Offbeat shows to watch while we wait for ‘The End of the F***ing World’ S2
Good news – Netflix renewed The End of the F***ing World for a second season. As one of its best and most intriguing offerings from last year, the dark comedy follows a mismatched couple who come together by their overwhelming feelings of hatred, confusion, and nihilism.
Proving that love can sometimes feel like the end of the world, this misanthropic coming-of-age miniseries sees 17-year-old James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) embark on a road trip that takes a sinister turn as the pair search for the latter’s long lost father.
A killer soundtrack, offbeat characters, tight cinematography, and an indie black comedy tone, The End of the F***ing World came together as a masterful whole and crammed an awful lot into its eight episodes. Although it worked as a standalone series, we’re looking forward to seeing what creator Charlie Covell has up his Hawaiian-patterned sleeve for S2.
While we wait, here are ten of the best oddball coming-of-age shows for the most sardonic, twisted misanthropists.
Dark (2017 – )
A sci-fi noir with a dark mystery at the center of it, this German-language Netflix Originals show is set in a small town where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. The plot straddles decades by unfurling the dark secrets of the town back in the late 80s, settling in to a web of conspiracies and dark secrets that bubble to the surface.
The show has been likened to Stranger Things due to the supernatural forces at the heart of it and for its focus on the four teenagers who venture to the Winden caves where they’re greeted by the stranger goings on of the small town. Stars Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel, Stephan Kampwirth, Daan Lennard Liebrenz, Andreas Pietschmann, and Tatja Seibt.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with bad language and a down-to-earth attitude to sex and romance” – you can’t go wrong with a description like that. Crazyhead came and went relatively unnoticed and it’s not hard to see why – as a British B-movie style comedy horror from Misfits creator Howard Overman, it’s a niche show to say the least.
A dark comedy about an unlikely duo of demon hunters (Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma) isn’t exactly a critics’ darling, but the gags come in thick and fast in this horror romp that explores female friendship while also pumping in action sequences and some delightfully campy gore.
Big Mouth (2017 – )
Netflix’s animated sitcom from creators Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett shows that going through puberty is never easy – even for a cartoon character.
Following a group of teenage friends who find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of that time when hair starts to grow everywhere, Big Mouth contains a surprising amount of emotion and pathos when exploring the stories of each character and their family ties. Plus Maya Rudolph as the Hormone Monstress is everything!
Daria (1997 – 2001)
Daria may have been a passive aggressive misanthropist who exemplified teen angst, but she sure did deliver some solid advice on life and coming of age. Following the titular character through kidulthood as a proud outsider in a world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults, Daria (together with her bestie Jane) took on the world in Creepers, one snarky quip at a time.
Freaks and Geeks (1999 – 2000)
Created by Paul Feig and executive-produced by Judd Apatow, Freaks and Geeks took us back to the 80s to a high school where two very different sets of teenagers existed. Chronicling the typical teen turmoils – acceptance, drugs, drinking, and bullying – the cult comedy is revered for its distinctive tone and for launching the careers of James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen.
The Innocents (2018 – )
Be sure to check out this coming-of-age romance tale with a supernatural twist when it hits Netflix in two days (August 24). Created and written by Hania Elkington and Simon Duric, the show stars Sorcha Groundsell and Percelle Ascott as a pair of very British star-crossed lovers whose relationship gets a little more complicated when the woman discovers she’s able to shapeshift.
13 Reasons Why (2017 – )
A YA show mired in controversy from the off, 13 Reasons Why has ticked off pearl-clutching parents across America who think its tackling of very real issues is too much for teen viewers. However, we’re of the view that the show incorporates its tricky subjects – suicide, mental illness, gun violence, sexual assault, and bullying – with tact and is an essential show for young viewers who might be struggling with these problems themselves.
Bates Motel (2013 – 2017)
We get that this doesn’t quite fit into the coming-of-age category, but this prequel to Hitchcock’s iconic horror Psycho centers on how Norman Bates’s psyche unravels throughout his teenage years and so we think it belongs on this list. After all, not only does Bates have to deal with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, but he also has to do so while dealing with the deeply intricate and complex relationship with his mother. And in that sense, it’s one of the most horrifying depictions of the teen experience ever put to the small screen.
Misfits (2009 – 2013)
A Brit TV drama with serious bingeability, Misfits centers on a gang of teenage outsiders who find themselves lumbered with strange superpowers after a freak electrical storm hits the town where they’re all forced to take part in a community service project. Starring Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joseph Gilgun, Iwan Rheon, and Lauren Socha, Misfits is a gritty twist on the superhero genre that portrays a group of outsider antiheroes whose stories you can’t help but get enthralled by.