You - S1

2019-01-02 12:09
Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in You


Based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling novel of the same name, You tells the story of a brilliant bookstore manager who crosses paths with an aspiring writer. Using the internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details and get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle – and person – in his way.


If you’ve got social media accounts chances are good that you probably shared some snaps from your recent holiday online.

Perhaps a few pics of Christmas lunch? A shot of the beautifully decorated table and the family all smiling together – an uncle in the back with a paper crown from a Christmas cracker sitting slightly skew on his head. What about a New Year’s selfie? Perhaps captioned: "Let’s make this the best year ever!". A blurry snap of fireworks?

We willingly and freely share these personal moments online – sometimes with complete strangers.

But what if one of those strangers start to collect all that information and uses it to get closer to you? How easily will they be able to manipulate your feelings if they have access to all the necessary information at their fingertips – your favourite book, TV show, or your regular spot to grab a coffee.

In You, currently available on Netflix, our protagonist Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) becomes infatuated with a customer, Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), who visits his bookshop. Within minutes of Beck leaving the store Joe tracks her down online and this psychological thriller instantly kicks into gear as it speeds towards one climatic scene after another – a binge-watcher’s delight.

Penn, best known for his role as Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl, disappears into a character that feels like a fitting and natural progression from his last big TV gig. As Joe he masterfully manipulates not only his latest love interest but the viewer as well. His clean-cut appearance and calm demeanour hide a truly terrifying reality. Sometimes the monsters aren’t hiding underneath the bed but are sitting right next to you in your selfie instead.

Once the show has successfully lured the audience in it starts taking some liberties and ventures out of the realm of realism. But by then the viewer is so invested that it doesn’t really matter. Once Joe starts taking drastic steps to ensure he gets closer to Beck it sets off a chain of events that drastically escalate in each new episode. Each choice he makes has repercussions that demand even more manoeuvring from him.

It’s exactly this that causes most of the tension that runs throughout the series. There’s an underlying fear that sits with the viewer that Joe’s secrets might be exposed as they get harder and harder to cover up. But then the realisation – why am I rooting for the villain? 

With its clever plot twists, shocking reveals, and sinister storyline this chilling TV drama will have you glued to your screen and deleting your Instagram.



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