You -tv Series

You is an American psychological thriller television series developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. Produced by Warner Horizon Television, in association with Alloy Entertainment and A&E Studios, the first season is based on the eponymous 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes and follows Joe Goldberg, a New York bookstore manager (Penn Badgley) who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and quickly becomes obsessed with her. It features, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, and Shay Mitchell in supporting roles.

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You
Genre
Based onYou
by Caroline Kepnes
Developed by
Starring
Narrated byPenn Badgley
Composer(s)Blake Neely
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Ryan Lindenberg
  • Adria Lang
  • Jason Sokoloff
Production location(s)
CinematographyDavid Lanzenberg
Editor(s)
  • Harry Jierjian
  • Gaston Jaren Lopez
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time41–49 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkLifetime (season 1)
Original releaseSeptember 9, 2018 (2018-09-09) 
present (present)
External links
Website

You is an American psychological thriller television series developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. Produced by Warner Horizon Television, in association with Alloy Entertainment and A&E Studios, the first season is based on the eponymous 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes and follows Joe Goldberg, a New York bookstore manager (Penn Badgley) who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and quickly becomes obsessed with her. It features, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, and Shay Mitchell in supporting roles.

The series premiered on Lifetime on September 9, 2018, in the United States, and on Netflix, internationally, on December 26, 2018. Lifetime announced that You had been renewed for a second season based on Kepnes' follow-up novel Hidden Bodies, on July 26, 2018, ahead of the series premiere. On December 3, 2018, it was announced that the series would move to Netflix as a "Netflix Original" title, ahead of the premiere of the second season.

Cast and characters

Main

  • Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager at Mooney's who stalks and then dates Beck[3]
  • Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck, a broke NYU graduate student and an aspiring writer (season 1)[4]
  • Luca Padovan as Paco, Joe's young neighbor[4]
  • Zach Cherry as Ethan, a bookstore clerk who works with Joe[4][5]
  • Shay Mitchell as Peach Salinger, Beck's wealthy best friend (season 1)[6]
  • Victoria Pedretti as Love Quinn, an aspiring chef and health guru in L.A. (season 2)[7][8]
  • James Scully as Forty Quinn, Love's beloved and troubled brother (season 2)[9]
  • Jenna Ortega as Ellie Alves, a teenager who grew up fast in the big city.(season 2)[9][10]
  • Ambyr Childers as Candace, Joe's ex-girlfriend (season 2; recurring season 1)[11][12]

Recurring

Guest

Synopsis

Season 1

You is a satire of the popular romantic comedies, depicting a male romantic interest willing to do whatever it takes to get the girl of his dreams, even if that means taking invasive and extreme measures to get there.[20]

The first season follows bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (who is also the narrator) as he tries to woo MFA student Guinevere Beck (Beck) by manipulating everything and everyone around her. They first meet at the Mooney's, the book store where Joe works. Right after their encounter, Joe starts to obsessively find all the information on Beck that he can on her social media accounts. He justifies his actions by stating that in order to pursue Beck, he wants to make sure that she is worth it and won't break his heart, which he continuously implies, that a similar instance occurred in the past with his ex-girlfriend, Candace Stone, who is presumed to be dead.

Meanwhile, Joe is good friends with his kid next-door neighbor, Paco, who has an abusive home life and is always trying to escape by reading tons of books. Joe has a soft spot for Paco because he sees a lot of his childhood in Paco's. As Paco's situation at home with Ron, his stepfather, deteriorates over time, Joe finds himself getting more and more involved. As a response, Ron admonishes Joe's actions, by stating that he is suspicious of him and that he needs to stay far away from Paco.

After a day of following Beck around in the shadows, he stalks her to the Subway where she falls on the train tracks and he just barely saves her before the train comes. Later, it is revealed that he stole her phone and starts to read every content, she has shared with her friends, workers and family members.

Going through her messages, he uncovers the identity of Benji, Beck's on and off hook-up buddy. Joe starts plotting how to get rid of Benji from Beck's life because he believes that Benji is an obstacle to his future relationship with Beck. He tricks Benji into having a business meeting with him, and hits him over the head with a mallet, keeping him captive in his book basement. To not raise any suspicions about Benji's whereabouts, Joe starts using his phone and social media accounts to keep up the ruse that Benji decided to remotely travel somewhere without any notice. This more or less works for Beck who tries to put Benji behind her. Joe doesn't fancy himself a killer, but finds no way out of this situation, so he poisons Benji with peanuts, (he's severely allergic to them) then burns his body in the middle of the woods.

After Benji's out of the picture, Joe and Beck start dating and he is introduced to her world and friends that he doesn't really fit in with. Beck's best friend, Peach Salinger, has been suspicious of Joe from the start. Joe is suspicious of Peach as well, and starts following her for information. He soon finds that Peach is just as obsessed with Beck as he is. Joe sees Peach as another obstacle in his relationship with Beck, so he decides to eliminate her. While Beck and Peach are on a weekend getaway at Peach's estate, Joe follows them and realizes Peach has a gun. After Beck has left, Peach finds that Joe is there and they have a stand-off. She realizes the truth behind Joe's facade, but he later attempts to threaten her. Stating that he knows all her secrets and that he is willing to expose them, he taunts her before starting a fight. After fighting over the gun, Joe shoots Peach and frames her death as a suicide.

Beck starts dealing with grief in the aftermath of Peach's death by going to therapy, which threatens Joe's perception and role in the relationship because he wants to be the person she can talk to. He starts getting suspicious of her relationship with her therapist, Dr. Nicky, and begins to think she is cheating on him. As the events in the present unfold, a flashback of Joe with his ex, Candace, appears, where he finds out that she cheated on him throughout their relationship. With plans to kill Dr. Nicky, he realizes he's wrong about the situation and concludes Beck needs time and space to figure out what she wants.

After his relationship with Beck is over, Joe begins dating Karen Minty, the babysitter of Paco. Joe likes that Karen knows who she is and that the relationship is easy. Meanwhile, Paco's mom breaks up with Ron, with the help of Joe's encouragement, but soon relapses back into drug addiction.

During their time apart, Beck realizes she misses Joe and starts to pursue him again. After breaking up with Karen, they begin another relationship. Sometime later, Beck starts to get suspicious of Joe's avoidance behavior, whenever discussing the topic of his ex-girlfriend, Candace. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Joe killed Elijah after he discovered that Candace was sleeping with him in order to get a record deal at his company. In the present, Joe discovers the brutal truth; that Beck slept with Dr. Nicky. He furiously asks Beck, whether she ever loved him and chastised her for cheating on him. After Beck apologizes to him and consoles him, he states that they can work on these issues in their relationship as long as they trust each other. After Joe leaves the apartment for some shopping, Beck encounters Paco who asks for Joe. Telling her that he wanted to give the book that he borrowed back, he exposes the location of a secret place that Joe uses to hide certain things. After discovering the box in Joe's apartment, containing souvenirs of her deceased friends, he kidnaps her and traps her in the basement. Whilst, Beck writes about a novel, implicating Dr. Nicky in her murder, Joe heads outside and successfully kills Ron. Later, Paco helps Joe in covering up Ron's murder because of how grateful, he is to him. In his last conversation with Beck, he finally understands the truth; that Beck will never love him. Shortly after, he ends up killing her.

The season ends, months later with the revelation that Candace is alive after showing up at the bookstore, which leaves Joe stunned.[21]

Season 2

It was announced in November 2018, that the second season will take place in LA, after Joe flees New York as a result of having committed murders in the previous season.[22] Later, he meets Love Quinn, who is described as someone vastly different from Beck, because of her lack of social media presence and complete lack of care to creating another life online. Quinn is an "aspiring chef who’s working as a produce manager in a high-end grocery store" and is "tending to a deep grief — and when she meets Joe, she senses a shared knowledge of profound, life-changing loss."[23]

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
1"Pilot"Lee Toland KriegerGreg Berlanti & Sera GambleSeptember 9, 2018 (2018-09-09)0.82[24]
2"The Last Nice Guy in New York"Lee Toland KriegerSera GambleSeptember 16, 2018 (2018-09-16)0.77[25]
3"Maybe"Marcos SiegaApril BlairSeptember 23, 2018 (2018-09-23)0.57[26]
4"The Captain"Vic MahoneyMichael FoleySeptember 30, 2018 (2018-09-30)0.56[27]
5"Living with the Enemy"Marta CunninghamNeil ReynoldsOctober 7, 2018 (2018-10-07)0.57[28]
6"Amour Fou"Marcos SiegaAdria LangOctober 14, 2018 (2018-10-14)0.71[29]
7"Everythingship"Kellie CyrusApril Blair & Amanda ZetterströmOctober 21, 2018 (2018-10-21)0.62[30]
8"You Got Me, Babe"Erin FeeleyCaroline KepnesOctober 28, 2018 (2018-10-28)0.49[31]
9"Candace"Martha MitchellKelli Breslin & Michael FoleyNovember 4, 2018 (2018-11-04)0.47[32]
10"Bluebeard's Castle"Marcos SiegaSera Gamble & Neil ReynoldsNovember 11, 2018 (2018-11-11)0.53[33]

Production

In February 2015, it was announced that Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble would develop a series based on Caroline Kepnes' book: You: A Novel, with Berlanti and Gamble as the scriptwriters, and Berlanti as the pilot director.[34] Two years later, it was announced that the series was purchased by Lifetime and put on fast-track development.[35]

In April 2017, Lifetime gave You a 10-episode straight-to-series order.[36] On July 26, 2018, ahead of the series premiere, Lifetime announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.[37][38] On December 3, 2018, it was confirmed that Lifetime had passed on the series and that Netflix picked up the series ahead of the release of the second season.[39]

In November 2018, Gamble confirmed that like Hidden Bodies, the sequel novel to You, the setting of the series would move to Los Angeles for the second season.[40][41]

Casting

Penn Badgley was cast as lead character Joe Goldberg in June 2017.[3] Elizabeth Lail's casting as Guinevere Beck was announced in July 2017,[4] as well as Luca Padovan as Joe's neighbor Paco, and Zach Cherry as Ethan, a bookstore clerk who works with Joe.[4] Shay Mitchell was cast as Peach Salinger, Beck's wealthy best friend, in August 2017.[6]

In September 2017, Hari Nef was cast in the recurring role as Blythe, a talented and competitive peer in Beck's MFA program.[42] A few days later it was announced that Daniel Cosgrove had been cast in the recurring role of Ron, a correctional officer.[13] In October 2017, Michael Maize and Ambyr Childers were cast in the recurring roles of Officer Nico and Candace, respectively.[11] It was announced in November 2017 that John Stamos would recur as Dr. Nicky, Beck's therapist.[15][43]

On January 30, 2019, it was announced that Victoria Pedretti had been cast in the main role of Love Quinn on the second season.[7][8] On January 31, 2019, James Scully was cast in a main role as Forty Quinn, Love's brother, who is "confident, opinionated and privileged — at his best, a charming buddy; at his worst, a razor-sharp bully. He's been working a 12-step program with all the sincerity (and smugness) he's got, relying heavily on his sister for support and attention. But it never takes much of a shove for him to fall back off the wagon." and Jenna Ortega was also cast in a main role as Ellie Alves, "a teenager who grew up fast in the big city, Ellie likes to act and appear older than her years. Secretly living with minimal supervision or nurturing in her life, she must take care of herself and isn't afraid to get into murky waters to make a little cash. This includes working cons on the adults around her, including Joe Goldberg."[9]

On February 1, 2019, Deadline Hollywood reported that Ambyr Childers had been promoted to a series regular role, ahead of the premiere of the second season.[12] On February 6, 2019, Adwin Brown was cast in the recurring role of Calvin on the second season.[16] On February 15, 2019, Robin Lord Taylor was cast in the recurring role of Will on the second season.[17]

Filming

The first season of You was filmed in New York City[1] and wrapped on December 19, 2017.[44] For the second season, the series relocated its production to California to take advantage of tax incentives provided by the California Film Commission under its "Program 2.0" initiative.[45] Filming for the second season started in February 2019.[46]

Release

Marketing

The official trailer for You was released on April 10, 2018.[47]

Teasing the original premiere on Lifetime on September 9, 2018, the main cast, Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail and Shay Mitchell, as well as the show creator, Sera Gamble, and author of the original book, Caroline Kepnes, sat down with BUILD Series, a YouTube talk show meant to promote new buzzworthy shows and movies.[48]

Many digital journalists gave praise to the series, by complimenting its eerie tone and terrifying approach to the themes of real-life violence and stalking, reminiscent of contemporary thriller films and series like Dexter, Gone Girl and American Psycho. Certain reviewers highlight that You provides an alluring but, disturbing insight into the mind and profile of a psychopath, who charmingly manipulates his way through his anti-hero charisma, motives and warped sense of morality, in order to convince the audience "to sympathize with a stalker" and "serial killer".[49][50][51][52][53][54]

The marketing for the series used the buzz around the #MeToo Movement to gain attention to the start of the show. You has been said to have been "tailor-made for the #MeToo Era."[55] One of the show creators, Sera Gamble, commented on this era by saying we, as a culture, only pay attention to the perspective of the male and in his story, of course he is the hero. She states "We're focused on their story, their triumph, their downfall, their redemption arc...So I doubt the show will singlehandedly change the way we think about dudes and our culture, but I'm happy to be part of the conversation."[55]

Broadcast

You premiered on Lifetime in the United States on September 9, 2018.[56] In May 2018, it was announced that Netflix acquired the exclusive international broadcast rights to You, making it available as an original series on the platform.[57][58] The first season became available to stream instantly on Netflix worldwide on December 26, 2018.[59] On December 3, 2018, it was announced that Lifetime had passed on the second season, and that the series would move to Netflix as a Netflix Original series.[60][61]

Viewership

On January 17, 2019, Netflix announced that the series was on track to be streamed by over 40 million viewers within its first month of release on the streaming platform.[62]

Themes

You explores the blurred lines between love and obsession, and hero and villain. In the process, it looks at the potential lengths to which the idea of "love conquers all", is really applicable.[63] As the first season of You is situated in modern day New York City, it explores the dangers of social media culture with an emphasis on a lack of digital privacy.[64][65] The author of the book, Caroline Kepnes stated that her inspiration for the book grew out of her moving back to LA. She stated that when she moved, she noticed that "suddenly everyone was following each other and being followed, and I always thought of that as a such a negative thing," soon creating Joe in her mind as a very real possibility of what can happen with that type of access into people's lives.[48]

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an 92% certified fresh rating with 52 reviews, with an average rating of 7.04/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "You pairs thrilling drama with trashy fun to create an addictive social media horror story that works its way under the skin – and stays there."[66] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[67]

Alicia Lutes of IGN gave the first season, a 8.4/10, stating that it is "so insane, you're bound to be riveted and engaged if nothing else" and that the series is "a horrifying love letter to all those romantic ideals and expectations that have permeated our society."[68] Liz Miller from IndieWire mentioned in a positive review of the first season, that it invokes "the best qualities of David Fincher's Gone Girl and Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho," and that the series "juxtaposes the idea of love as glamorized by the romance industrial complex with its dark side."[69] Kylie Nixon from Stuff complimented the first season in her review by adding that the "show will mess with your head. You might feel super, super awkward a couple or fifty times, but by God, you'll be entertained."[70]

Tiffany Kelly from Daily Dot recommended the first season in her review of the series by stating that it "quickly evolves into a disturbing profile of a psychopath in the digital age, one who uses social media to aid his stalking."[71] While reviewing the first season, Anna Leszkiewicz from New Statesman declared in a positive review that the "Netflix series You does what it says on the tin – offering surprise twists, drip-fed reveals, a magnetic villain in Joe, the horrible suspense of knowing more than his clueless victims and satisfyingly gory murders."[72] Christina Radish of Collider named Joe Goldberg as the "Best TV Villain" of 2018. Radish wrote that, "thanks to the performance given by Penn Badgley and some terrific writing, the character has layers that make him complicated and intriguing, even though you know he should be making you cringe and recoil. Joe Goldberg is a character that does horrible things, but also keeps you so engrossed that you can't stop watching."[73]

Critics' year-end lists

2018[74]

References

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