By MARC PAMPLONA, Staff Reporter |
“You” is a psychological thriller series based on the book “Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes and then developed for television by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. It stars Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, Shay Mitchell and includes a special appearance by John Stamos.
The pilot episode aired on Lifetime on Sept. 9, 2018, and then was picked up by Netflix to stream its first season. Netflix has announced that a second season will be released. In this show, we follow the character of Joe (Penn Badgley) who constantly stalks a beautiful aspiring poet Beck (Elizabeth Lail) after their cute but sort of creepy first encounter in Joe’s bookstore.
This type of plot has been used in many TV shows and movies, but in this show, it is executed perfectly. It makes its viewers wonder whether Joe has good intentions or if he is a psychotic stalker who thinks everything he does is out of love.
Joe is so madly in love with Beck. This forces Joe to stalk her through social media to get to know her better before confronting her face-to-face. He sets a goal to be her partner and to live a happily-ever-after.
I find this TV show to be creepy. Not because of the creepy-stalking aspect, but because I found myself rooting for the psychotic stalker in the midst of my binge watch of this show. Those creepy vibes did not stop me from being impressed by this series. There are a lot of things that are praiseworthy about this show and there are also a few things that bothered me.
First, is the plot? The trailer kind of gives away what this show is going to be about, but at the same time, it also subverts my expectations.
Some people might think it would be difficult for the writers to stretch the plot out into 10 episodes, but the writers of this show nail it. They manage to give us a complete understanding of and empathy for the characters
I never really like Penn Badgley’s portrayal of Dan in “Gossip Girl” but he is fantastic in portraying Joe as a creepy-psychotic-obsessive-stalker. He makes the viewers empathize with him not because of his looks, but because of how he portrays the character of Joe.
Elizabeth Lail is phenomenal as Beck, especially in the last few episodes. She really takes the spotlight from Badgley in the season finale. I would love to see more of her in the second season. Even the side characters feel genuine.
Third, are the visuals. The cinematography of this show is top-notch. This a very beautiful looking TV show, which I think deserves a lot of credit. I love how every camera angle looks and how every shot of New York feels authentic. You can absolutely feel how massive the city is.
I find the use of color tints on this show very interesting. On the first few episodes, there is this yellowish tint, which kind of represents Joe’s hope of getting together with Beck. Then in the later episodes, it switches into a contrasty and blackish tint, as it represents the unknown, evil and death. I applaud the use of the color tints as an archetype on this TV show.
Now, for the negatives. To be honest, my only complaints are just nitpicks that I think are too distracting. There are some side characters that really are not supposed to be there, but are there for the sake of entertainment. Also, some aspects of this show do not make sense, especially in real life.
But overall, I highly recommend this show because it really hits on all cylinders. Let’s just hope that as Netflix continues this show, it won’t lose its quality.