One of Netflix’s latest releases is ‘You‘ based on the book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes. The primary story revolves around Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager who becomes infatuated and stalks Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) , affectionately just known as ‘Beck’. Beck is an aspiring writer and financially struggling student.
(Slight spoilers may follow)
The series opens with the seemingly cliché trope of boy meets girl and the two fall in love. However, it quickly becomes apparent that this is anything but the case. ‘You‘ delightfully mixes in a spin of unsettling obsessive behaviour combined with the modern day influence of social media to unravel its dark story.
The show is primarily narrated by Joe’s internal monologues, where the audience is able to understand Joe’s motives and borderline creepy thoughts about Beck. It is apparent through these that Joe has some sort of psychopathic and controlling tendencies.
Praise should be given to both Badgley and Lail for their performances in the series. Badgley’s portrayal of Joe almost reminds me of characteristics of notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy, in the sense that Joe is charismatic, charming and handsome whilst simultaneously dangerous and terrifying. Lail’s performance as Beck is charming, promiscuous and seductive all at the same time which is vital for the audience to understand why Joe became obsessed with her.
From the first episode of the series, I was hooked! The story is complicated and exciting, with twists and turns placed throughout the narrative to lead to an equally satisfying ending. The show is also ideal for those who enjoy many different genres of TV, from thrillers to crime to dark romance. This is likely to be appealing to a wide audience.
The chilling show uses social media throughout Joe’s stalking which is actually an important message to send the audience that if you publicly post things on social media, it can attract unwanted and unknowing attention. This is emphasised through the tagging of locations throughout the show which can make you easy to find.
Overall the show thoroughly deserves unanimous praise for the story, dialogue, acting and direction to create the complex narrative and compelling characters.