When it comes to thriller series or movies that involve stalkers going after unsuspecting girls, we often watch things unfold from the point of view of the victim. But in Caroline Kepnes’ book You, we watch the events through the eyes of delusional Joe Goldberg who stops at nothing to pursue his obsession. Picked up by Netflix, the show was released in 2018 with Penn Badgley at the helm. Since then, the show has progressed and is currently on its 3rd season.
The first season of You introduces bookstore manager and serial killer Joe Goldberg who has a habit of meeting girls and growing obsessed with them. The first season was set in New York, where Joe (played by the charismatic Penn Badgley) encounters Elizabeth Lail’s Guinevere Beck, an aspiring writer. It’s love at first sight for him, and the infatuation takes a dark turn as Joe uses everything in his resources to not only keep her in his sight but also remove obstacles to keep Beck in his arms.
Throughout his chase, Joe goes to great lengths to feed his obsession with Beck, even going as far as to steal her phone, break into her apartment, and even travel to the country to keep a close eye on her. Along the way, he takes out Beck’s ex and her friend Peach. As things seem to start going his way and they move in together, Beck discovers his box of disturbing mementos, forcing Joe to lock her in a book vault. After attempting to escape, he ends up killing her and framing Beck’s therapist for all of his previous murders.
Season 2 sees Joe Goldberg abandoning New York to start a new life at Los Angeles after his ex-girlfriend Candace comes back following an attempted murder and burial. Taking the name Will, Joe secrets an apartment and job in the book cafe of a family-owned grocery store, where he meets Love Quinn. After getting acquainted, Joe is thrust into more trouble as he deals with the real Will’s problems, looking after his neighbor, tolerating Forty (Love’s twin brother), and the return of Candace.
With his new environment, Joe finds it easy to be with Love but struggles with everything else around him. Eventually, Candace catches up to him as Forty’s new girlfriend. Prompting Forty to use Beck’s book as a movie script, Candace sets Forty on the hunt for the truth, causing things to go off the rail. After getting a comedian-rapist killed, Joe’s situation goes from bad to worse as he believes he is responsible for his landlord’s death. However, when Candace tries to expose Joe, Love shows a darker side and takes care of the situation. As Joe prepares to eliminate her, Love reveals she is pregnant and Joe ultimately stays. Forty, who believes that Joe is responsible for Beck’s death, confronts him, only to get shot.
Using her family’s connections, Love pulls the strings to get Forty blamed for the murders and moves away with Joe to start a new life.You season 3 continues the life of the psychotic couple in the suburban scene. While Love is pregnant with his child, Joe’s obsessive patterns once again resurface as he shows an interest in their new female neighbor. However, with Love in the picture, she will stop at nothing to breathe life into the perfect family picture.