Contains spoilers for You Season 1
Inspired by Caroline Kepnes’ novel, You took the world by storm in 2018. It followed Joe (Penn Badgley) as he stalks and starts a relationship with Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and subsequently falls down a dark hole trying to protect her and their relationship, leaving an ever-increasing body count in his wake. Season one left us with a cliff-hanger as Joe and Beck’s relationship comes to a head when Joe kills Beck.
The news of a second season came with mixed emotions – of course everyone wanted to know what Joe would be getting up to with Beck gone, but this was countered by the possibility of season two being a re-hashed season one, with the same cycle of romance and murder. However, season two has held up incredibly and even exceeded the first.
Joe is now in Los Angeles, as ‘Will’, trying to move on with his life, and even from his murderous and stalking tendencies. It doesn’t last long, however, as he soon meets Love (wonderfully played by Victoria Pedretti) and she becomes his new obsession, as well as a far more interesting and in-depth character than Beck ever was. Their relationship follows a different path than his and Beck’s, with more authenticity and what feels like genuine effort on Joe’s behalf. We start to see his deeply caring and protective side for other people around him as he tries to keep them all safe, body count be damned.
Joe’s behaviour, while not excused, is explored in so much more depth than it ever was in season one. We learn about his past and parents, his past relationships, as well as his paternal side and desire to be a good person. His delusions reach a new level and we really get to see the heart of his problems and how far gone he is, as he becomes an unreliable narrator both to us as an audience, as well as within his own life.
All this, with the added twist across episodes nine and ten, brought You to a new level, deeper and darker than it had gone before, while still remaining interesting and varied. The show has been officially renewed for season three to be released in 2021, and we can only hope that it continues down this same path.
Image Credit: Netflix