YOU (2019)

Day 23: 16/ 01/ 2019

YOU: Greg Berlanti, Sera Gamble

The main reason why I started watching YOU is because it takes place in New York and I really felt like watching a cinematic story in one of my favorite cities in the world. However, once I started the show it really took me in for several reasons.


First, I really like that it is a thriller story that revolves around a theme which is literature. Our main character Joe works at a bookstore and meets Beck, who is an aspiring writer, while she is looking for a book. They chat about authors and books for a while and then she leaves. But there are many other references to literature throughout the episodes, for example one of Beck’s best friends is from the Salinger family or there is one episode that takes place at a Charles Dickens festival outside New York. On the other hand, Joe who works at and owns that bookstore also has an interest in books, especially in the first copies of old ones and manuscripts. There is a basement below the store where he keeps so many valuable pieces and restores some of the books down there. Although, that’s not the only purpose of the place, later in the story we learn that it is where he commits and covers up many of his murders, and keeps people in that cage, so it is one of the most thrilling locations throughout the story.


In regards to characters, contrary to many of the shows and films out there which makes you identify with and root for the main character, here you are not sure whether you want Joe to succeed or not. The filming tells you to do so, by giving you his inner voice to justify his actions and by making you spend the most time with him among the characters but his actions and his obsessive behavior also feels unfamiliar and not relatable which creates an active combating relationship between the character and the viewer.

Beck isa character to sympathise with, with a clear goal in mind. Until the end of the story, her writing is not shown much but the piece she creates when she is locked at the basement is a very impressive. It shows that through sincerely pouring down her thoughts on paper she can put together a powerful piece of writing. Ironically,

she also writes a story which she hopes can become her salvation, where she explains all the murders committed by Joe to be committed by her psychologist. That story of lies become her book that she can never get to hold.

As well as the characters, the details in the story also connect. For example, after Beck and Joe breaks up and when they start flirting again, she sends him a bunch of author photographs she got taken and asks him for his favorite. Later, we see one of those photos on the back of her book cover, which she never gets to see. Talking about details, I agree with the fact that it seems illogical for Joe to commit so many crimes and get away with them leaving a lot of clues behind, but there is still a second season for them to get back at him.

Lastly, Paco, the side character, the little boy who lives next door to Joe with an addicted mom and her violent boyfriend, shows us a caring side of Joe when he takes care of Paco. Also through their relationship, we get to learn Joe’s childhood and backstory. It is also not hard to understand that because of what he goes through, Paco is on his way to become a future Joe.   


The style of the movie, is in contrast with its genre where the warm magenta colors used throughout, contradict the murders committed however intensify the color of love and blood – red. It is a reflection of how love can mess everything up in people’s lives when turned into an obsession. I just wish there could be more thrilling parts throughout the story as the last episodes. I definitely loved watching the scene where Beck discovers the box hidden in Joe’s ceiling and how events unfolded from there.

Overall, the show mixes up a lot of elements of storytelling to create a unique piece. It is very developed in terms of themes, characters and style and this is a good reason to look forward to its next season.

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