Arts & Entertainment

‘You’ shocks audiences with story of fatal attraction

Everyone knows relationships are complex. For some, it is the eternal struggle to search for ‘the one.’ However, most relationships require a certain amount of effort and generosity, as people try to take more action to keep those significant others close. The Lifetime mini-series now turned to Netflix original series “You” exposes this tendency and keeps audiences asking themselves about how much effort and ‘generosity’ is too much.

Following the same plot as the thriller novel by Caroline Kepnes, “You” is the encapsulating story of tech savvy bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), and his romantic pursuit to obtain a relationship with Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). The catch? Joe’s plan to achieve this goal in pursuing Beck (Guinevere’s preferred name) is by persistently stalking her in order to learn everything about her life. As the show progresses, Joe’s methods begin to grow more intense as he finds that there is truly nothing he wouldn’t do for Beck.

While episode one opens with somewhat awkward dialogue exchanges, viewers will be pleasantly surprised by the improvement seen in its final minutes — and it only grows in quality from there. The conversations that Joe has with himself inside of his inner thoughts contain witty humor that is both mildly disturbing and extremely entertaining. As he struggles with his actions and their rationalizations, Joe’s dialogue can be thought of as comparable to those who are in relatable ‘situations.’

From the start, the show puts the viewer in an awkward situation. As a stalker, Joe initially gives the impression of an unsettling man hiding in bushes and muttering to himself about how he is the only one right for Beck. The driving force behind Joe’s disturbing nature — exposed to the audience numerous times — is his strange methods of rationalization and self-victimization as he continues to meddle in Beck’s life. However, Joe’s confidence and slew of quirky personality traits — paired with his budding relationship with Beck after they actually start talking — make the audience sympathetic towards his situation, providing the general feeling that persists throughout “You.” As the show continues, Joe’s secretive past is revealed and his feelings for Beck develop, which may have audiences finding themselves rooting for Joe by episode three.

As for the overall plot of the show, Joe’s determination to win over Beck leads to the exposure of secrets held not only by her, but by her friends and acquaintances as well. It is customary that these secrets end up escalating as evidence is revealed continually throughout the show. Waiting for this, the audience hangs at the edge of their seats eagerly anticipating the latest development.

“You” is a show that keeps audiences wanting more as their thumbs are glued to the remote, waiting to click on the next episode. A pleasantly surprising exposé of the nature of stalkers, “You” takes the audiences on a ride that will leave them profoundly shocked and satisfied.