review: the end of the f***ing world

このサイテーな世界の終わり

Hi guys, it’s Tamaki. Today I am going to talk about a short TV series I watched early this year.

こんにちは! たまきです。今日は、今年の初めに観たドラマについて書くよ。

"The End of the F***ing World" was originally an American comic made into a series based in England. It is a story about a couple of 17 year olds; quiet James who thinks he's a psychopath, and loud Alyssa who is very punk and extreme with her words. As James starts to think he is ready to kill a human being rather than just animals, he meets his target Alyssa and plots the perfect murder. James agrees to run away to go on a journey with Alyssa, thinking he will eventually find the right timing to kill her during the trip. A series of unlucky accidents bring the teens closer, allowing them to form a special bond, while discovering themselves along the way.

『このサイテーな世界の終わり』は、17歳の男女の物語。アメリカのコミックが原作なんだけど、この作品が作られたのはイギリスだよ。

自分がサイコパスだと自認する物静かなジェームスと、ちょっとパンクで攻撃的な物言いをするアリッサ。猫などの小動物殺しに飽きてきたジェームスは、人間も殺してみようと思い始める。そんな時にアリッサと出会い、彼女を殺す計画を立てる。アリッサに誘われ、二人で旅に出ることに同意するジェームス。旅先でタイミングを見計らって殺せばいいと決めたジェームスだが、旅中に起こる様々な出来事により、二人の距離は縮まっていく。 ぎこちない二人が、旅やそれにまつわる人・出来事によって、それぞれ自己を見つめていく。

One day this show popped up on my Netflix recommendations. I didn't know anything about this show, but the title made me click the trailer. “I’m James. I’m seventeen. And I’m pretty sure I’m a psychopath.” This first sentence in the trailer got me hooked and I started to watch the series. There are eight episodes, and each episode is about 20 minutes. So I didn't feel guilty about binge watching this show. The trailer is below.

※Warning - This show contains sexual assault, suicide, homicide, animal abuse, and graphic scenes with blood.

ある日Netflixのオススメにこのドラマが出てきた。これについては何も知らなかったけど、タイトルだけで思わず予告編をクリックした。「僕はジェームス。17歳。間違いなくサイコパスだ。」 という最初の一文で興味が湧いて、すぐに観始めた。1話が約20分で、8話ある。だから一気に観 ても全然罪悪感を感じなかった(笑) 予告編はこちら!(Netflix上では日本語字幕でも見れるよ。)

※警告 - このTVシリーズでは、自殺・殺人・動物虐待・性的暴行シーンなどが含まれています。

I’m not going to review the show, but rather talk about how it made me feel. Feelings fade. And how this series punched me in the heart and left me sad yet full of happiness, I don't want to forget.

レビューというより、観て感じた気持ちをメインに話そうと思う。感情ってだんだんと薄れていくよね。だから、どう心を打たれて、悲しくなったりあたたかい気持ちになったか、残しておきたい。

One of the things that entertained me most was how the story proceeded by the teenage characters narrating their feelings and thoughts. That means we can see both of their perspectives on most of the scenes. At first they interacted with each other with what seemed to be confidence, while their voice overs portrayed them feeling quite differently; being lost/insecure/terrified inside. Witnessing how they spoke and felt really reminded me of my insecure and self absorbed teenage days. I was caught up in my feelings constantly, trying my hardest to impress others and to fit in, often ending up saying something I didn't really mean. In each episode you will see the rawness and roughness of the two teenagers, and it definitely will remind you of your younger days. Well, at least it did for me, even though it’s only been a couple years since I escaped my teens.

面白かったのは、二人の感情や考えが、台詞ではなくナレーションで、物語が進んでいくこと。つまり、ほとんどのシーンでそれぞれの感情を、それぞれの声で知ることができる。二人とも自信を持ってふるまっているように見えても、実際はそうでなかったりビクビクしていたりする。二人の会話の様子や感情の動きを目の当たりにして、自信があまりなくて、でも自分のことに夢中だった10代の頃を思い出した。自分の感情に振り回されて、好印象を持ってもらったり周りとうまくやっていくことばかりに力を注いで、思ってもないことを言ってしまったりした当時のことを。

Before this, I liked watching happy light comedies (Friends, Brooklyn nine-nine, etc.) that I could watch without thinking, but this is not that type of comedy. There are no unnecessary lines by the characters, and Alyssa saying "that was the day I learned silence is really loud" reminded me of the depressing tendencies I used to have, and those words hit me hard. During that time I avoided movies / books / music and basically any kind of artform that had the potential to move me and make me feel things. I thought numbness is the easier way. A few seconds of silence fed my negative internal dialogue. And the tool to distract myself from that was American comedy. I watched it everyday and forgot what English black humor is like, and experiencing that dark humor pushed me into loving this series.

I had many moments in which James and Alyssa brought empathy, but I feel like I empathize more deeply with Alyssa; not being able to confess her feelings honestly to her crush, torn between her head and heart, or experiencing and learning about friendships / family / love while being self conscious and vulnerable. Seeing her pulled out long lost bittersweet memories and feelings, and defrosted my fear. It made me realize I shouldn't push my feelings away, or distract myself from it and be "numb" in fear of hurting again.