Format: Netflix Drama Series
Writer: Based On The 2014 Novel By Caroline Kepnes
Cast: Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti, Ambyr Childers, Jenna Ortega, James Scully, Carmela Zumbado & Charlie Barnett
Co-Directors: Greg Berlanti & Sera Gamble
Producer: Warner Horizon Television
Duration: 10 Episodes (Approx. 60 Mins Long)
Age Rating: 18+ (Violent Scenes)
Following the outstanding Season 1 of Netflix drama You, Season 2 was officially aired on December 26 2019 and has been on the agenda for everyone who has been hooked on the series since its cliff-hanger ending last year. Considered a thriller, You follows the life of a chaotic and mentally disturbed young man named Joe Goldberg, who despite his outrageous crimes that go unseen by the public eye, considers his actions to be righteous. In this season we witness Joe become tangled up once again in ‘love’ and we groan at his repetitive behaviour that will surely only lead to trouble with the police this time.
Undoubtably, considering how much of a mess his last relationship ended in, it is not a surprise that we witness Joe (Penn Badgley) beginning a new life in Los Angeles, under the false name of ‘Will’. Although this move appears typical of Joe, Los Angeles does not seem the place for him and he makes it very clear how he hates the lifestyle and the people there. Of course, the first episode of this series sees Joe fall in love with a girl who works at the café he has coincidentally just got a job at. Seeing Joe work at a café anyway looks peculiar to us viewers as we know his interest lies with books so we know that aside from bills to pay, there must be another reason.
The following episodes will have you supressing the urge to roll your eyes as we see Joe getting to know Love (Victoria Pedretti), behaving in the exact same way he did with his ex-girlfriend, Beck. We half want her to continue falling for his lies, so we can see whether he has changed or if he is still the same sociopath, or for him to be exposed and get what he deserves. However, this time is a little trickier for Joe in terms of his ability to deceive, as we discover that Love has a twin brother, Forty (James Scully), who instinctively does not trust Joe. But just like he always does, Joe wins his approval and the two begin a friendship that is entirely fake on Joe’s behalf as we know that he has never had a friend before and never will. This doesn’t stop Forty from interfering with their relationship, claiming how he feels left out, and burdening Joe into helping him write a script for a movie to help prop up his failing career. Joe deals with these situations in a respectable way but they escalate and blow up at the end of the series.
After befriending Forty, it seems as though things are looking positive for Joe until his other ex, Candice (Ambyr Childers) arrives to the scene. Introduced as Forty’s girlfriend, she threatens to Joe that she will expose him, and she drops hints continuously around the company he is in, which only makes him angrier. We start to wonder how on earth he will wriggle out of the Candice situation.
Despite his sociopathic nature, we see Joe adopt an almost paternal personality towards the land lady Delilah’s (Carmela Zumbado) sister, Ellie (Jenna Ortega). The two become close over the series and share a bond, and when she is in danger from a sex offending celebrity, Joe jumps to her defence, once again claiming that he is doing all this for the right reasons. Scenes such as this confuse us as the viewers because we support Joe sometimes in his quest to help people, but then other times we know he is psychopathic and wrong.
At the end of the series there is a twist, that even has Joe Goldberg himself shocked. Not only will he have a taste of his own medicine, but he will also learn something life changing that makes us all fearful. And of course, the end of the series wouldn’t be right without Joe re-enacting his speech to a new love interest.
The second season of You is just as cleverly conducted as the first. Penn Badgley’s excellent acting skills are central to the success of the series as once again he portrays the complex character of Joe. The way Joe remains calm and collected in chaotic situations, and also has the ability to make lighthearted jokes seconds after he has committed outrageous crimes, adds to the foreboding atmosphere of the drama.
Reintroducing Ambyr Childers as Candice, and starring Victoria Pedretti as Love, these actors are also central to the development of the storyline and their acting skills are also commendable. Without these two characters, the plot would not have the potential to unfold the way it does, neither would it be able to induce the suspense that occurs when Candice re-enters the drama.
The series explores the character of Joe yet again, and we see some repetition as his actions mirror season one’s events. There are times when Penn Badgley’s character has us wondering whether he is so bad after all because of his ability to portray Joe as someone who is completely unaware of the depth of his crimes. However, I think it can be agreed that the company Joe surrounds himself with would be safer if he was behind bars.
Initially after watching Season 1 of You, I did not think this series could do it justice enough; however, I now stand corrected. This series is just as laudable as the last, with possibly more twists and turns too. Although we no longer have Beck, the new characters of Love and Forty create an extremely enjoyable thriller. If you haven’t already watched season 2, then it should be at the top of your to-do list, similarly, if you have never watched a single episode of the first season, then it is highly suggested that you do!
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