Rating: 5/5
Worth Watching? YES
Source: Netflix

Based on Caroline Kepnes' best-selling novel of the same name, YOU is a 21st century love story that asks, "What would you do for love?" When a brilliant bookstore manager crosses paths with an aspiring writer, his answer becomes clear: anything. Using the internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details and get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle - and person - in his way. (Source: IMDB)

One thing I've been doing a lot of recently, is watching TV. As soon as there's hype around a show, or a book I've loved has been adapted into a TV series, I'm the first one desperate to get my teeth stuck into it.

That's why I was really surprised when I saw that a TV series called "YOU" just appeared on Netflix, and I knew very little about it. It sounded like a thriller, with a lot of violence and psychopathic behaviour - right up my street. I then found out it was a book series, and after binging the show in 24 hours, the first book was in my hand the following day (book review will be coming soon!).

If you've not heard of YOU, it focuses on a bookseller (Joe Goldberg) who becomes infatuated with a woman who visits his bookstore. Using any tools he has available (in the modern world, it's almost scary what you can do with wi-fi and an electronic device), he delves into the life of Guinevere Beck and his love for her for escalates beyond measure. His fantasies become reality as his online stalking leads to her address, and people that stand in their path of "true love"...

I think what I found most fascinating about this show is the likeability of Joe, and his complete unawareness of his obsession towards Beck. Now, psychopaths are usually charming, and willing to tell you whatever you want to hear; which I think Penn Badgley (Joe) portrayed perfectly. But his sheer oblivion towards his behaviour left me feeling torn between amusement and sheer terror. He goes to great lengths to burrow his way into her life, and I feel that even we, as the audience, are fooled. This charming, somewhat-nerdy booklover could never have been caught up in anything like this before, right? He didn't really mean to lock this guy up in a cage, right? He can't have hurt anyone before, RIGHTIt definitely messes with your mind...

What I also found interesting about this show is the lack of positive feelings I had for Beck (that sounds really awful considering what was happening to her - but hear me out). She had more than her share of dark secrets; but I feel like Joe's narration almost twists you into thinking what he's doing is okay (which is truly terrifying) - and I've never felt like a narrator has had overwhelming power on my thought process before like he did.

And then mid-way through the series, the narration switches to Beck, and we get a look at her innermost thoughts and feelings. Although I didn't find this as exciting as Joe's narration; it was definitely needed. This is when reality hits us, and we see Beck's world through her eyes - rather than the infatuated, somewhat-twisted bookseller.

What I loved about this series, is that they showed a woman who was frivolous, selfish, flaky, bitchy, promiscuous - all things we have been in our lives - who wasn't victim-blamed for the position she was in; which we so often see depicted in the media nowadays. I think that's what sets this show apart from others. An unlikeable woman harrassed by a likeable man - and guess what? That still doesn't make what he's doing okay. I thought it was very clever (again, this is just my opinion - maybe I'm the only crazy one that liked Joe...).

I think one of the reasons that Joe is likeable (particularly in the beginning), is his relationship with Paco. Paco lives next door, and his step-dad is a raging alcoholic, and his mum is a drug addict. Joe takes him under his wing, and I felt that in a series full of crazy, their relationship was the only one that was mutual, genuine, and left me feeling warm and fuzzy. (I mean maybe bar one or two moments...no spoilers!)

This show also highlights the horror of social media. If you take one thing away from this programme, let it be that. We know the wonders that the internet can do, but I think we've become blind to how accessible it makes our lives. In a click, swipe and a tap, he's outside her apartment watching her undress - and the scariest part is how believable it is.

One niggle of mine was the sex in seemingly every other scene. They did grow tiresome and tedious, which took away from some of the more important intimate scenes - in particular, Joe's fantasies. The almost-psychedelic scenes where Joe fantasised about Beck would have been far more harrowing if we weren't seeing multiple sex scenes in between.

As a whole, there wasn't really anything I could have faulted about this series. It was captivating, thrilling and I watched the entire show in less than 24 hours. It was really innovative, and gave us a new insight into the mind of a stalker. Absolutely brilliant.

And it took me until episode 8 to realise that Beck was actually Anna from Once Upon A Time. Oops.

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