Every time you turn around there’s a new Netflix series popping up. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even keep up with each new addition with a Netflix logo on it. Not only do they regularly produce their own original content, including one of the best series on television, The Crown, and Stranger Things, which is basically the heir apparent to Game of Thrones in terms of water-cooler talk; but they also import a ton of really unique British dramas and sitcoms. They don’t quite get the same advertising push that something like The Punisher receives, since they’re just acting as the American distributor, but there are some fun treasures to be discovered if you go diving for them – including at one time, the EC Comics-esque Black Mirror, which was originally one of their imports and then became a full-fledged Netflix original.
This weekend, that line-up gets an exciting new addition hailing from the indie comics world.
Developed just a few years after he graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies, first as a series of short mini-comics and then collected and released in 2013…and then re-released as a handsome hardcover by Fantagraphics last year, Charles Forsman’s The End of the Fucking World or TEOTFW as it’s sometimes known, was one hell of a debut by one of cartooning’s most dynamic young voices. Pitched as a sort of hybrid between the visual stylings of Charles Schultz and the criminal road trip narratives that populate such films as Natural Born Killers and Badlands, and alternating between the povs of its two protagonists, it’s a comic I highly recommend (as I would Forsman’s entire oeuvre including his ongoing adventure series, Revenger, and the disturbing and haunting Slasher which completed its 5 issue run last month).
So I greeted the news that the UK’s Channel 4 would be adapting Forsman’s first major work as a television miniseries, and Netflix would be bringing it stateside, with utter glee. Alex Lawther, who made quite an impression in the most brutal episode of the third season of Black Mirror (“Shut Up And Dance”) and Jessica Barden, whose starred in one of the best films of 2016, The Lobster, play James and Alyssa respectively.
I’ve heard nothing but great things from our friends across the pond, and all eight episodes will hit the streaming service this Friday. This has been one of my most anticipated debuts for well over a year. And you can check out the new trailer below, just to whet your appetite!