Warning: there may be spoilers in this article.
Yesterday I decided to give the Lifetime series You a chance. A snowy morning and night a lone were as good excuse as any to binge. I hated it, but I couldn’t stop watching. I had heard that it was scary but in a suspenseful, day-time way.
Elizabeth Lail plays Guinevere Beck, a struggling MFA student, yoga instructor, major drinker, TA to an awful professor, and somewhat flakey individual who uses some of these tasks to cope with her family issues. Although her methods may be questionable, I’ve concluded that she is basically a good human, aside from her questionable taste in friends/boyfriends. Which brings me to…
Penn Badgley plays Joe Goldberg (which I think in a fake name) and is bookstore manager by day and a major stalker by night. By stalker, I don’t mean always lurking in the shadows and watching from afar; he does that, but he also does way more. He inserts himself into Beck’s apartment, then life after numerous weeks. He duplicates her phone and eliminates any obstacle in his path to be Beck’s knight in shining armor.
Shay Mitchell plays Peach Salinger. A controlling New York elitist from a wealthy family who has to be on top of everything always. She has a blackmail folder on her computer with footage of her “friends'” questionable college years. Including, but not limited to, naked pictures, videos with racial slurs, and lots and lots of drug use. Peach also is a severe sociopath and is in love with Beck. Arguably, she is Beck’s second stalker.
I hated the whole thing. I made it through the sixth episode; I had to stop. It was a great show, which is why I made it as far as I did, but I found some things to be particularly eery.
- All of this can actually happen. All he did was type “Guinevere Beck” into a search engine and he had all her social media pages instantly. This allowed him to find out everything he needs to know about her.
- Beck is so chaotic. I get the character is supposed to be a hard-up writer who has a Hemingway way of life, but it’s so painful to watch as she is constantly manipulated by her so-called best friend. Also, she needs to get some curtains or blinds for her street-level and street-facing apartment!
- I found myself actually rooting for the stalker. I was hoping he wouldn’t get caught so many times. Not only is he a stalker, but also a (I suspect) serial killer. So far, I have seen him kill Benji, Beck’s flavor of the week when Joe enters the picture, and Peach, the “best friend.” I think he’s killed the owner of the bookstore, Ivan Mooney, and someone associated with his ex-girlfriend, Candace. Will I ever find out? Probably not.
It was not a terrible show. It was quite good. I suppose I misspoke when I said I hated it. I don’t hate the show; I hate who I become as I watch the show, rooting for a psycho or sociopath serial killer and stalker to come out on top.