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Review: 'You' brings new take on stalker story

Netflix Original 'You'

Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail star in the Netflix Original "You."

Netflix’s new original series “You” released its first season on December 26, 2018.

Based Caroline Kepnes' novel, “You” follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a New York bookstore owner who meets aspiring writer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), and he instantly becomes obsessed. Joe begins to go deep into a stalker persona as he aims to learn everything about his new love interest through internet searches and social media.

Through Joe’s narration, Netflix brings viewers the other side of your typical stalker/stalkee narrative. Joe’s self-justification and thought processes take viewers for a ride as you catch yourself rooting for him in some episodes but hating him in others.

Throughout the story, Joe’s obsession grows dangerous, and he is determined to spark a romance with Beck and will let nothing—and no one—stand in his way. This dark, suspenseful love story brings a new sense of terror to the modern dating atmosphere and its breathtaking plot twists leave you unsure as to who you truly can trust.

Joe uses every method possible to keep tabs on Beck and know who she is talking to, where she is going and what she is doing. In each episode the characters engage in a remarkable amount of manipulation, stalking and lying that keeps viewers at the edge of their seat wondering how long he can keep up the “nice guy” façade without anyone cluing in to his dark secrets.

Completely clueless of how much access he truly has to her life, Beck goes through the story growing more and more attached to Joe as he helps her to move towards achieving her goals as a writer. Joe is seemingly the perfect boyfriend, yet Beck has no idea what dark secrets are being hidden in his apartment. Tensions pick up as Joe begins to meet Beck’s friends, who he deems to be manipulative, distracting and self-obsessed. Joe takes it upon himself to decide who can and cannot remain a part of Beck’s life.

The acting in this series is phenomenal. Penn Badgley perfectly embodies the “nice guy” look on camera with Beck, while still being able to switch into the jealous, suspicious sociopath within seconds. The use of Joe's narration to tell the story adds a new sense of suspense, giving viewers the opposite side of the usually murder mystery. The question isn’t who did it, but who will find out first. The plot twists, characters and constant suspense demands the viewers’ attention.

This series is extremely suspenseful, interesting and bingeworthy. Every episode leaves viewers in a constant dilemma of who is truly good or bad. The show has already been renewed for a second season, so now is the perfect time to catch “You” on Netflix.

entertainment.ed@ocolly.com