The weather has cooled down, and I’ve found my new fall obsession in Lifetime’s “You.”
You is a promising offering; it’s thrilling yet sexy, provocative yet at times, uncomfortable. You bet your ass I’m referring to the scene where Joe stands outside her window watching her “finish” and pleasuring himself in the bushes. And I shudder to think that’s just the beginning of what Joe is capable of.
The premiere focused mostly on nice guy Joe Goldberg’s character, and he’s problematic in the best way.
We learned about who he is, how he operates and what he thinks via voiceovers that were directed at Beck, the girl from the bookstore. The relationship he formed with her in his mind was alarming but concurrently, one of the best parts of the episode because it really allowed you to get inside his twisted head. You were able to stalk the stalker and make the same judgements about him that he was making about those around him.
What seemed like an innocent connection between two book nerds rather quickly turned into something more dangerous, even deadly. Joe became consumed with getting to know Beck. His obsession teetered on the border of normalcy — when he social media stalked her — to insanity — when he reported a gas leak in her apartment so he can sneak in and look through her things.
Penn Badgley’s performance of the guy-next-door-turned complete psycho was intoxicating simply because you found yourself rooting for the guy you really shouldn’t be rooting for. Tgive credit where credit is due, he did pull her up when she fell onto the train tracks, didn’t freak-out when she threw up in his face (how did he not?) and got her home safely. But he also stole her phone so he could read all of her messages and trace her every move so there’s that.
He warned “Beck” about the strangers who may have bad intentions while being the stranger with bad intentions. Everything Joe tried to protect her from, he became. It’s a stunning display of a person who lacks self-awareness even though they are able to assess and pass judgment, mostly accurate, about everyone around them.
But it’s also one thing to think he friends aren’t faithful, that her boyfriend is a douchebag, and that she’s an attention seeker, but it’s another thing to act on those judgments and impulses.
And act on them he did.
The moment when he took a hammer to bind the book for his neighbor friend was palpitating because it was evident that the next thing being struck by said hammer would be the back of Benji’s head. I predicted it, which was infuriating because should a guy like Joe really be that predictable?
Most concerning is how unaware Joe is that his crazy is untucking. On the surface he’s nice, but he’s got the manipulation down to an art. He thinks he’s superior to everyone around him, including Beck, but he also believes he’s acting out of love or that his intentions are in the right place. He believes he’s the hero in the story and also, the savior that she needs as a damsel in distress.
And he justifies his extreme action of locking up her hook-up in the book cage because he’s a shit human.
If this is what he pulls after just knowing Beck for less than a week, what else does good ‘ole Joe have in store for us?
There was a brief mention of Joe’s previous girlfriend, the one that made his so wary of love and sparked his interest on being “careful,” but it seems like she may have been his first victim.
Who knows, maybe Joe Goldberg isn’t even his real name.
I’m intrigued to see what happens when it dawns on him that the Beck he’s infatuated with, the woman he created based on the social media profiles and the perception she puts out into the world, isn’t actually the woman she really is.
Will he lose it? Will her friends pick up on the fact that Joe isn’t just a nice guy? Will they “see it in his eyes” like the abuser that lives next door?
He sees right through Joe which would make him a bigger threat than Benji. The only difference is that Ron doesn’t stand in the way of his relationship with Beck the way Benji does.
His ability to comprehend that Ron isn’t a good person because he’s a woman beater while convincing himself that whatever stalker-ish things he’s doing is concerning in itself.
There are still likable moments about Joe ranging from his cheek-in-tongue commentary about our society to taking young Paco under his wing and teaching him about books. Hopefully, this part of the friendship remains innocent. The fact that Joe would selflessly share his sandwich with the kid while not having any food in the apartment speaks volumes to there being something redeemable in Joe.
However, if he continues down this path, which I’m sure he will, those selfless acts won’t be able to save him for long.
People are disappointing Beck said upon meeting Joe and really, she has no idea.
Let this show be a lesson that you have to be very wary of what you put on social media channels and how much you allow the public to know about you.
At no point should a stranger ever be able to find out that much information about you. YOU may be the reality check our society needs.
What did you think? Rate the premiere in the comments below!
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