“YOU” ON LIFETIME Tim Riley
Obsession is nothing new to the type of dramas, whether, in movies or series, that is the staple of the Lifetime Channel. “You” delivers a ten-part series that explores the dangers of dating in the social media age. The basic story is the twisted courtship of a seemingly mild-mannered manager of a Manhattan used bookshop specializing in rare editions and a poetry grad student who happens to be browsing the shelves. Penn Badgley’s Joe Goldberg, exuding an outgoing charm, finds Elizabeth Lail’s attractive Guinevere Beck looking through the stacks for the literature of interest and he is immediately smitten. His notice piqued by her perky nature, Joe wastes no time checking her out through social media, discovering that she goes by her last name and hangs out with snooty friends at local bars.
In fairly short order, by stalking like a perverted voyeur, he spies on the ground-floor apartment where the large windows allow a peek into Beck’s private life, noticing that her boyfriend appears motivated solely by a booty call. An interesting facet to the story is that “You” explores the creepy mind of a stalker by allowing Joe to do voice-over narration that sheds light on his on the sociopathic mind to save Beck from unworthy suitors.
Things turn disturbing and unnerving very quickly when Joe tricks Beck’s sleazy boyfriend Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci), an obnoxious rich-boy promoting a brand of artisanal soda, into the soundproof basement of the bookstore. Not having gone deep into the series, I am just wondering what fate awaits the lecherous professor who put the moves on Beck during an after-work meeting to discuss her position as a teaching assistant. Whatever the case, “You” looks to have a lot of surprises in store.