You is the controversial psychological thriller everyone has been talking about…
How far would you go for ‘love’? Blurring the lines between love and obsession, You explores an unhealthy relationship that quickly spirals into something far more sinister. The series follows seemingly attentive and kind Joe Golberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager at Mooney’s, who becomes increasingly obsessed with NYU graduate student and aspiring writer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), after a chance meeting at his workplace. Based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, You is an addictive thriller that highlights the dangers of manipulative partners and how social media can pose a threat in our lives.
The show is narrated by Joe, so we get to experience first-hand just how disturbing his perspective is as he tries to justify and rationalise his possessive, manipulative nature. He is so warped in his delusions that he truly believes he is just protecting Beck and not being an intense stalker. Penn Badgley is a brilliant casting choice for Joe as he is enigmatic enough to portray Joe’s horrifying characteristics but alluring enough to make us see why Beck has no reason to doubt his persona.
I want more of YOU!!! @netflix
— 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘇𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻 🦙 (@carrieswizzle) February 1, 2019
Some people, though, have really misinterpreted the point the series makes and have excused Joe’s actions as romantic, or worse, labelled Beck as ‘deserving’ of her experiences. What makes the series so uncomfortable is that Joe’s character has this effect on people, You poses as a stark reminder that some of the most evil people are incredibly intelligent and high-functioning. Serial killers are often calculated and alluring, they are able to blend in among us due to their enigmatic personalities which is what causes them to be so powerful.
Never falling into its romanticism enough to lose sight of Joe’s toxicity and narcissism, You cleverly provides a window into the mind of a killer and highlights how dangerous male entitlement can be. You manages to blend bizarre concepts, such as Joe having access to a conveniently placed sound-proof glass vault, whilst remaining realistic enough to leave you wondering who you can trust – and whether you should amend the privacy settings on your social media accounts.