Watch a video essay that compiles James and Alyssa’s best moments.

Are you growing tired of run-of-the-mill boy meets girl love stories? Then try this murderous tale of two teen runaways on for size. The End of the F***ing World is British snark and teen angst meets Terrence Malick’s Badlands. The eight-episode series is about two high schoolers, James and Alyssa, who, both disillusioned with suburban mediocrity and disappointing home lives, decide to run away together. The rub is that James is a budding psychopath who thinks Alyssa would make the perfect first victim. Meanwhile, Alyssa is a wild card who she thinks she might actually be falling for her mysterious classmate. An explosive road trip ensues. Obviously, we at Film School Rejects loved it.

The series features Jessica Barden as Alyssa and Alex Lawther as James. You may recognize Barden from Penny Dreadful. She hasn’t acted in too many projects just yet but in her turn as Alyssa, she makes us fall for the initially disarming but ultimately charming character who’s really just looking for someone around whom she can let her guard down. You may be more likely to recognize Lawther. He was the star of  Shut Up and Dance, one of the best episodes from the third season of Black Mirror. Lawther delivers an equally impressive performance. He knows just how to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings in-between moments where he’s fantasizing about murder.  The two also have great comedic chemistry. Alyssa dead-panning lines like, “have you ever eaten a pussy before?” to the equally stone-faced James is fun to watch. Their performances suggest promising careers to come from both twenty-somethings.

The End of the F***ing World borrows a lot of ideas from other shows and movies but brings everything together to make one unique genre-bending little series. For example, James’s psychopath origin story is reminiscent of that of Dexter Morgan. Also, film and TV have time and time again explored the teens on the lam story-line. But, The End of the F***ing World brings new interest to these ideas through the show’s humor, breakout performances, and excellent writing. The End of the F***ing World finds the perfect balance between light-hearted binge-ability and much darker moments (such as a very memorable mid-sex murder via throat slitting, à la Gone Girl). Not to mention that the show has a killer soundtrack. You can easily check out The End of the F***ing World right now on Netflix.

Luckily for us all, there has been speculation about a second season of the show.  Hopefully, we’re not done with James and Alyssa just yet. Watch this video essay to reflect on all the good times these two shared in season one:

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