“There are terrifying people in the world. It’s important to be safe, and that’s why I have to do what I’m going to do.”
Have you ever seen the world through the eyes of a person who believes they’re in the right when that couldn’t be further from the truth? Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is a loner who works at a book store that keeps to himself for the most part.
Until one faithful day when a woman named Genevieve Beck (Elizabeth Lail) walks into his store. Joe becomes infatuated with Beck, and he will stop at nothing to gain her love.
Rooting for a Bad Guy?
Narration is typically considered to be lazy, mainly because it allows for the writers to give the audience information easily. Joe Goldberg, among other characters, does not go many scenes without narration, which seems like it would be exhausting. However, it suits the storytelling well.
From the outside, looking in most would have very different thoughts about the entire cast of You. Because we get to see how their minds work, we may end up understanding some motives even if we don’t agree with how they necessarily go about solving their issues.
Subverting Expectations Constantly
Audiences will be surprised by how much they actually know about the story, or should I say how little. You does an astounding job at subverting expectations, and often viewers won’t know what’s going to happen in the story next.
Superb Acting for the Most Part
A couple of the performances are astounding with how well the actors/actresses represent their characters. Penn Badgley, the actor who portrays Joe Goldberg, can act out a flurry of different emotions with incredible skill. In one scene, he can go from two extremely different moods such as anger into being at peace.
Elizabeth Lail, the actress that plays as Genevieve Beck, also holds her own throughout the show. For story purposes, her character just isn’t as exciting as Joes, but she completes her role with flying colors.
Wanting Everything to Work Out
One of the weirdest feelings is watching someone who you know isn’t necessarily a good person and wanting them to find happiness. It’s because of how well Joe and Beck interact with each other, not to mention everything that the audience goes through with them.
Previously I spoke about how the narration benefits the storytelling, and in terms of Joe and Beck’s relationship, it adds much-wanted depth. There are two different layers of storytelling going on, and I’ve never seen any media, for the most part, use narration in such a way that was a serious show or movie.
While they’re very different people, I believe their differences benefit the other for the most part. To put it lightly, Beck isn’t the most put-together person, and she has many personal struggles.
When she meets Joe, that begins to change, and it is a great thing to see. Pacing for relationships in media can often feel off; however, You succeeds once again with allowing Beck & Joe’s relationship to progress naturally.
What makes someone a bad person? You forces the audience to answer that question. The cast chosen for this show does their job to the best of their abilities. Because of that, the first season of You is bursting with quality.
From Joe and Beck’s relationship to the unusual method of storytelling used, the program uses all of the tricks that it can pull out of its hat to make an exquisite show about a stalker obsessed with a woman.
Not only that, but the writers succeed at writing the story in such a way that people support the stalker. That’s incredibly impressive; however, it is not only because of the writing team. Badgley took his time in the spotlight and showed audiences his vast range of acting skills.
All of the characters in his show, for the most part, do their role to be the best of their ability based on their job. If a character is supposed to be annoying, then the actor/actress gets the job done.
Finally, the pacing is perfect; the audience will not have to spend hours watching the same plotline. Secrets that are uncovered add to the show and allow the story to progress naturally, making every episode feel fresh, especially towards the season finale.
Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars