Lifetime’s newest Drama ‘You’ is a brilliantly creepy tale that will be your next TV obsession
Starring 'Gossip Girl' alum Pen Badgley strikingly familiar role, ‘You’ is a story of how a simple crush can quickly turn into a dangerous obsession.
Lifetime’s newest drama ‘You’ was previewed this weekend at Paleyfest in Los Angeles and premiered on Sunday, September 9. It’s definitely a new series that is worth watching. Based on Caroline Kepnes novel, ‘You’ is about an unassuming bookstore manager Joe (played by ‘Gossip Girl’ alum Penn Badgley) whose crush on blonde Manhattanite student Beck (played by 'Once Upon A Time' alum Elizabeth Lail) turns into a deadly obsession.
Greg Berlanti ('Riverdale') and Sera Gamble ('The Magicians') serve as executive producers, so you know you’ll be in for a fun, crazy ride with these two behind the project.
After having an adorable meet-cute at the bookstore Joe works at, his fascination with Beck gradually turns into something far sinister. The first episode is through Joe’s eyes, exploring how his wide-eyed enthusiasm (which does seem a little over-kill, but cute nonetheless) is turned into a full-on obsession.
However, through Joe’s eyes, we kind of see his point of view and are even rooting for him, despite his stalker tendencies. In more ways than one, Badgley is merely playing Dan Humphrey 2.0, a dramatized extension of his ‘Gossip Girl’ character. Which at first, honestly seemed a bit cheap considering this is his first big role after the pivotal series. On the other hand, these kinds of roles seem to be Badgley’s bread and butter, and it’s hard to think of anyone better for it.
After meeting Joe, and slyly giving him her full name, Beck goes back to her normal life as a woman in her early twenties just trying to find her way. She has a group of friends that appear to be superficial in nature. She is living in a fancy brownstone in Manhattan that she can’t afford, and has an on-again-off-again relationship with a hipster douchebag.
While extremely flawed, Beck is a character that’s so relatable and endearing, who is essentially just looking for love and stability in a world where she doesn’t have any.
After meeting Beck, Joe starts to follow her, spying on the outside of her apartment and stalking her on social media. The show brilliantly depicts how easy it is for someone in this day in age to get not just all of your personal information, but your whereabouts, your relationship history, and family problems.
Joe’s search to find out everything about Beck is aggressive, to say the least, but there's something still a little charming about his pursuit… for now.
He claims to end up in the right place at the right time and saves Beck’s life, pretending he didn’t remember her from their meet-cute at the bookstore. What better way to make a girl fall in love with you than saving her life, right? Even though we’re being told this story through Joe’s eyes, there’s still something very suspicious and unreliable about his story.
Book readers know that this is not a story about love and that this seemingly sweet courtship is going to take a very dangerous turn along the way. The truth is, while Badgley’s portrayal of Joe is a tad creepy, he comes off as more charming than anything else. That is until things in the story progress and viewers realize that they too have been fooled by this seemingly intelligent and wounded man.
Also starring Shay Mitchell (‘Pretty Little Liars’) and John Stamos, the killer cast, satiric dark humor, and daring narrative make for one heck of a good TV show. With a ten episode order ‘You’ was picked up for a second season even before season one premiered.
Make sure to watch ‘You’ on Lifetime every Monday at 10 pm!