Non-millennials might wonder why a show about overtly-existentialist, nihilistic, suicidal and murderous teens with insane (literally) amounts of angst could become massively popular the moment it was dropped. However, it stemmed from Netflix’s accurate algorithm that helps it figure out what people really want to see. And it wasn’t surprising that a large number of millennial teens wanted to see something that was dark and questioning. Although it has been labelled fresh (and you won’t find any show like it), the most teens nowadays would connect to it instantly, however scary that thought might sound.
Based on a comic book series by Charles Forsman, it is a story about two teens who seem to gel well with each other unusually, given their distaste for most people other than themselves. Alex Lawther plays the role of a skinny, 24-year-old James who could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money to perfection. He believes he is psychopath and some of his actions would surely make one agree with him: the most glaring one being that he kills animals to be able to “feel something.” But like every normal teenager: he has ambitions too. He wants to kill something bigger than an animal….
And that is when he meets Alyssa. Played by Jessica Barden, she thinks she might be in love with James, primarily because he has a car among other factors. But James just wants to kill her since he is bored with killing animals. One of their first romantic/sexual (there is really no other word to describe that) in the first episode takes place when Alyssa strips and asks James to “eat her pussy” but James is more interested to figure out the perfect angle to slit her throat. With that awkward chemistry, Alyssa convinces James to leave their small town for a road trip. And that is when shit gets real…
Netflix released the second season for ‘The End of the F***ing World’ quite recently. If the first season was anything to go by, the second season will be a not-so-joyous, comical roller coaster ride too. Fans would be especially looking forward to see what happened next after the mysterious season one finale. If you are looking for shows that are similar show to this British ‘comedy’ series, you should definitely check out the following list. You can watch several of these shows like ‘The End of the F***ing World’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. Big Mouth (2017-)
Speaking about teens and hormones, what if our hormones took the form of friendly monsters that we could see and talk to? With this inventive concept, this Netflix animated series provides a refreshing look at an overcrowded genre. Uniquely humorous, the show’s strength lies in its believable characters despite the otherworldly concept. Currently in its third season, ‘Big Mouth’ has been received well by audiences and more seasons are expected to be dropped every year. Although it revolves around school going characters, it is aimed at adults and is sure to provide strong bouts of deja-vu to whoever watches it.
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6. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
You would have never witnessed such a star-studded cast in ANY television show and we can vouch for that. Starring actors like Jason Segel, James Franco, Seth Rogen, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ proves to be the perfect teen dramedy, exploring the simple yet complicated phase of growing up. While it was extremely premature for a show of this calibre to last for a single season only, the few episodes that did make it are timeless. WIth great acting and superb scripting, this should be a must-watch in any list.
5. On My Block (2018-)
This Netflix show is a one-of-a-kind bildungsroman as explores the previously untouched theme of growing up as a non-white teenager in a colored neighborhood in the USA. While it has a healthy dose of puppy love and social awkwardness, these sub-plots take a backseat to the more serious conflicts of gang violence. Painting a rather dangerous picture, it portrays the American society in a never-seen-before light.
4. Misfits (2009-2013)
This British show has a very American premise: superheroes! But it is more than just action sequences and stylish costumes. ‘Misfits’ has been acclaimed for its human element, apart from its addictive plot equally. Revolving around a group of teenagers who teenage offenders, punished with community service, it explores a coming-of-age story with the added drama of possessing superhuman abilities and the constant conflict of deciding to do the right thing. One more reason to watch this show is Iwan Rheon, who became infamous for playing Ramsay Snow in ‘Game of Thrones.’ The chararcters of ‘Misifits’ exude similar, non-conforming vibes as the James and Alyssa.
3. Skins (2007-2013)
Another British show on teenagers, ‘Skins’ has been critically acclaimed to be one of the best written shows about complex teenage issues like mental illness, substance abuse, personality disorders and many more. With an impressive and dynamic ensemble cast, the characters are replaced every couple of years, providing scope for fresher conflicts. Some of the well-known actors that are associated with the show are Dev Patel, Nicholas Hoult and Jack O’Connell. The show became so successful worldwide that MTV made an American remake for the same, but it failed miserably with a viewership that was nowhere close to the British original’s.
2. Sex Education (2019-)
If ‘The End of the F***king World’ captures millennial teenage apprehensions succinctly, Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ takes a glaring look at the hormonal confusion that the “birds and bees” cause for teenagers. Worrying about sexual orientation, frequency of masturbation, size and many more indescribable facets can be quite daunting. This is where this show excels. It provides an unabashed look at everything that takes place in the head about everything beneath the sheets.
The show follows Otis, the son of a sex therapist whose overly open mother makes him an expert of sexual matters causing him to start a sexual therapy service for his classmates. Although not as crazy as James, Otis is certainly similarly pessimistic. And, since we are looking for similarities, here’s a funny one: James masturbates once a week to “not let anything build up” while Otis leaves tissue papers near his bed to make his mother believe that he has a normal libido.
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1. Fleabag (2016-2019)
To British viewers, the tone of ‘The End of the F***ing World’ might not have felt completely unique as this comedy series did it first. Based on a play by the lead actress, Phoebe Wallace-Bridge, it looks at the life of Fleabag- an outspoken and self-critical woman trying to live life in London. “Fleabag” is not her real name, obviously. That is just what she calls herself and viewers never know her actual name. Similarly, the first guy she hooks up with is referred to as “The Arsehole Guy” and the next as “The Bus Rodent.” But the creativity of the show stems from such tiny, innovative nuances.
Fleabag’s internal monologue sounds similar to James and Alyssa’s, except for the fact that the former often breaks the fourth wall. However, the style and genre of both the shows feel quite similar, the only difference being age. ‘The End of the F***king World’ is filled with teenage angst while ‘Fleabag’ is decidedly about adult problems. This year, ‘Fleabag’ won four Primetime Emmys including the Outstanding Comedy Series Award and the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Award.
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