Based on Carole Kepnes’s book of the same name, YOU is the latest psychological thriller available on Netflix. A show which critics love to hate and everyone else loves to binge; YOU has become one of the biggest shows on the platform.
The infuriating plotline is the typical boy meets girl romance except that the boy is a deranged sociopath obsessed with his crush.
Filled with repetitive plotlines, irritating characters and weak writing, the show still manages to keep the viewers hooked.
You’ll find yourself binge-watching this show and hating yourself for sympathizing with the problematic protagonist. Read on for a complete review.
1. Article Summary
The show offers a unique perspective by taking us inside the mind of the deranged stalker Joe. You’re aware that what he stands for is wrong but still find yourself rooting for him.
The satirical and witty aspects of the first season make it more enjoyable than the second. YOU is the perfect show to binge while you’re stuck at home as it manages to keep your attention with minimum effort.
2. Is it Worth Watching?
A tense show filled with twists, YOU showcases an old cliché from the point of view of the stalker. Like other rom-coms you find yourself rooting for the couple in the spotlight.
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This is one of the show’s greatest achievements as it slowly reveals that the protagonist is a downright crazy person hell-bent on getting his way.
The story revolves around Joe, a bookstore manager in New York. He crosses paths with Beck in his quaint little shop and immediately becomes obsessed with her. He begins following her around, hacks into her social media and lurks outside her house to learn more about her. By doing so, he hopes to become the perfect man for her.
Joe will stop at nothing to get the girl and inflicts a lot of collateral damage in his pursuit. He viciously assaults and kidnaps people in Beck’s life who either stand in his way or try to warn Beck about him. The first season ended with an explosive cliff-hanger and left the people wanting more.
In season two, we see Joe living under an assumed identity in LA, where he soon sets his sights on another woman.
Hounded by his ex-girlfriend and in the pursuit of his next (who is annoyingly named Love), season two offers an insight into what made Joe the way he is. A similar charade follows as the self-aware melodramatic story feels more boring and less intriguing by the time it wraps up.
II. Cast & Performances
Penn Badgley plays Joe the attractive bookstore manager with an unhealthy obsession for his crush. He is self-centred, narcissistic and portrays the antihero to perfection. This is primarily why the audience tends to side with this problematic young man.
The former Gossip Girls star plays the suave killer with smouldering looks and is the face of the show. Elizabeth Lail plays Guinevere Beck, Joe’s obsession in the first season. She is a lost writer and poet struggling with her friends and studies.
She manages to ignore all the warnings and red-flags about Joe, and her relationship eventually leads to her doom.
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Victoria Pedretti plays Love, a recently widowed baker who is willing to fall in love again with Joe. Her obsession with him, as well as the weak dialogue centred on her name, makes for a frustrating watch.
III. Detailed Review
What made YOU one of the biggest shows on Netflix was the unique take it offered in season one. Not only did it try to depict how a stalker’s thought process works, but it also threw light on the way we conduct ourselves on social media.
The show warned people about being exposed online as Joe manages to find a lot about his target from just her online presence. The writers managed to create an image of Guinevere Beck so that the audience felt that Joe, a problematic stalking sociopath was the best thing that could happen to her.
This is one of the things they are unable to do with Love. The convenient liberties that writers took, such as Beck’s apartment having huge windows at street level were ignored by the viewers for the sake of the fun and engaging story.
3. Final Thoughts
By the time the second season ends the charismatic Joe with his internal monologue does start feeling a bit tiresome. The actors are good and the self-aware monologues thrilling.
YOU is perfect for a guilty binge-watching spree as the story although unbelievable, remains fun.