Does anything say the day after Christmas like getting inside the head of a self-obsessed stalker. Well if that’s the vibe you’re going for then season two of the Lifetime-turned-Netflix series You is the show for you. Following on from the wildly successful season one, the entire season two will be released on December 26.
In case you’re confused about the hype of this show, here’s a little primer. The show follows Joe Goldberg played by Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl fame. Goldberg is a bookstore manager whose crush on aspiring writer, Guinevere Beck turned real sinister real quick. Like all relatively good series, it’s based on a book series written by Caroline Kepnes. Check out The Daily Vox interview with Kepnes.
The first season of the show enthralled and disgusted viewers, and season two will definitely leave you feeling some sort of way.
Joe is back – except he isn’t known as Joe anymore.
The first season ends where things went horribly wrong with Beck. There was also the return of a surprising person from his past. To escape all of this Joe leaves New York and makes his way to Los Angeles. He now goes by Will. Just as the first season concentrated on Joe’s condescension towards people who don’t read books, it continues and is more prevalent in this season.
What made the first season so thrilling (and disturbing) was the discovery that Joe is a sociopath and a stalker. The viewer is made privy to all of Joe’s deepest and darkest thoughts. That’s probably the first thing that draws you in. There are many shows and movies that feature people that could be closely identified with Joe. But we don’t always get to hear what they are thinking. The show plays out like a book where you are able to read the character’s thoughts. Here the viewer can hear all of Joe’s thoughts.
Whether it has a positive or negative effect, the series shows how dangerous it is to romanticise abusive and toxic behaviour in relationships. One of the new characters for season remarks at one point to Joe that “You act nice because you’re not.” For Joe all of the dangerous and disturbing behaviour he carries out, he thinks he is still the good guy. He believes all the actions he is taking is for the good of the person he’s doing it for.
He is that guy we all know. The one who does the really horrible things which no one else knows of. Instead in the public space, Joe is seen as a feminist. He cares that one of the people in his building might be taken advantage of by an older man. He judges the privilege of people living in luxury in Los Angeles. Joe says at one point: “Hey, I’m using my privilege for good.” He seemingly ticks all of the boxes, except for the fact that we as the viewer sees what he is doing when nobody else is watching.
You exposes the worst of human nature packaged in the seemingly most innocent form. For that reason it’s a must watch. It will draw you in, make you sympathise with Joe at times and then get disgusted with yourself for feeling that way. It’s an uncomfortable watch but a perfect study in the complicated nuances of human beings.
You season two starts streaming on Netflix from December 26. Check it out here.