Creep With A New Name

Name: You
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Year: 2019
Season: 2

Following the obsessive compulsively watchable thriller, season one concludes with the murder of Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and her friends. The series throws us twist after twist as we watch the crazy justification of why Joe (Penn Badgley) does what he believes is righteous. The series didn’t necessarily need a second season but, of course, we got one that didn’t disappoint. 

After his presumed dead ex-girlfriend (Candace, Ambyr Childers) returns, Joe panics and flees to Los Angeles. He finds a small flat and starts his new life under a new identity, stating that this new chapter in his life “will be different”. He sets himself some rules to follow; don’t fixate on one person, no social media stalking and don’t get yourself personally involved in other people’s drama etc. Despite all his efforts, he predictably finds himself in the same obsessive situation as season one. 

But we all knew a simple move and reinvention of himself wasn’t going to be enough to put his psychopathic side asleep for long. He’s a dangerous serial killer and that’s something that won’t disappear overnight with a change of scenery. We can only guess he is going to fall into the same patterns.

Joe has stolen the identity of someone named Will and is still selling books but this time in a shop called Anavrin in Los Angeles. He quickly falls in love with a woman called Love (Victoria Pedretti), a complete opposite to Beck, being more practical and multi-dimensional. We swiftly learn all about her including her miserable past, complex family relations and her druggy twin brother Forty (James Scully). Forty depends on Love so much he aggressively invades Joe’s life as well. Joe must try to keep his cool and learn to become a better man whilst caring about not just Love but her family too.

Although similarly to season one, the season is narrated by Joe’s voice thinking in his head. Admittedly in this season it doesn’t work as well – but that might be because we already know what Joe will be thinking. During this season Joe starts to rapidly scramble as he convinces himself of seeing images of Beck as a ghost whilst juggling the very alive ex-girlfriend Candace.  

We come across a few childhood flashbacks which do provide us some clarity on Joe’s character but come across somewhat clumsy. It tries to explain why Joe approaches women he believes needs saving, but comes across very predictable and pointless. The season itself was no doubt highly entertaining but was too predictable. It was soppy and incredibly similar it its predecessor which makes the twists have less impact as we kinda saw them coming.  

The first half of the season felt slow and tiresome, feeling like a retelling of season one with a brunette instead of a blonde. The second half jolts you back into a quick pace as Joe starts to lose control of his frustratingly hard love life.

Altogether You is fun to watch and ends with a set up for the next season. But what I’m worried about is that there can only be so many times Joe worms his way out of sticky situations before we stop caring and wishing for his escape.

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