You’, based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes, is a show about a 20-something bookstore owner Joe (Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley) and his obsession with unsuspecting writer, Beck (Once Upon A Time’s Elizabeth Lail). Joe works his way into Beck’s life including her friends such as Peach (Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell) by stalking her on social media and ultimately, manipulating Beck into a relationship with him.
Executive produced by Greg Berlanti of Riverdale fame, the psychological thriller with a slight hint of romance made its United States debut on Lifetime in September 2018. After a subpar season one on Lifetime, the show found rebirth in its international debut on Netflix.
The show has sparked a conversation on social media channels with many viewers having a crush on the charismatic yet sinister stalker but Badgley is not here for it and remains puzzled on the fascination with “Joe.”
“I was really troubled, and that was also what [executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble] said was appropriate about me playing him. I remain ambivalent. I’m really questioning why people like Joe so much.” told the actor to E!News.
Not be outdone in the resident creepy person of the series, Peach brings her own set of questionable actions. She is the reimagined Queen Bee in an over-saturated social media world, a combination of intelligence and sass while having power as the leader of the group of friends that includes Beck.
“…I think her upbringing was very lonely. She was offered a lot of materialistic things but as far as love from parents and family, do I think she had that? No. I think it’s made her cold as a person and I think that’s why her love for Beck is so strong,” said Mitchell to EW about portraying Beck’s best friend.
Besides masquerading as a romantic love story, the show serves as commentary on how social media plays a role in our lives and the way it warps our views of one another. At times, you’ll cringe on how Joe uses the web to get an idea of Beck and her friends.
“You should try to meet people and have your own experience and make your judgment of them without being clouded by their Instagram persona,” said Lail to Vulture about her thought process after working on the show.
Ultimately, secrets and lies run rampant on the show as Joe’s obsession becomes deadly by the end of the season. It’ll make you really wonder what your social media profiles are telling the world.
‘You’ is currently streaming on Netflix and has been renewed for Season 2.