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If you are a sucker for psychotic thrillers, then you must have already heard about this series. But if you are a thriller virgin or someone looking to fill up the bucket list, then this Netflix series ‘You‘ is just for you. It is developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble and produced by Warner Horizon Television, in association with Alloy Entertainment and A&E Studios.

 

The book adapted series (inspired from the novels You and Hidden Bodies, written by Caroline Kepnes) has got a rating of 7.8 on IMDb and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a total of 20 episodes over 2 seasons and is pumping up for the third one.

Spoiler Alert! But go ahead if you are interested to know the story

The story revolves around a man named Joe Goldberg, a book store manager in New York City, who falls for an aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck and starts stalking her over the social media platforms and using other technologies, in order to keep a track on her existence and eliminating the unwanted and upcoming obstacles, thus feeding up his toxic obsession with a person. For instance, to establish a relationship with Beck, he brainwashes and befriends her boyfriend Benji and eventually murders him in his shop’s basement, or, when he hacks Beck’s phone to keep an eye on her movement details.

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Joe slowly and steadily invades the personal space of Beck’s as well as her friend Peach’s life. At times, he is successful at luring Beck, which leads to several physical intimacies. His possessiveness leads to such extent that he gets jealous of the girls’ friendship and their undivided attention towards each other. Hence, he tries to murder Peach so that he can claim his almost-girlfriend Beck’s attention. Peach got a clue that Joe was up to something and gets involved in hustle with a gun, which results in shooting herself accidentally. With Beck becoming increasingly moody, distant, and secretive, Joe jealously follows her, but she catches him red-handed, accusing her of cheating with her therapist Dr.Nicky and she breaks the string.

Three months after the breakup, Joe and Beck run into each other and reconnects, making Joe leave his new girlfriend Karen. At the end of the first season, Beck discovers the hidden secrets of Joe and he confesses his reasons for murdering Benji and Peach and relates it to his childhood’s mental abuse. She seems to emphasize with him and feels grateful for his deeds and lures him into a vault and locks him in. But unsuccessfully, Joe escapes and kills her. Four months later, he uses Beck’s writing to frame Dr.Nicky for all his murders and moves to California.

Season 2 starts with a tough encounter with his former lover, Candace, and he escapes to Los Angeles, taking up a fake identity as Will and manages to get a job in a book cafe of a trendy family-owned grocery store, Anavrin, and befriends his 15-year-old neighbor Ellie. Yet again, he grows an infatuation on a woman named Love Quinn, and as usual waters his obsession for her and resumes stalking, seeping slowly into her privacy. Their relationship blooms, making him discover the dark pasts and taking him through various experiences of protection and spying. For instance, upon knowing the well-known comedian Henderson’s activities of spiking drinks and taking unsolicited pictures of passed out women, he vows to protect Ellie, as she connects with Henderson.

The story takes a turn when Love starts adopting the character flaws of Joe. She kills Forty’s au-pair Candace and Joe’s image of Love shatters as he understands that he is “her Beck”, and the season ends with another mystery, with the couple moving to a new house and his obsessive patterns resurface when he reveals his interest in their new female neighbor.

You is a perfect study of the complexities of a human mind and to what extent it can lead a person to some horrific and terrifying acts. Psychology students, where you at? The show digs deeper and deeper and explores the darkest corners, literally sending chills down the spine. One person will keep wondering how come a fellow human being attempts to commit such atrocities. It examines the prevalence of maladaptive behaviors in Hollywood romantic comedy films and how such anti-social behaviors are romanticized, unconsciously destroying the anatomy of human relationships. The series further raises questions on the ethics and potential implications of manipulating circumstances and how the psychology of stalking is best exemplified by Joe’s intrusive actions, in order to establish future romantic relationships. Also, it explores how our social media presence can expose our identities and daily activities vulnerable to such stalkers.

Caroline, in one of her interviews, said that she tried to demolish the romantic-comedy tropes highlighted in many films and shows, by making the protagonist a violent stalker and serial killer. She even defended the character of Joe as not a serial killer and rather said,

” I remember when I wrote ‘You’ and someone first referred to Joe as a serial killer. I argued, ‘he’s not a serial killer, he meets this terrible people and has the awful thoughts, but he’s very sensitive’. It’s very strange to realize you have written a serial killer.” 

One fan said, “.… this show showed me a picture how my life was in the past and how much I have suffered and I don’t want that part ever in my life and this show is a perfect reminder of how to stay away from life-sucking folks who only live in present and have an aimless life“.

The series was initially premiered on Lifetime on September 6, 2018, and started streaming on Netflix internationally on December 26, 2018. The show got a total of 43 million views and counting. The next season was released on December 26, 2019, exactly one year. On January 26, 2020, the series renewed for a third season by Netflix, set to release in 2021, delayed by the pandemic.

You stars Penn Badgley as Joe, Elizabeth Lail as Beck, Shay Mitchell as Peach, Ambyr Childers as Candace, Victoria Pedretti as Love, James Scully as Forty, Jenna Ortega as Ellie, Carmela as Delilah and many more.

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