Greg Berlanti’s new sequence, “You,” checks off lots of the stalker-drama tropes.
However hey, it airs on Lifetime — which is just giving its loyal viewers what they need — cheese and a little bit of whine with a melodramatic twist.
It’s all right here, after which some, in “You,” a 10-episode sequence based mostly on Caroline Kepnes’ bestselling novel. It’s considered one of Berlanti’s file 14 (!) exhibits at the moment on the air, so it’s getting a large promotional push; every of its episodes will even stream on Netflix the day after their Lifetime premiere.
Penn Badgley, best-known as Dan Humphrey from “Gossip Lady,” takes the lead position as creepy Joe Goldberg, who manages Mooney’s, an unbiased (learn: almost extinct) Manhattan bookstore that additionally homes a soundproof, air-conditioned glass vault in its basement (for the late Mr. Mooney’s worthwhile ebook assortment — it elements into the plot).
Joe, who looks as if a good sufficient man, turns into smitten with (OK, psychotically connected to) Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), an NYU grad pupil learning poetry. “Beck,” as everybody calls her, has the unhealthy luck to wander into Mooney’s and into Joe’s evil clutches. Their eyes meet, they strike up a flirtatious dialog and, inside minutes, Joe, carrying the requisite stalker baseball cap, is monitoring his new love each bodily and through her large social media footprint. (Observe to millennials: “You” is a cautionary story concerning the perils of oversharing. Concentrate.)
We study that Beck has an obnoxious trust-fund boyfriend, Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci), who cares extra for his medication than he does her — though they interact in carnal relations immediately in entrance of the massive unadorned glass home windows in Beck’s street-level condo (as one does) whereas Joe watches. Beck, disgusted with big-city life and her attractive professor-boss, will get drunk and falls onto the subway tracks in Brooklyn — the place she’s rescued by Joe, who magically materializes to avoid wasting his damsel in misery. From that time on, “You” begins its descent into the darkish corners of Joe’s thoughts.
The narrative bulk of the sequence is relayed by means of Joe’s inside monologues (one other stalker trope) however I’ll says this: the sequence, whereas at turns tacky and predictable, can be watchable. Badgley performs Joe within the vein of Ted Bundy — good-looking and charming, with a veneer of humility masking his interior demons — whereas Beck isn’t as clueless and susceptible as she first seems. She sees by means of the social media phoniness of her shallow girlfriends (and, ultimately, Benji) and, simply while you assume she’s heading down Lifetime’s normal “girl in jeopardy” street, she zags the opposite means. It’s refreshing.
“You” received’t win any Emmys, however will probably be attention-grabbing to see how the story evolves over the course of this season. It’s already been renewed for a second season forward of Sunday’s sequence premiere, so Lifetime has apparent religion within the venture.
I’m not so positive that religion shall be rewarded with sturdy rankings — however will probably be a colourful journey nonetheless.