'You' season 2 review: Another satisfying descent into the mind of a likeable maniac

Our favourite stalker-turned-serial killer returns in season 2 and the fact that this sentence does not sound odd at all, is reflective of You season one’s success.

Published: 11th January 2020 10:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2020 10:14 AM   |  A+A-

You Season 2

You Season 2

Express News Service

Our favourite stalker-turned-serial killer returns in season 2 and the fact that this sentence does not sound odd at all, is reflective of You season one’s success. Imagine rooting for a character you would run away from if you met him in person.

Based on Caroline Kepnes’ eponymous book, the first season’s finale saw our stone-faced, yet brilliant bookstore clerk Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who holds the darkest of secrets in his heart as well as in a huge glass cubicle, bounce back to normalcy after getting rid of his dear love, Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), once and for all. But that joy did not last long, thanks to an old mistake -- his ex-girlfriend Candace Stone (Ambyr Childers) -- returning into his life. Season two finds Joe moving to Los Angeles to start all over and lead the normal life that he always dreamt of amidst the chaos of what he endured in New York. But will the demons let him?

What makes season two intriguing from the word go is the backdrop. Joe tries to find solace in Los Angeles but ends up becoming a fish out of water. For someone who is being followed, it’s good to find a spot where he is hardly expected. However, he finds it hard to blend in with a crowd that is predominantly filled with influencers and those with dreams of taking over Hollywood.

He gets to hear terms such as ‘pitta imbalance’, and sees a wannabe culture filled with a weird obsession for wellness and eventually ends up finding work at a place named Anavrin (read it backwards).

For someone who finds love at the wrongest of places, he tries hard but succumbs to the grace of an aspiring chef and one of Anavrin’s owner, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti).

The reason why Joe, someone who has been in his share of bad relationships, falls for Love is convincing and relatable. She’s a confident independent woman, in contrast to an insecure Beck or an obsessive Candace. He finds peace in finding someone like Love who has her own set of emotional baggage -- her husband is dead, her rich parents don’t care about her and she has to fend for her twin brother, Forty (James Scully), who can be quite a handful.

The fact that she still manages to smile, makes her irresistible to Joe. 

What follows is a series of events that intentionally mirrors the happenings of season one. In place of a nosy Peach Salinger, we have Forty, the co-owner of Anavrin and someone who has a close eye on Love. Joe’s young neighbour from season one, Paco, is replaced here with Ellie (Jenna Ortega), another close figure.

As the younger sister to his landlord and investigative reporter, Delilah (Carmela Zumbado), Ellie’s surprising maturity and her journey with Joe is gratifying. His vigilantism that saves her from trouble, makes up for his creepiness.

The compact list of characters and their respective arcs are interesting, even if not all of it comes to play in the grand scheme of things. Be it Forty’s despicable attempts to revive his film directing career, Candace’s ploys to get into Joe’s head, Delilah’s dark history with the much-loved comedian Henderson (Chris D’Elia), the subplots may be many, but they all come in handy in making Joe who he is. Unsurprisingly, Penn Badgley steals the show once again as Joe who is now using the pseudonym Will Bettelheim for a new identity.

His awkwardness, especially, is a pleasure to watch. His expressions and voiceovers make for some of the season’s best scenes and also helps us delve deeper into his psychosexual obsessiveness.

Despite being convenient at times, the writing is great. The knots at frequent intervals and how Joe unties them make up for some of the improbable events.

The reference to Crime and Punishment, a Chekhov’s gun, in the first episode, is a lovely touch. Unlike in season one though, the romance here feels rushed and I wish we got to see more of who Love really is. 

Director: Sera Gamble
Cast: Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti, Ambyr Childers, James Scully

Stay up to date on all the latest Entertainment Review news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

google play app store
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp