Based on the graphic novel by Charles Forsman this show might rival the cult following of Stranger Things.
The eight-part series is a psychotic romantic thriller that revolves around the unfortunate lives of 17-year-olds Alyssa (Jessica Barden, “Penny Dreadful”) and James (Alex Lawther from “Black Mirror”) who deliver thrilling performances.
The show’s dark humor is similar to other alternative British teen comedies like “Misfits.” It is visually reminiscent of indie movies like “Frank” and “Natural Born Killers.”
Each episode is short with the longest episode tapping out at around 22 minutes. The writing is so good that you don’t notice when one episode is over and another one begins. The scenes blend flawlessly, but are jarringly different at the same time.
The show starts out with two teenagers who bond over their similarly horrid parental units, but it doesn’t stay that way.
Concise narration from James and Alyssa give the viewer much-needed insight into the characters’ background.
James delivers his narrative in a to-the-point inner monologue, which matches the persona of his character. His stoic staring off into the distances demeanor is roaringly different from the drawn-out moody attitude of Alyssa who continuously alienates everyone she meets. Her innermost thoughts reveal her sour personality is a facade to hide her vulnerability.
The quirky romance between self-described psychopath James and an annoyingly, petulant Alyssa begins with James telling Alyssa to “f*ck off.”
Alyssa decides she could fall in love with James, so the two begin to date. And James wants to kill Alyssa, so he goes along with the relationship. After all, he thinks he’s a psychopath.
Alyssa runs away to her boyfriend’s house following a nasty incident at home and the pair decides to take a random road trip. They steal James’s dad’s car, his most prized possession; and the duo is off. James agrees to the trip because he thinks it will give him a chance to murder Alyssa. Carrying around a hunting knife given to him by his father, he wonders “what she would sound like when I killed her.”
When the teens crash the car, things take a sharp turn for the worse. Every episode after the fourth gets darker and more intense as James and Alyssa dig themselves into more and more trouble legally and emotionally. Cameo appearances include Gemma Whelan (“Game of Thrones”) as a lovable empathetic cop and Jonathan Aris (“Sherlock”) as a bad guy.
TEOTFW is a show that you wish would have a second season, even though you know it probably shouldn’t because it ends perfectly. The dark thriller will suck you in and leave you wondering how you sat on your couch and consumed an entire series in three hours.