Starring: Penn Badgley, Shay Mitchell, Elizabeth Lail, Zach Cherry, Luca Padovan
Created by: Sera Gamble, Greg Belanti
Origin and Release Year: USA (2018)
Genre: Psychological thriller, crime fiction
How do we describe Joe Goldberg? The perfect anomaly and conflicting character. He’s the antagonist but he’s not a bad guy. Well, psychological issues aside. He gives the type of toxic affectionate love that seems to be idealized in modern society. “I want any man who I date to worship the ground I walk on.” And that’s why we love him.
We know we shouldn’t but we do. Despite his hefty character flaws, he is one of the most loved fictional characters in modern society right now. Unpretentious bookworm. True romantic. Protector. But at what cost?
You’ll forgive me for this late review, in my defense, I didn’t find out about You until all the hype about season two came out.
I know, I do in fact think that I live under a rock sometimes. Regardless, I am currently on a binge and working my way into season two, but felt the need to give my take on season one first.
Note: This review was written a while back and has been in the archives. Consider this a late post. I have indeed watched Season 3 by now.
I am by no means the type of person delighted by horror films, adventures, sci-fi movies or anything of the sort. I’m a drama geek, a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a good punchline. Of course, with the occasional exception. However, I am partial to a good thriller and some suspense from time to time.
Within the first 10 minutes of the pilot, I was sold and committed to the binge. Joe Goldberg, the object of a chilling fascination with his creepy yet oddly disturbing aura. His muses and projections of his thoughts exposing his every intention. His every move calculated as if something huge is at stake.
Joe’s misguided affections spark two things. One, the viewer’s inner self-conflict that questions whether it is okay to favor someone so toxic. Two, an odd desire to revisit one’s forgotten reading habit.
The show highlights the toxicity that has been normalized in modern day relationships and makes social comment on the plight that is social media.
The sound design is well-done, not overcooked or under-utilized. The cinematography is excellent. Again, the right balance between subtle contrasts and well-paired with editing to create supporting suspenseful themes. Sometimes a bit on the nose, but enough to be forgiven. The supporting cast is well-developed and intriguing but not taking away from the musings of our protagonist. Overall, I think that the first season of You definitely lived up to the hype.
With this intriguing protagonist and a thrilling narrative, You has without a doubt created a following that I hope will survive the Netflix cancellation curse. More after I finish my binge of season two.
What did you think of You Season 1?