Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is back again having got away with killing his previous girlfriend (in season 1) who he met through his unique stalking abilities. The current batch of episodes depicts the book store manager in Los Angeles having found his new love interest in a yuppie store called Anavarin. Anavarin is the epitome of hipsterhood. They sell celery juice and gluten-free food and have an in-house book store that has a vegan authors section. Everyone is an aspiring actor or filmmaker and leads the healthy yogic way of life. Joe has changed his name to Will Bettleheim and has also mended his ways to win Love Quinn’s heart who is an aspiring chef and co-owner of Anavarin.
If you thought the name Love was quirky, her twin brother’s Forty might leave you in splits. But the names reek of California’s bohemian spirit so it works. Unlike the first season, Will aka Joe tries really hard not to stalk or follow Love. In fact, he maintains his distance as much as possible and it is Love who tries hard to please him. They end up together of course with Will creating a ‘throuple’ to maintain his relationship with both the twins.
We also see Will’s kind side where he tries to save his teenage neighbour from being assaulted by a celebrity. But the stalker in him knows only one way to help—through stealth and violence. He ends up killing the celebrity and posthumously a series of other people. What began as a clean slate ends up blood-splattered. There’s only one way out of this: to flee. But before he can make a run, Will realises his girlfriend is just like him. She has secrets of her own and gets a bitter taste of his medicine in the most Kafka-esque way possible.
The second season is inspired from a book called Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes and does a fine job in showing us that there are many layers to being a stalker. One would think killing and committing heinous crimes are all that stalkers are capable of but season two adds more complexity to the protagonist’s behaviour. It also gives us a back story helping us understand what might have caused Joe to become a criminal despite possessing streaks of kindness.
With Love Quinn’s own issues and mental health problems, the show doesn’t fall for the trope that only men are evil and capable of predatory behaviour. But the lack of diversity in the show is palpable. While it’s definitely intriguing to watch white women become victims of crimes of passion, after a point it becomes an eyesore. Perhaps season three would solve that issue.
YOU (SEASON 2)
Cast: Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti, Jenna Ortega, James Scully, Ambyr Childers