The first season of ‘The End of the F****ing World’ was superb. A brilliant story, that was both gripping and concise. It left you on the edge of your seat throughout its eight-episode run. (SPOILERS AHEAD) The finale found James and Alyssa finally brought to justice as they are caught by the police, James being shot in the process. There is a lot to argue in regard to this ending. Whilst being a conclusive end to their story, the ambiguity of the ending left viewers wanting more. To learn what happened to them after the events of season one, to see whether or not James survived!
This week channel 4 gave us what we wanted, a second season. After some clever marketing from 4 showing Alyssa and new character Bonnie with no James in sight, myself and many others believed this was proof that James had not survived that fatal shot on the beach, and in doing so luring us in for the second season.
The series overall was good, entertaining and funny. But in comparison to its predecessor, it lacked the charm and the drive of the first season which told a compelling story of two misfits. This season featured those same two misfits, but in no way do I feel I have learnt anything new about them or have a better understanding of the story from the first season. The only continuation from the first season is the backstory given to creepy lecturer Koch.
All of this raises the question, did we really need this season?
Whilst many fans longed to see these characters again, I don’t think there was a strong enough idea to justify this season. This poses a key question: should writers have to hold a form of creative control over their projects? Should creatives deny fans more of what they want if they believe the story isn’t strong enough? My best example of this is Fleabag, Waller–Bridge is adamant that she won’t make another series simply because the story isn’t there. She waited until an idea came to her to make a second season, instead of launching herself into it simply for fan service or monetary gain.
‘The End of the F***ing World’ has fallen victim to the same problem many great TV shows have faced; too much pressure to release a second season when there is simply no need for it, resulting in some lacklustre sequels to some fantastic television.