'You' Season 2 offers more of the same Joe in a different world and Penn Badgley is a thrill to watch
Spoiler alert for Season 2 of 'You'
The first season of 'You' on Lifetime was disturbing and fascinating enough that it drummed up a huge fanbase -- especially internationally when it finally came to Netflix. The streaming service picked up the show for its second season which dropped on Netflix on 26th December at midnight.
When the second season starts off, Joe has moved to Los Angeles -- he is on the run after Candace catches up to him in New York after she read Beck's posthumously published book, understanding that Joe "did it again".
In LA, it's new neighbors, new colleagues, a new name for Joe, and most importantly, a new love interest, who is not so ironically named Love. Love takes to Joe just as quickly as he takes to her. In fact, she is more eager to date him than Beck ever was — more so than Joe even, who is keeping himself restrained so that he does not repeat the same mistakes as with Beck.
But eventually, Love and Joe — or rather, Will, as he has told her — start dating. Much to his chagrin, Candace also shows up in Los Angeles and pretends to be Amy Adam, Love's brother, Forty's new girlfriend.
We also meet Joe's new neighbors, Delilah — a gossip journalist and his building manager — and her sister, Ellie — a precocious 15-year-old girl who acts as though she is much older. Joe quickly takes to Ellie as well, who reminds us of Paco from Season 1. When he realizes that Ellie is a victim to Henderson, a Hollywood comedian, who had also raped Delilah, Joe's protective side takes over.
Despite what the audience might expect, Joe really does try to be better. His total number of kills this season is just two.
Joe also seems more open to other people this season. Yes, he is condescending, but he also comes to realize that though the people of LA might be pretentious, they have their own pearls of wisdom to offer him as well. We find him getting closer to Forty and Delilah than we expected even.
What does turn the season around is the revelation in the end about Love. That Joe sees himself as Beck in his relationship with Love is so absurd that it might almost be funny if we didn't think about how deranged all this was. When Love confesses that she is as committed to Joe as he was to Beck, he feels that he is trapped with her.
For the most part, Season 2 is exactly like Season 1. However, there are small improvements. Though it took time to get used to the new characters, they are much more likable that Peach Sallinger and co. from the first season.
For fans of the first season of 'You', they are certain to enjoy the second season as well, though we caution you to pace yourself, lest you find it banal and repetitive. But for those who found faults with the show already, the second season offers no reason to change your mind.
Here's a caveat for the naysayers, however — Penn Badgley is a delight to watch. He takes a role that could otherwise be detested. Badgley adds layers to Joe Goldberg — he looks handsome when the scene calls for it, and he looks gaunt and terrifying in Joe's darkest moments.
If there is a Season 3 — and most likely there will be — it will be a frenzied game of wits between the not-so-happy couple. But at least, it holds the promise of something different, though with Joe setting his eyes on yet another girl, we are not so sure.
All episodes of 'You' Season 2 are now streaming on Netflix.