‘You’ sparks interesting discussions on privacy and dating culture.
Netflix has become the hub for go-to binge-worthy TV shows. While they don’t hit the mark with every series, the platform brought fame to shows like Orange is the New Black, Riverdale, and Stranger Things. Recently a new psychological thriller has joined the ranks. You, originally a novel written by Caroline Kepnes, has been adapted into a disturbing yet wildly entertaining TV series.
The show stars Elizabeth Lail, Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley and Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell. Developed by a dream team, including Riverdale producer Greg Berlanti and Supernatural writer Sera Gamble You follows Joe (Badgley), a bookstore manager who becomes intrigued by one of his customers, Beck (Lail), and decides to cyberstalk her. His curiosity soon turns into obsession, and Joe vows to go to great (criminal) lengths to make sure that they end up together.
The nature of this series has raised some interesting questions around dating culture and the role social media plays in how we get to know people in this day and age. The overarching question we may find ourselves asking is, how far will You go for love?
Third-year sociology student Marissa Trott watched You “mistakenly, without seeing the trailer first.” On the narration of the thriller, Trott said, “I felt like the main character was talking to me and I was watching this whole thing unfold in front of me; it was very uncomfortable.”
Our very own sports and health reporter Jessica Firminger, a fourth-year biology major, was able to find some time to watch the series as well. “When I first started watching You, I found it pretty eye-opening,” she said. “It demonstrated how easily accessible personal information can be if you aren’t careful about what you share online.”
While You takes place in New York City, Firminger discussed the dangers of cyberstalking in a small town such as Sackville. “It’s easy to feel safe somewhere and become trusting of the community as a whole, but as You demonstrated, sometimes it’s best to be overly cautious,” she said.
The show has also created an interesting discourse surrounding the character Joe and how some viewers find themselves charmed by him, despite his anti-hero role.
“Joe is written to be very sympathetic,” said Gabrielle Gagnon, a fourth-year PPE student. “From the outside, he seems like the perfect boyfriend.”
Badgley’s portrayal of the character stirs mixed emotions for the viewers. The actor has been active on Twitter promoting show, and he does not shy away from shutting down fans who profess their love for the disturbed anti-hero in lust-fueled tweets. One Twitter user even tweeted, “Kidnap me pls” to the actor’s personal account. Another concerned user tweeted at Badgley, saying, “The amount of people romanticizing @PennBadgley’s character in You scares me,” to which Badgley replied, “Ditto, it will be all the motivation I need for season two.”
If you are shopping for a new TV series to watch, You might be a somewhat disturbing, but a highly entertaining choice! Season two is confirmed but the release date hasn’t been announced yet, so there is plenty of time to catch up! Just don’t be too wary of bookstore employees; I’m sure they aren’t all monsters.