Last year’s critically acclaimed season of The End of the F***ing World was a surprisingly striking pitch black comedy. Thanks to its short format episodic style, it’s easy bingeable and gathered a true cult following online, who’s waiting anxiously to see how Alyssa (Jessica Barden) deals with the fallout of the events of the first series. The second series sees the introduction of a new character, Bonnie (Naomi Ackie), an outsider with a troubled past and a mysterious connection to Alyssa. The time has come for you to (probably) watch all eight episodes in one day, since this is more like a chopped up under three hours film.
Some of your favourite characters are back. And that’s a good thing. What I liked about the second series, is how much it ties in with the first series. The story focuses on Alyssa’s mental state and how she’s trying to fit in. Knowing Alyssa, you realise this isn’t an easy task for her, especially when she makes some hasty decisions that flips other people’s lives upside down. The images of her and James ending the abusive professor’s life in the previous series, still haunt her and even more she’s trying to run away from her responsibilities. New character Bonnie is just as mental, if not worse. As the series progresses, things get more serious when we dive into Bonnie’s past, what ends in a surprisingly emotional finale.
The original songs and score are once again written and performed by Blur‘s Graham Coxon. These rueful tunes set the mood for what might seem less of a road trip like the first series was and stays more in one place, where Alyssa’s aunt’s cafe almost feels like a character itself, with its moody red neon lights lighting up the dark woods surrounding it. Just like its first series, it’s geographically unreal, but this time it even feels as if David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks is set in the same universe. Lots of flashbacks get used, a bit too much if you ask me. Fans of the first series don’t need to watch Alyssa’s face covered in blood every time she thinks about what she has done.
Jessica Barden‘s layered performance is obviously terrific as she seems even more dead on the inside than she was before, with a glimmer of trying to break out of that coffin of hers. But BIFA-winning Naomi Ackie is tremendous as a broken and disturbingly mentally wounded woman, looking for answers.
The End of the F***ing World 2 is more of what you asked for, but all grown up. Stays true to what defined the series, and adds a mystery noir layer to it. A sharp, peculiar, stylised sequel that will make you want this story to go on for at least another season.
Netflix Review – The End of the F***ing World – Season 2
Reviewed on Netflix, Sydney, Nov. 5, 2019. Australian Classification: MA15+ Running time: 8 episodes of 20 min.
PRODUCTION: A Netflix presentation of a Netflix, Channel 4 production. Producer: Jenny Frayn. Executive producers: Andy Baker, Dominic Buchanan, Charlie Covell, Jonathan Entwistle, Murray Ferguson, Ed Macdonald. Line producer: Vaughan Watkins.
CREW: Directors: Lucy Forbes, Destiny Ekaragha. Writers: Charlie Covell. Editor: Tony Kearns. Music: Graham Coxon.
WITH: Jessica Barden, Naomi Ackie, Christine Bottomley.