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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Review: It’s the end of the world as we know it

Series title and logo for TEOTFW seasons 1 and 2

*spoiler warning*

Season one of  “The End of the F***ing World” (TEOTFW) ended with a bang… literally. Audience members were left hanging by a thread when a gunshot rang out as James ran from the police and the screen faded to black. It wasn’t until halfway through the second episode of season two that fans find out he survived.

Most fans can attest to the notion that season one was flawless, and a second season would be unnecessary. So, when TEOTFW  season two was announced, many fans and critics weren’t exactly jumping for joy about the news. That being said, season two ended even more perfectly than the first, with this season being just as well-written.

The point many critics contend is that the ending of season one was a perfect tragedy and that it should’ve just ended there,  even James himself saying via voiceover narration, “It was a fitting end. A doomed love story… and then I didn’t die.”

Though many have argued the show should’ve stopped at season one, I disagree in the sense that it’s not only good to see characters hash out their issues and own up to their past, but it’s also important, it’s human. Not all shows need to have some perfect, tragic fairytale ending. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks “what happens after that?” How are these characters going to claw their way back to normal lives after all this trauma? Almost dying, almost getting raped, seeing people die right in front of you, that’s a great deal to try and move on from.

Portraying this, showing how to deal with this kind of trauma isn’t something that many TV shows do today, as they’re too caught up in trying to romanticize it for views. Life is hard, we’re all broken in some way. TEOTFW doesn’t try to glorify this, and that’s what makes it so phenomenal.

Jessica Barden, who plays the other main lead Alyssa, also put on a performance just as exceptional as in the first season. She’s gone from the over-emotional, all over the place girl to cold, unfeeling and unsure of how to be “normal.” How does she move on and live a conventional life while feeling so incredibly sad and like she’s fading rapidly. She puts on her usual sharp attitude, albeit a bit bleaker, in order to mask this deep sense of pain she’s feeling. Alyssa spends the season ignoring the bad things that haunt her, feeling like she’s ‘always stuck in that room.’

“It’s like a haunted house. Except I’m the ghost,” her character says in the last episode, while trying her best to sort through her personal trauma.

Barden packs in such an emotional performance, especially in the end. After going about like a ghost for most of season two, she realizes what she wants. She knows she loves James, she knows she’s mistreated people, but most of all she acknowledges that she needs help. She admits she’s not okay and I feel like that hits home for many of us.

This is why it’s such a good ending, because it’s not “perfect.” This is also why I feel like the show doesn’t need a season 3. Not everything is okay, but that’s okay. It’s a show that’s unlike any other, and it ends with the audience being able to remember our main leads the way they are, the way most of us areーf***ed up, but working on it.

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About the Contributor
Abby O'Connor, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/her
Abby is a senior majoring in print/web journalism and minoring in english. When she's not writing for the Journal, you can find her sipping a cup of coffee either reading or playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with her dog and going on hikes. Music and arts is her passion and she hopes to find a job writing about what she loves. Follow Abby on Twitter @astreabbs Email her at [email protected]

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Review: It’s the end of the world as we know it