Tv Show Review: YOU Season 2 –– Can True Love Change A Man?
In the YOU season 2, Joe Goldberg moves from New York to Los Angeles to escape his past, and starts over with a new identity. When he meets avid chef Love Quinn, Joe begins falling into his old patterns of obsession and violence. As Joe attempts to forge a new love, he strives to make his relationship with Love succeed at all costs, to avoid the fate of his past romantic endeavors.
A Sneak Peek Into “YOU” Season 2
“Delilah,” I say. My heart gets loud in my throat. What the fuck is she doing?
She whips her head around. “Joe,” she says, her eyes wide. “I was looking for toilet paper.”
“There’s a roll on the counter.” I step toward her.
She cowers. She hunches forward, as if she’s praying. “Is there?” she asks, nervous, insincere.
“There is,” I say. “I don’t see how you could have missed it.”
“Oh, you know,” she says. “Guys, a lot of the time, you don’t have toilet paper.”
I don’t like the high pitch of her voice and she turns around and scoots backward, as if she can cover the Pantry bag, as if she can backflip into my tub and escape through the drain. She went through my things. She is a self-destructive fiasco of a person. She couldn’t just stay in the bed with me. She couldn’t be content to suck my dick and cheat on her not-a-boyfriend boyfriend. Nope. Like an addict who loads the syringe even after she knows the batch is bad, that it killed a bunch of people, Delilah got out of my bed and went into my closet, where she doesn’t belong. She is an addict. And you can’t go to rehab for what has stricken her, a star-fucking disorder where she risks her own life and security and happiness to find out what Love Quinn’s home looks like.
“What are you looking for?” I ask again. I taunt the cat. I poke the tiger.
“Nothing,” she says. “It’s okay.”
“You said you were looking for toilet paper,” I remind her. Dumb girl. Can’t keep her own story straight. “Did you find any toilet paper in there?”
She stands up. “I think I should go.”
“I think you should stay.”
She stands in front of the Pantry bag, as if her legs are cover. “Find anything good in there?” I ask.
“Joe,” she says. “I am not like that. I was just looking for toilet paper.”
“Delilah,” I say. “I don’t think you’re telling the truth.”
It’s always the same with these fucking people, bad people when they’re caught. They try to sell you. In Delilah’s case, she actually tells me that she knows people who could make a documentary about all this. “Like Serial,” she pitches, as if this is what I want. “I mean, I’m not going to jump to conclusions about this bag and the way you were at Henderson’s and all the ways things are adding up but, Joe, this could be very interesting.”
“I don’t think so,” I say.
“Let’s just talk about it,” she says.
“Get in the tub.”
She whimpers. “Please no. I’m sorry. I’ll go.”
I point. “Get in the fucking tub.”
She cries and I had a feeling this would get loud and she yammers again. “I know people,” she says.
“No,” I remind her. “You fuck people.”
I knock her back into the tub and she falls. I use some of the tape from the bag to seal her mouth shut and tie her arms together. I close the bathroom door and block the doorknob with a chair. I turn on some music—Journey’s greatest hits—to drown out her muffled cries and I tear the Kandinsky off the wall. She doesn’t know art. She doesn’t know anything but celebrities and she is an empty person, a mean person. She will never be happy. She won’t stop shooting for the stars, sucking them off, trying to pull them down to her futon, to her chicken bones.
I am not going to kill her just because she knows I killed Henderson, because she’s crying about it in my bathroom, as if this is the path to freedom. No. I’m also going to kill her because there is no happy ending for a star-fucking girl like Delilah, a girl who actively refuses to embrace her talents, celebrate her insides, lead with her brain. After this “famous” guy, whoever he is, finishes with her, she’ll go tramping for someone else until one day she realizes she’s too old to be taken seriously by these motherfucking pricks. And then she’ll either spend her savings on surgery or pop pills or move away and try to sell her secrets to a publisher.
Oh, the sadness of the Angeleno with a bank account dwindling, a forehead creasing, a self-esteem level deflating. I wish Delilah were a little more like me. I wish she were more confident. I wish she never stopped believing in herself, like her tattoo, but she did. She thought she needed someone famous in order to feel worthy. She could have settled down with Dez or Calvin or me or any of the guys she met. But she wanted fame more than love. She will never be happy, and really, I’m doing her a favor. She will never find what she’s looking for. I pull an orange Rachael Ray knife out of the butcher’s block. LA kills women. It’s a shame that Delilah moved here. She should have gone back to New York. You don’t belong here unless you’re tough, beautiful, or talented. What I am doing is a kindness, a mercy killing. I am putting her out of her misery.
I open the bathroom door and she’s cowering in the tub, on her knees. Sad cat. Poor kitten. Her face is a wad of chewed-up gum. All the joy is gone. Somewhere along the way she broke her own heart and without a heart, you can’t get better.
“I know,” I say. “I know how sad you are. I know how sick you are. But it’s over.”
Steve Perry’s unmistakable voice crescendos and Delilah hyperventilates. She cries and cries, and how badly she needed this. How much more of this there would be for her were she to stay on this long and lonely road ahead. The girl who paid someone to inscribe words on her thigh, words that she could not live by, words she did not understand. The key is not just to continue believing, after all, but the key to life is to believe in something that matters, something big and beautiful, something more profound than fame, money.
I grab her extensions and smash her head into the tub and that’s it. No more tears. Blood trickles down her forehead. I was right. She isn’t beautiful. She was pretty. And I don’t feel sorry for her. It’s like they say about everything in this world. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. A lot of girls, they would have loved to be so pretty.
I don’t believe in love at first sight. But I do believe in electricity, the way it can recharge you. I am healing.
“Your home has a name?”
She laughs. “You know I like to name everything.”
Love smiles into a camera and the gates open and I hear Elvis— “Never Been to Spain”—and holy fuck, wow. The road is paved with patchy grass and seashells and white sand that must have been shipped in from Bermuda, and is shaded by canopies of trees they don’t have in Hollywood. We crunch along, passing Maybachs and Ferraris.
“Are your parents having a party?” I ask.
“Not exactly,” Love says as she dabs her lips with gloss. “Forty’s in tonight’s episode of True Detective so my parents got the family together to watch it in the screening room.”
“He’s an actor?”
“I mean, not an actor-actor,” she says. “He doesn’t work that much. Just once in a while. I think he and Milo have a friend who is doing music on it and got him on? I don’t know.” She sighs and puts her gloss away. “I can’t keep up and I don’t try to keep up.” She pats my leg. “Don’t look so nervous.”
“I’m not nervous,” I say. But I am nervous. I know how to worry about getting betrayed by Amy Adam or judged by the police. I do not know how to worry about being a bookseller on an estate.
“You don’t have anything to worry about,” Love assures me. “Everybody already loves you.”
A little barefoot girl with a popped collar chases a barefoot boy who will never work in retail or file for unemployment. We’ve entered some upscale Rob Reiner world of Rich White People and I don’t think I’ve seen children since I was in New York. What strikes me more is the safety. In New York, you’re constantly vulnerable. There could always be a psycho on the subway, on the fire escape, in the dark near the stoop. I’ve had my fair share of mentally ill, potentially violent patrons in the shop. My Hollywood apartment is on the first floor with bars on the window and I walk to and from work. I get into Uber cars and Lyfts with drivers I don’t know and they could always be crazy. But this is so safe and it’s gonna take me a minute to get used to it, the total absence of criminals.
We pull over to a sandy embankment and she leaves the keys on the dash. I offer to help with the bags but she says the helpers can do that and she takes my hand and leads me onto a path that’s been landscaped to perfection, to make it seem like God and wind made this when really, it was Mexican laborers.
We are closer to the water, bright and blue, impossibly close, just beyond the grass tennis court, green, bright, and Love tells me about The Aisles. There are four houses on the property, one grass tennis court, one clay court near the main gate, and two swimming pools. There is a boathouse and I see the Donzi Love’s dad told me about and I want to drive that thing. I will drive that thing! They have a private beach and a shed that appears to be made of actual gingerbread cookies. A sign on the thatched roof reads mini pantry.
“Mini pantry?” I ask.
“Nothing mini going on in these parts.” She squeezes my balls and begins to give me a hand job right here, right now, about fifty feet away from where the kids have set up a lemonade stand. She gets down and feels me up and maybe this will be when she blows me. We could get caught at any second. I tell her this and she grins, Cheshire.
Love strokes me and cups my balls and I am her clay and she works her fingers to my bone and her face is so close. I put a hand on her head but I don’t push. I won’t push. I will take the hand job but the hands make me want the mouth and I push the littlest bit and she takes a hand away and opens her mouth. Yes. Yes. On the tennis court someone calls: Out! She licks her fingers and palm instead of licking my dick and she takes that wet hand back to my cock and I come. She wipes her hands on a palm frond and I pull my shorts up.
“You okay? You seem a little tense,” she says.
I shake my head. “Of course I am. I was just worried about those kids.”
She smacks my ass. “Well, even if they did see, they gotta grow up sometime, right?”
We walk. No wonder Forty calls me Old Sport. This place is The Great Gatsby, new and improved. Paul Simon sings; only it’s actually Paul Simon, the human being. He’s sitting on a lawn chair strumming a guitar for Barry Stein and Forty, a strange sight in so many ways, three men, one guitar, no Garfunkel.
“Barry Stein knows him,” Love explains. “Barry Stein knows everybody. I think that’s why my parents put up with him.”
“What do you mean?”
She tells me that Barry Stein is kind of a self-important douche, but her parents love the movies. Her dad wishes he were in that business but they don’t invest in movies because they’re too risky.
One of the million maids on staff emerges with a tray of vodka lemonades in Mason jars and Forty is quick to grab two. He offers one to Barry Stein, who shakes him off and Paul Simon says no too. Nobody wants to drink with Forty and Love sighs. “I wish Forty would get it. He always thinks Barry is gonna produce one of our stories. And it’s not going to happen.”
“Why not?” I ask.
She laughs. “Cuz they suck.”
I love that Love isn’t self-deprecating or self-aggrandizing. What I don’t love is how she pulls my head toward hers and lifts her iPhone.
“Afternoon selfie,” she cheers. “Hashtag, Summer of Love.”
I smile. “Cheese!”
3 Words to Describe This Show
AMUSING, GORY, THRILLING
You already know it ladies and gents, once it pops you can’t stop. After I finished watching season 1 of YOU, I tear right into season 2 without further urging. Let me just tell you, you girl chomped through S2 of YOU in the span of 3 days. Not impressive feat, of course, but compared to the one week it took me to finish S1, I am quite proud how quickly I went through the show.
As per usual, as a self-certified book-a-holic, I have done my research on the second installment in the series written by Caroline Kepnes––Hidden Bodies––which season 2 of the show is loosely based on. While on season 1, the show followed the plot of the novel quite closely, I have found out that in season 2 the show seemed to branch out into a different direction while still taking a few tidbits here and there from the novel.
The biggest difference between the book and the show, at least in season 2 that I have found was the reason why Joe moved all the way to Los Angeles. In the book, apparently he did it to chase after a girl named Amy Adams who stole his things before they broke up. However, in the show, Joe was chased out of New York to run away from his undead ex, Candace, who threatened to upend his life if he chose to stay. It didn’t affect my enjoyed to the show one bit obviously, just thought it was an interesting change of plot is all.
HOW ARE YOU, LOVE?
Hmm. Love. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about her. Rich, obsessive, over protective, could be a little bonkers and stalker-ish at time––but hey, when are we all not?
Compared to the first season when we had Beck as Joe’s love interest, I was able to warm up to her instantly. Sure, yes, I have my moments where I might have judged Beck too harshly for her actions or her way of handling things, but at the end of the day, I liked the girl. There was something about her, a warmth that Love lacks.
Whenever I see Love, all I see was a cunning and calculating woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and to protect the people she loves. Again, nothing wrong with that, a lot of people would have done the same thing––maybe––if they were in her position with her kind of money. But I don’t know. There is something about her character that just doesn’t sit right with me.
I remember in the first season where Joe kept lamenting about the fact that all he ever wanted was to find a girl who he could love and who could love him back, as well as accepting all his flaws and mishaps. Now he’s found that kind of girl in Love. And yes, maybe in this case it’s not opposite attracts but like calls to like. Joe has finally found a piece of himself in Love, someone who understands him, truly. The question now, is if he could love that darker and twisted part of Love that he sees in himself as well.
JOE GOLDBERG OR…WILL BETTELHEIM?
In season 2 of YOU, Joe Goldberg changed his name to Will Bettelheim to escape Candace. He had to quite literally capture and stole someone’s identity to live the life of Will Bettelheim, but hey, the things we do for love amirite?
Jokes aside however, I’m not quite sure I like his character as much in this season. For one, his crazy psychopathic tendencies are outweighing his charismatic psychopathic tendencies in season 2 of YOU, and I’m not sure if I’m about that. In the first season, the narration was full of jest. It was lighthearted and fun, even when we know he’s planning to kill someone. And as fucked up as this sounds, it’s one of the reasons why I liked Joe so much. He never take things too seriously, everything is done in a refreshingly non-stressful way. And of course, there’s also his obsession for Beck––which, ya know, can’t blame the guy, Beck is damn fine.
Secondly, I think Joe is starting to crack. It could be due to the stress of having to get Candace off his back, it could be him trying to repent and be a better non-serial killer. I don’t exactly know, but he’s starting to lose his “Joe sparkle” that made him so easy to love despite all his faults. Not to mention, his eagerness to find someone to love and to take care of is slowly
bordering on desperation. Scratch that, it reeks of desperation. It’s like he cannot function without being obsessed with a girl and I don’t know…it’s just odd to witness him slowly unraveling before my eyes, you know?
Well I mean, I guess one could also argue that even serial killers need love as well, but eh.
ELLIE, THE BANG-ABLE 15 YEAR OLD
The first season of YOU was fresh. It was innovative, fun, new. But now having it renewed, it’s starting to feel formulaic. Ellie’s role in YOU S2 served what Paco’s role in S1 did, for viewers to be able to empathize with Joe. Because yes, Joe might be a serial killer but look! He also cares for his neighbors!
*cue eye roll*
Her character I have no problem with, i like that she is sassy and I love that she is smart and an opportunist. However, her character arc is just way too similar to Paco’s. Both Ellie and Paco have broken families, both pretty much had to fend for themselves from a very young age, and both of them just happen to be Joe’s neighbor which in turn push him to have to step in and fix whatever is wrong with their families.
Like look, I like Joe well enough without the show having to force it down my throat to say that, “despite Joe being a serial killer, he can be nice too you know.” I know he can be nice, we have seen that in S1 with how he helped Paco with his family. You want to do that in S2 as well, go right ahead. However, it really just would be more preferable to show this charitable side of Joe without the help of his broken-familied neighbors, you know?
FORTY, THE SPOILED AND PROTECTED
Honestly, three words: loved the guy.
Forty’s whole character is such a mood. If LA is a person, he would be it. Forty is just such an entrancing character to watch and I seriously could not get enough of him. Yes, the guy is spoiled, he comes from a rich family and all the family members––especially his twin sister, Love––seems to see him as this fragile flower who needs to be protected at all costs. And he thrives on it. Some people might find their family’s over protectiveness too over-bearing for them, but Forty is not one of them.
While spoiled, his relationship with his father is not the best. His mother might coddle and shower him with love, but it seems like his father sees him as nothing but a disappointment due to his problems with drug addiction and continuous failures in his film-making endeavors. And yes, at times, he did get upset about it. However, what I like about his character was the fact that he didn’t let it drag him down for long. He’s upset and he lets himself feel it, but afterwards, he will dust it all off and start anew.
So to summarize, I just really enjoy Forty’s character. He truly adds the much needed life and fun into the show.
A tad bit…disappointed, I should be honest. I mean, I don’t really know what I was expecting when I went into season 2 of YOU. All that I knew was that S1 blew it off the park and my booty is shake off the seats excited to get into S2. And then when I got to season 2, it was just a whole lot of disappointing.
While it is darker this time around, what with Joe just being more jumpy and easier to anger in general and the fact that a lot of the characters are more up-in-your-business and frank as apparently LA people are, as far as storyline goes, it’s kinda repetitive.
The main driving plot is Joe falls in love, people get offed, rinse and repeat. The only thing that was surprising was the fact that Love didn’t behave as normal people would, but even that is quite predictable by the end.
So I don’t know. For me, this season is a tad bit more of a let down than the former season. But maybe it’s just me going into it with too high of an expectation.
Before going into S2 of YOU, I have heard a lot of mixed reviews and feedback saying that it was a let down and wasn’t as good as S1. Yet, there are also people who seemed to love it even more than the previous season. At the end of the day, reviews are just that, opinions. You won’t really know for sure if you like it or not without experiencing it yourself.
For me personally, as mentioned above, I expected more out of this season. My expectations exceeded what this show was able to deliver, so I ended up a little disappointed but it didn’t hinder me from wanting to watch season 3. There are a lot of fun scenes in this season that I didn’t even imagine that I would have liked, such as the scenes where Forty and Joe got high off of drugs, that one was really entertaining to watch. While each season was gripping and riveting, I had hoped for more depth to Joe’s character, I suppose. All of this flashbacks to his past was something, but for me, it wasn’t exactly enough for me to get a better idea of what drives Joe as a character other than his need to be loved.
With that said, I would still very highly recommend this show. It’s one of those easily binge-able shows that doesn’t take a lot of brain power to follow along. So if you are looking for lighter shows that are unique yet gripping, definitely do give YOU a try.
- Movie Review : Us and Them (后来的我们) –– A Love Story
- Tv Show Bojack Horseman Review –– Life Lessons That I’ve Learned