Over winter break, I heard so much hype about the show You, which I watched a couple of episodes a while ago but never continued due to my schedule. This most recent break, however, I not only finished the first season, but also I watched the second season within just two days.
The show is good, that goes without saying.
You does a good job at making the audience feel sympathy for the bad guy, and we end up rooting for him and hoping he won’t get caught.
Now, if you haven’t seen the first season and just want to get it out of the way, here it is summed up: viewers are introduced to Joe Goldberg, a bookstore clerk. We then get a glimpse of his character through his obsession over Guinevere Beck, basically the most average girl a guy can find on this planet. There was nothing special about her, and it’s hard to understand why he was so obsessed. The rest of the season followed the plot of most creepy Hallmark movies: boy falls for girl, boy obsesses over girl, guy wants to kill everyone who is considered “bad” in the girl’s life, girl finds out how creepy boy is, and well, you all know what happens to the girl at the end.
Joe’s secret is safe at the end of the season, and it’s revealed he had obsessed multiple former girlfriends. One of them is named Candace, who was lucky enough to get away from Joe. However, in the second season, Candace comes back for revenge.
Now, the real tea!
Love, Joe’s new victim is, introduced in the first episode.
Now, this character is actually interesting. The show highlights things about her personal life and family, including her twin brother, Forty, who is on crackhead energy the whole season. There is a terrible dependency the twins have on each other. Love consistently tells men throughout this season that if they take on her, they must also take on Forty and his behavioral issues.
I was surprised the director and writers for You never acted on the possible idea of Joe killing Forty to get him away from Love. It seemed like a prediction anyone could make, so I admired how they still managed to get Forty out of the picture, but in another way that didn’t involve actions by Joe.
There are hints throughout the season there’s something strange about Love.
While she is falling in love with Joe, who is introduced under the new name “Will,” she has strange mood changes. She breaks up with Will when she finds out his real name and that he had a past he didn’t clue her into. The only reason this happened, however, was because of Candace’s arrival as Forty’s new girlfriend. Candace is the only one who knows Joe’s true identity and this instantly increased tension in the season.
It gets pretty predictable for a while. The audience knows that even though Joe, or “Will,” tells himself he will be different this time, it will be the exact same. Viewers just watch and wait for the next kill. His biggest kill is Henderson, a popular comedian who was actually sexually abusing girls and shooting pornographic photos. Will “accidentally” kills Henderson and Will’s apartment manager and her younger sister question Henderson’s whereabouts.
I admired this side of the story because it was a parallel to season one when Joe helped his neighbor, a little boy named Paco, with his abusive step-dad. Both situations involved a younger victim, which Joe/Will proved to be helpful toward. This complements Joe’s childhood of parental neglect and domestic abuse. Season two has flashbacks galore with his childhood.
Joe’s flashbacks include times with his mom who was abused by various lovers multiple times. She would tell young Joe they’d leave next time it happened and that next time would be different, but it never was. In one of the flashback scenes, Joe’s mom showed him a gun in the corner of the closet. Joe used it and killed the man. He did this to protect his mom, but in the long run, he seems now to have the need to protect women in his life (whether his help is needed or not).
So, while things were predictable once in awhile throughout the series, many plot twists caused mixed reactions.
The biggest spoiler is that Love turned crazy, too. The end revealed she was pregnant with Joe’s child, and even though he had done crazy stuff, she was still in love with him. Love killed Candace and even kept Joe locked up in the glass cage he confined Beck in the first season. The gender roles switched, where it showed Joe locked up, and a crazy, yet battered woman on the outside keeping control. The difference between this season and the first is that Joe let go and “loved” Love. The last scene is the two of them moving into a new house. Love is showing now, and Joe is in his yard when he sees another woman through the fence. This foreshadows the next victim or obsessive infatuation Joe will likely have. This also indicates a season three starting point that people are already talking about.
My biggest curiosity is how there will be another season about another girl when he has a baby with Love coming along? I almost wonder if Love is so mentally crazy that she had made up her baby altogether. I wouldn’t be surprised if when the child got older, it would be revealed that it was all a lie to trap Joe’s character. At this point, though, Joe would have to stay in the child’s life for already staying long enough to raise who they are. But these are all predictions!
Despite what others may have thought of season two, I thought it was good. I preferred season one, however, just because realistically, that’s how these situations usually go. The ending of season two was truly chaotic, which gives the audience an unexpecting thrill.
I am excited to see what comes in a third season and how this will play out. The audience is starting to see Joe grow in development, and I think it’s so important for a story like this. It’s not often you get to hear a villain’s side.