The Netflix gods decided to give us a Christmas treat by dropping the thoroughly addictive show 'You' on the streaming service on St. Stephen's Day.
Adapted from the page-turning psychological thriller book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, 'You' is the classic story of boy meets girl, except the boy is actually a deranged stalker. Yes, a story we have been told before but this time we are getting it from the point of view of the stalker, who is played here by former 'Gossip Girl' star Penn Badgley.
He plays the role of bookstore manager Joe Goldberg whose fascination for Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a girl who walks into his shop one day, soon leads to obsession (like, five minutes later). One of the daunting aspects of this tale is just how easily and how much he can find out about the object of his desire simply through social media. He doesn't stop there though, and soon he finds himself willing to do anything to secure the future he envisions with Beck.
'You' gives a unique take on the stalker angle while also throwing a gigantic light on the way we conduct ourselves on social media and just how exposed we leave ourselves. It also pushes you into the morally ambiguous area of finding yourself actually rooting for these two crazy kids to get together, as romantic comedies have trained us to do, until you realise that one of them is actually crazy. It doesn't help that those suspicious of Joe are in no ways likeable - his alcoholic neighbour and Beck's snobby, entitled friend Peach - played by 'Pretty Little Liars'' Shay Mitchell.
Badgley works well here at walking the fine line between nice guy and a complete sociopath. And let's face it, he really honed his stalker skills in his years as Dan Humphreys aka Lonely Boy aka Gossip Girl.
Probably important to note though, that this isn't a particularly great show in a lot of ways. Addictive yes, but it definitely comes from the type of trashy thriller you would consume in one day by a pool somewhere.
The dialogue is really lacking at times, the characters are irritating and the plot is often unbelievable - as luck would have it, Beck has huge windows Joe can peer in at her getting up to all sorts right from the street, and come on, he's literally standing TWO FEET away from her sometimes.
But sure look, they can't all be 'The Wire' and as much as you may roll your eyes at plot points or the pseudo-intellectual tripe that comes out at times, 'You' is still a completely engrossing psychological thriller.