Series Title: You
Number of series and episodes: One Season, 10 episodes. (Note: There will be a season 2)
Genre: Crime Drama, Psychological Thriller
Age restriction: Mature audiences only. Features adult content and other themes not suitable for younger audiences.
My Rating: 8/10
The story follows Joe a book store manager and his journey in love with Beck, an aspiring writer, but here’s the twist: our main character Joe is actually a serial killer.
I’m not really into crime psychological thrillers but something just told me to give this a shot (to be fair I didn’t look at the synopsis or genre/category this series was placed under, it was recommended to me by Netflix and I assumed it was a romance movie seeing the cover of the two main characters in a book store).
Off the bat I would have stopped watching this series had I actually read the synopsis and if the characters (or story telling) weren’t charming enough to give me a chance. What made it bearable to watch was Joe’s humor and well, it was kind of romantic despite also being creepy.
We get to see how love or an obsession for someone could push us to extreme lengths, what we will do with love, and ask us the question, will I kill or remove anyone who is in my way for the sake of my love?
Would I? No. If I’m being honest (maybe its because I haven’t fallen in love with anyone) love shouldn’t be the only one that drives you to live or feel validated. I find that kind of mindset toxic because before we could love others we have to first love ourselves. But that’s not the issue at hand here. We have a character who as we peel the layers of his life and personality, see a character who is insecure, hurt, and broken many times.
Although it seems to imply that anyone who (like the character) grew up in a home or family dynamic that was broken would equate someone who is broken and as a result become a psychopath or serial killer this isn’t the case. We also see how Joe’s past relationship influenced him to be the person he was.
It was really interesting to be in the mind of a serial killer because in most thrillers and stories the main character is always the innocent ones or those trying to survive from the hands of villain.
Joe didn’t start as a serial killer, nor did he want to as seen by how he initially didn’t want to kill but believed it was justified to do so if he wanted his relationship with Beck to work, added he believed he had to protect Beck from people he found as a threat to them even if it didn’t seem that way.
Watching the first season was also a mental tug of war for me because other than the fact that his humor was entertaining and each episode kept you on your toes, I didn’t know if I should sympathize with him because he didn’t want to be that way and his actions were driven from past trauma OR feel frustrated and annoyed because it strengthens the idea of loving someone can make us stupid and do stupid and crazy things. I mean it does do that for some of us, but for me I think we should educate people to not obsessed over love and feel validated when they are in a relationship rather than reinforce the notion that anyone who is deeply in love would go insane because of it.
I also had an enlightening conversation with a friend about the series and told her that if it was not interesting and funny I would have just completely deemed in creepy throughout and question why the heck this show was popular on Netflix but I’m glad I put my objective hat (and love for humor) on and stuck with it until the end. We also talked about the idea that when a guy does the stalking its creepy but if a girl does it, it isn’t condemned as much as if a girl does it. In other words, yes whether it is a girl or guy who is stalking or obsessed with you, it is still creepy and gender shouldn’t determine who is more wrong to do it. She also told me that most guys who watch the show feel uncomfortable watching it because it feels similar to how all guys (and even girls) would feel when they have a crush on someone.
What are your thoughts on stalking and obsession? Do you agree that it’s justified that we could do anything for love and use that as a valid reason to kill? Chime in on the comments.
I would definitely recommend this show for anyone interested in crime dramas and psychological thrillers. The reason why I rated it as a 8/10 is probably just me being frustrated with the characters (aren’t we all frustrated with characters who get themselves killed lol) and Beck’s death or their breakup didn’t evoke enough emotion as I thought it would since she was also a main character of the show and unlike Joe’s other victims where we know how each character died, hers was a little ambiguous (though I could have missed something or it would probably be revealed in season 2).
I like stories that makes me feel what the character is feeling. That intense pain each character feels from the breakup or the absolute pain and outrage he felt when he caught both girls cheating on him (not that I am saying they are bad actors or anything, it’s just that I truly believe in the law of transference. As a viewer I should feel the emotions and empathize with each character in any work, the acting or scene should also show that emotion in its truest or rawest form [a teacher told me that your clients can tell when you really care or if you are saying bullshit, so it’s best to show your authentic self and that’s what I live by when interacting with people, I speak my mind and be myself].
We see Joe bummed over their breakup (or well for me it is implied he is bummed about the breakup and tells it but I don’t feel that actual emotion) and has sex with a random character we just met halfway through the season and flash forward to three months later where he is dating the girl he hooked up with. He hints a couple of times after their breakup that he is trying to get over her but I just don’t feel the emotion or pain or suffering he feels. I would reserve movies, books, or shows that evokes all sorts of powerful emotions as a 9 or 10 rating, something that actually makes me cry or laugh so hard at the same time, something that makes me really love all the characters and not want to see it end. There are just a few books or films that does that to me, that tug on my heart strings or absolute terror if it were a thriller and this wasn’t one of them so it isn’t a 9 or 10 rating.
Nevertheless 8/10 is still a high enough rating and very deserving for something so well crafted. The story telling was amazing (and I hear that it is based on a novel too), the characters were also amazing, and I would also recommend that whoever does stumble upon this series to approach it with a new set of eyes or at least take a look at it without being judgmental and use it as an opportunity to learn something new. Whether it is learning about how to look at another persons perspective, how trauma or life experiences can affect a person, or how to better protect yourself from a serial killer there is always something to learn from in any book, series, or film.