Why are tv show plots so complicated
The first season was a small miracle with a perfect ending. But it has to go on. This not only poses a great challenge for the series writers, but also visibly troubles the protagonists in season 2. A sequel as an epilogue that has lost the ease of season 1 but not the heart. (Text contains spoilers.)
By Jan Hestmann
"The End of the F *** ing World" is back. The fans had to wait two years for the successful series to continue. The furious road trip of the two driven 17-year-olds Alyssa and James had triggered such a hype that it finally had to be rescheduled. The British series was originally designed for only one season. "The End of the F *** ing World" is based on a comic book of the same name by US author Charles S. Forsman. Its story was told to the end with the first season of the mini-series.
That's when the two teenagers Alyssa and James meet. There is a lot of anger in her. On the other hand, he feels nothing, even considers himself a psychopath who would like to kill someone - Alyssa, for example. They run away together, leave everyday life and home affairs behind, fall in love. In Bonnie and Clyde fashion, they make the area unsafe and step from one escalation to the next. In the end, James runs in a brilliant showdown, on the run from the police, on a sandy beach. The image turns black before the shot is fired.
It would have been the perfect ending to this bittersweet tragedy. But it comes, as it has to, when series have a certain level of success. A continuation is needed, against the wisdom that it is better to stop when it is most beautiful.
But in the first episode of season 2 you don't learn anything about the fate of James and Alyssa. Instead, a new character is introduced, Bonnie. And she also has a lot on the kerbwood. Last but not least, as one learns in a long flashback, she is the lover of the man James killed in season 1. And she demands vengeance. The framework for the second season is now set up.
James, Alyssa, Bonnie
In fact, this plotline only serves as a rough framework. Because it soon becomes clear what the second season is all about, namely the relationship between James, who survived, albeit with permanent damage, and Alyssa. Season 2 lives from this and only this chemistry. It quickly becomes clear that it could never have been an option to continue the series without James in order to give him a heroic death.
But that relationship changed fundamentally in season 2. The series writers have to be credited with deliberately refraining from simply starting a new edition of a great James and Alyssa adventure. Instead, the continuation of the mini-series has become a reappraisal of what has happened so far, the aftermath of the road trip. You can read it as a kind of long epilogue that feeds on the big moments of the first season.
"The End of the F *** ing World 2" transfers the difficulty of having to continue a season designed as a stand alone directly to its protagonists. James doesn't die and that's what worries him the most, because what remains is a vacuum, a strange incapacity, and Alyssa a long way off.
In a nutshell, the confused situation is when Alyssa and James finally sit next to each other in the car, supposedly reunited, but suddenly can't say anything to each other and then this damn unimportant potato song sounds on the car radio. It is an almost unbearable scene that tries to tell us with all its might: it is over.
If season 1 of “The End of the F *** ing World” embodied everything about being freshly in love, the butterflies in your stomach, being excited, wanting to tear down walls, then season 2 is that all the pain of separation that follows, the terrible emptiness and the reaching of emotional and physical limits.
Everything about this sequel feels somehow wrong at first, deeply uncomfortable. And you constantly ask yourself: Does that even have to be? Wouldn't it have been better to have seen James on this one beach for the very last time?
At the same time, season 2 has a biting realism in it. And even if the magic of the first season seems to have largely disappeared and Alyssa and James have lost their radiance due to the new circumstances, it is still fascinating and nerve-wracking to follow them. And still one or the other time your heart slips into your pants.
"The End of the F *** ing World" is still a wild emotional rollercoaster, albeit in a completely different way than the first season. Looked at soberly, this second season didn't really need it, but it is still fun and gives goose bumps.
Not least thanks to the wonderful soundtrack, for which Blur man Graham Coxon was once again responsible. One of his songs from the soundtrack was our last Sunday song - "She Knows".
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