to be with. As it turns out, Bonnie was in love with the icky professor James and Alyssa killed in the first season, and now she wants revenge for his death. The End of the F***ing World Season 2 is now available on Netflix.