The first season of You, is all about stalking. It's the pursuit of one man with a particular view on love, attempting to indulge and capture the heart of this particular lady. With each good intention, there's an underlying layer of sinister motives. It's really fascinating actually as they create this character that you're somewhat supporting, while still being entirely creeped out by the entire time. There will be a moment of care, but a side comment or two that sticks out as something that's very creepy. There's a balance, and that does seem to somewhat implode towards the latter episodes.
While this season is mostly focused on what's in the now, there's also something hiding in the past and that becomes a theme as things progress. It's a rather adult show in nature focusing on modern stalking, love and generally people that are obsessive in different ways. There are layers here too as you get to see the current rendition, past creation and perhaps future results of this one individual's stalking oriented life. Again, this aspect was every well done and by adding layers, you get a far more dynamic character. These aspects make more sense as you watch; with flashbacks, the regular time and his impact on another.
While this was well written and rather twisted, the lead really carried the show. Penn Badgley as Joe, really brought the creepy yet charming style that was needed to properly showcase this type of person. The hidden manipulation, watching and desire were well captured as he aimed for the heart of Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). She was also well done being a regular, yet broken person that did have areas this watchful man could improve upon.
It's interesting to see this build as he's smart about manipulations and adjustments, including the removal of people in the way. There's a real attempt to balance the evil with perhaps good acts, making there more to this lead character than anticipated. It really does walk a fine line and that helps make this series more compelling.
That being said, they should have dragged the main theme a bit further. This comes across as a limited series and it loses a lot of steam towards the latter portion of the season. It concludes various story lines in interesting ways and I'm not sure how compelled I'll be in regards to watching another season due to how it all wrapped up.
You Season 1 is a really fascinating look at modern stalking that goes wild while still showcasing someone with possibly good intentions. It's a strange balance as I've mentioned prior and they create a character that's bad, yet you're cheering for them to win? You can feel the sting of each little creepy thought as you hear many mental aspects to what characters are thinking, but that fits well into the themes that are presented. I wish they would have dragged out the main conflict for the "hero" over more than one season as things come and go fast.
I'm not sure if they were pushing towards where things are headed into the future, but this could have had more development for those involved. It would have been nicer to see more of a difficulty in how the transition towards gaining the love he wanted went, even more so seeing the after aspects in longer detail. I'm a balance of intrigued and somewhat not at all interested in where it seems they're taking things going towards a second season of the show.
You Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing