Title – YOU
Genre – Crime Drama, Psychological thriller
Number of seasons – 2 (as of January 2020)
Number of episodes – 20
Length per episode – 42 minutes (approximately)
Based on – “You” and “Hidden bodies” by Caroline Kepnes
First aired – 9th of September 2018
Original network – Lifetime (season 1) and Netflix (season 2)
Languages – English
Country – United States
You know that feeling you get at 2 a.m. when you’re all alone, in your house, changing into your PJ’s and then suddenly all the hairs on your back stand up? There’s a cold chill running down your spine and you feel as if someone’s watching you. Taking a quick look around, you try to calm yourself down. You’re inside your own home, of course you’re safe! But just in case, you check the door. It’s locked. You sigh in relief. Then your eyes widen as you remember you haven’t closed your bedroom windows. You run in that direction and as soon as you get there, there’s someone jumping off of your outside window frame. That’s it! You scream at first and then decide to call the police. As soon as they show up at your doorstep, they just shrug if off as your imagination and tell you calling the police its only for serious things.
No? That never happened to you? Okay, cool. But just imagine it. The rage you’d feel. How you’d want to fight the whole system and maybe even go for that guy yourself.
That’s how you’ll feel while watching “YOU”. It’s creepy. And it’s only gonna get worse. A downfall spiral and a hurricane in the making so buckle up!
It’s soft. Everything starts so beautifully. A vintage bookstore, a nice, catchy song and a beautiful girl. Guinevere Beck, is an aspiring writer, looking for the perfect book to read. Nothing in mind, wondering in between the shelves full of knowledge of Mooney’s. Of course she has no idea her life’s about to be forever changed. Joe Goldberg, the manager of the store notices her as soon as she walks through the door. This is right about when your stranger danger red flags should make their first appearance. He sounds off. Insane even dare I say. He watches her, trying to read her, to read her actions, to give interpretations to every single thing she does. Rationalising within himself how she is the one who wants his attention. How she actually, without words or even looks in his direction, begs to be noticed by him. Joe then approaches Beck for the first time. They have a conversation about books and hey, if you weren’t to hear the whole monologue in his mind, you would’ve said they really hit it off.
During the next few episodes we are shown how Joe manages to insert himself in Beck’s life. Slowly, but surely. Honestly, it wasn’t even that complicated if you ask me, since she seems to have a lot of unresolved daddy issues and self worth problems. I don’t want to spoil every single method he used – ‘cause where’d be the fun for you if I did? Point is, they end up together. They do have a rocky relationship throughout the show, but nobody’s perfect.
Everything seems to be a bliss. Joe genuinely seems to try to push back his obsessions for a little while. He seems to want to help her in her career. Give her a slight push (please think of this at the end of episode 10, that’s gonna be fun). He gets her to finally write after an ugly and long writer’s block. Beck seems to be good for him too. Making him want to “do better”. Together they have this crazy dynamic. They do grow together to a certain level. Unfortunately though, they don’t truly see each other for what they really are. Joe just sees a damsel in distress he needs to save or the world is going to end and Beck sees his life as kind of perfect and “together”. After a while forming this weird, unstable, really messed up “adoptive parents” situation for Paco, who is Joe’s next door neighbour, you’d think things start to calm down. They see and understand what they represent for this kid. I feel like he has an important role, since both of them try to fix their own traumas and family issues through Paco. They both want to do better. Better than their own parents and better than Paco’s mom. All this still doesn’t stop Joe from doing his thing. From trying to be in control and fix things that don’t even need fixing. I’d say he breaks stuff just so that he has something to fix and then say it desperately needed repair. He’d say and do anything to paint himself as the good, misunderstood guy. A hero even sometimes.
Joe would go to crazy lengths to protect the ones he loves, especially kids. He sees his child traumatised self in children from broken down families. He wants to fix their lives. To help them – because no one was there to help him and his mom (underlying mommy issues? yes). If he stayed there, to that level, it wouldn’t have turned out to be this bad. But he took all that and put it onto Beck. He now tries to fix her life, every single problem to appear, real or in his mind. He would do anything and I mean anything to make sure nothing that could possibly disturb her surfaces again. To use his own words “loving someone means you will do anything for them” and boy does he live up to those words.
He’s smart. I’ll give him that. He’s resilient. Crazy charming and good at twisting things around. Good with words and knowledgeable. But he’s sick. Joe is a very sick individual who I’m not sure yet if needs help or to be thrown off of the planet. Whatever you do, please do not romanticise anything he does. It’s not kind, it’s not desirable, it’s not a proof of love. Nothing he does is.
The show makes a really good job of helping you see his unfolding. To see the way someone like him would think, to see him develop and then just crash down and go on a spree. To see how he solves the puzzle. How he gets out of trouble. I had friends who were genuinely rooting for him. It’s quite easy to fall down that slope. It’s amazingly written and the acting is. . .just beautiful.
If you want a good crime TV show which isn’t the classical cops thing, I wholeheartedly recommend you watch “YOU”.