Ambyr ChildersElizabeth Lail...
Cherie NowlanDeMane Davis...
(Image credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix via Bustle)
We can rarely step into the minds of psychopaths, but when we do, what we find is always terrifyingly fascinating. They commit heinous and unspeakable crimes that spiral anecdotes of destruction, giving us a whole new perspective on the lives we lead. Take American Psycho (2000) for example, which depicts the life of vain banker, Patrick Bateman thirsting for blood, or Hannibal (2001), that follows cannibalistic maniac, Hannibal Lecter as he cooks his human prey and devours them in delight. Scary? Yes. Intriguing? Definitely.
Netflix delved into crime and served up The People vs. O.J. Simpson (2016) and The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018), which told the stories of two celebrities in the limelight faced with unfortunate circumstances. But the latest series that has people talking is one that revolves around your common everyday stalker.
The first season of You was packed with dramatic plot twists that put average bookstore manager, Joe Goldberg, in all kinds of sinister situations. We watched intently as his obsession with aspiring writer, Guinevere Beck, moulded him into a monster as he eliminated all obstacles that stood between them. In season two, Goldberg leaves it all behind him and moves from New York to Los Angeles to escape his devious past. He even takes a new identity and hides under the alias of Will Bettelheim. He finds a new love interest, Love Quinn, who is a chef that is all about healthy food. A fresh start, eh? Keep watching, because it ends with quite a crazy twist.
Goldberg, the main protagonist/antagonist, is played by Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley, who expressed on Instagram how weird it was that he gained a lot of followers after portraying a serial killer. Even though it’s not something to feel too proud of, his acting skills as he represents all 50 shades of crazy that Goldberg possesses are both genuine and authentic. Victoria Pedretti skilfully portrays the innocent, wide-eyed deer in headlights, Quinn, who is tangled up in Goldberg’s shady shenanigans and has the viewer rooting for her as losing her husband has already left her scarred.
The pace of the series is not the quickest, so it leaves the viewer hungry for the next episode to start immediately. That poses an uncomfortable aspect that can have you feeling a bit bored during the first few episodes. The soundtrack, however, perfectly captures the catalyst and master scenes that show Goldberg in his darkest moments. The plotlines of the two main characters overshadow the rest of the cast, who struggle to make their stories worthwhile, in my opinion.
Different directors are used throughout the series, but the plotline never loses its element of continuity. Just when you thought Goldberg has reached his full madness, you’re surprised with another jaw-dropping turn of events. You get to see a glimpse of his childhood that justifies why he is the way he is, but it does not live up to the extreme measures he usually takes to keep the voices inside his head content. Since most of his thoughts are narrated, you get to really understand the motives behind his actions, and truly step inside his mind.
Often, you might find yourself sympathising with him. The idea that Goldberg is actually a victim of his own corrupted brain crossed my mind more than once. The tone of the second season certainly paints a new image of him; one that seeks repentance and is almost remorseful. There is a huge possibility that a replica of Goldberg exists within our society, but without a doubt, Goldberg defies the boundaries of insanity when he is finally paired with his ultimate match.
The question remains, how far will you go to forgive an evil man?