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Review: Netflix Series “You” Part 2

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The second series of this chilling romantic thriller came out at the end of 2019 on Netlifx, and this new series promised to be just as disturbing, intriguing and action-packed as the last. In this series Joe is determined to be a good person- but is he capable of change?

Series 2 of “You” starts with a flashback to the end of the first series, with the return of Joe’s ex Candace, who wants to wreck havoc on Joe’s life. Because of this, he moves to Los Angeles, adopting a new name, a new lifestyle, and taking a new job. But his ghosts follow him, and old habits die hard.

Right from the start of the series, Joe launches straight into a new obsession- this time over Love Quinn. She’s just as vulnerable as Beck in the first series, as her husband has recently died and she’s feeling alone in a sea of people more obsessed with their online profiles than with reality.

I found the parts when Joe comments on the LA lifestyle really funny, as he accurately depicted the shallow nature of those in LA, commenting on their pious vegan choices and ridiculous slang, and even attending a “Wellkend”- a weekend away dedicated to wellness and spiritual exploration.

Just like in the first series, Joe’s narration of events is confusing for the audience. He’s awful and horrible, and he needs some serious therapy. And yet sometimes you find yourself understanding him just a little bit- that is until he does something else horrific and violent.

In this series as well as the last, Joe has someone who he genuinely wants to help. In the first series, this was the son of his abusive neighbour, and in this series it was a 15 year old girl who was likely to become the victim of a suspected rapist. In the second series, he goes to extreme lengths to protect this girl. Does this element of the series give him a human side? And are the audience meant to root for him, as he’s verging on the side of justice in these scenes?

Whatever the answer to these questions, it’s clear that Joe is a psychologically complex character- and this series provides flashbacks to his past, explaining to some extent his twisted view of love. However, this doesn’t take away from the horrific things he did in the first series- or the crimes he inevitably commits in this second part.

This series is rated 18+ for its violent and graphic content, and there are lots of drug, sex and suicide references, as well as hard-hitting topics such as paedophilia and rape.

However, this series is not all graphic violence- it has real depth, and is certainly a gripping and powerful tale of the complex psychology of a killer. And by ending on a cliff-hanger, is it possible that we can expect a third series in the future?

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Eleanor Jones

Deputy Editor of the Yorker and final year History and French student at the University of York

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