You (Netflix Series) Season 2 [2019] — This is a book … with actors, camera and music.

Still of Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti from You season 2 which premiered on 26.12.2019 in Netflix.

What does a mildly psychotic main character of a show which is portrayed exactly like a book would do? And what if you add an inordinate amount of relatability in his life? This is how the show appeals to its viewers. This appeal is exemplified in a particular trippy episode where the character is high but we can hear his inner voices describing his acid state. It is one of the intriguing interpretation of a stoned scene.

Joe, the main character’s actions makes him a psychopath but his inner monologues and its scuffles with his actions makes him one of us. Everyone of us would have faced at least some of what he deals with throughout the show. He varies in the way he responds to those situations in a not so normal manner but in a way we all would have wanted to. So his character serves as a cathartic release for many.

Right of the bat from the first episode, the show informs you not to trust anything it presents. Screenplay had so much unpredictability in it. Starting from the city the entire season is set in to the new characters in it, everything is unreliable and everybody seems sketchy. But more than that, even after being familiar with Joe in the first season, he still manages to surprise us.

There is a pattern from season one which is also visible in season two. It is just a certain type of set ups and events around the Joe has some mildly conspicuous similarities with the previous season. They remind us about the show we are watching and how he was in the last season.

The editing follows the classic method of inserting scenes which seemed to be there for one reason but in the end when everything is clear, you see all of those in a different light. This very form of editing has neatly sketched out Joe’s evolution as a character. You can not compare it with the preceding season because everything in this season is built on top of it. Joe actually learns from the mistakes he made in the past. As his inner voices state and from what you can interpret from how he handles other things, there is a beautiful arc sculptured. Whatever flashbacks he gets has an interesting perspective in the end.

And that is where Love, his new love subject this season comes in. Her character is way better than Beck from the previous season. She is imperceptibly odd and dubiously kind. But her shrewdness is written. without any shoehorning. It is neither forced nor over exposed. Her benevolence and empathy with a sad past make us feel for her. But her astuteness makes us like her. And everything else you feel about her other than those two is put to test in the end. Her influence on Joe’s character development by making him retain his humanity gradually and how it culminates is what the show is all about this season.

The performances of actors this season are good. Everyone brought their own exclusivity with some special credit to Love, Ellie. But Joe drove the whole show with his creepily lovable demeanor and some outstanding vocal inflections. The show is just pantomime without the inner monologues. So it is paramount that there are a lot of variations in the pitch and modulation. Penn Badgley, the actor who plays Joe has a deep voice which suits his creepy outlook in the show. Usually his character’s tone stays within or sometimes below the decibel of a normal human conversation. He also squeaks his pitch to suit the sarcastic or self-deprecating tone of the dialogue. So given all this, when his voice goes above the usual volume, it accentuates its effect because of the aforementioned, bringing out all the monstrosity hiding behind the façade of charisma.

Needless to say, some parts of the show seemed jarringly trite and irritable. Meanwhile, there are some other aspects which may fly over the head of some international viewers due to how domestic the references and contexts are.

There’s stifling amount of political commentary in the show. It would seem biased to criticize the subject matter of the commentary but that’s actually irrelevant. When you plug in your politics as a writer in places that does not require anything but complete silence, then it becomes insufferable for the viewer. It should be made clear that satire on social issues is enjoyable and there are some of those in this show too. But when they are pushed in places where you don’t have anything relevant to the plot to say, then it is bad and hypocritical.

The season’s last scene is the biggest gripe most of the potential viewers would be having after their binge. It was absolutely not needed. It diminishes and undermines the commendations that should be given to the writing until that juncture. It is unclear whether the reason for these kinds of endings are just to milk the cow or leave a trail hoping to pick up later. But what makes something great is that it’s greatness won’t last long. When you have handed over the perfect end to a strong character arc, stretching it to uncharacteristic avenues is unarguably dimwitted.

If you don’t care about irresponsibly placed cliffhangers that puts a dent on the entire season, this season is just for you. Up until that stage, the writing is packed with enjoyable lot of suspense and thrill with the scarily adorable Joe flexing his witty and engaging monologues. So I would suggest, the ending does not ruin the experience up until that point at all.

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My mobility is through my words.

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Raja Raman

Raja Raman

My mobility is through my words.

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