I backed into “You.”
Lighting on it while trolling through Netflix, I became obsessed with the second season of “You,” not the first.
Following a killer as he makes his way from one coast to another, the often creepy drama gets into his head and reveals just how, well, normal, someone like this can seem.
After moving to California (to avoid responsibility for the crimes he committed on another coast), Joe (Penn Badgley) finds himself transferring his love to yet another potential victim, Love (Victoria Pedretti). Jaded by the state’s bounty, he finds himself working in a coffee shop and trying to keep his urges at bay.
Much like “Dexter,” he has problems refraining from action. Then, Love’s brother, Forty, (James Scully) enters the picture and a comedian (Chris D’Elia) hops on the train.
The series features a bizarre cell of sorts and more snarky references to L.A. than you thought possible.
Midway through, you begin to think Joe (now called Will) is one of the saner folks in residence. While there are plenty of parallels you could make between this and any number of obsession films, Badgley makes it binge-worthy. He narrates with the ease of David Attenborough; he handles the wacky world with noteworthy aplomb.
Just when you think he’s getting cornered, Joe/Will has to deal with the nosy sister of his landlord. She knows plenty and isn’t afraid to go where she shouldn’t. She travels in D’Elia’s orbit, too, and gets one of those horror-film moments that make you scream, “Get out.”
Late in the game, Robin Lord Taylor turns up and it’s anyone’s guess who will be left to rat on the guy who started it all.
Badgley, though, never loses focus. When you think he’s about to lose all headway, he finds a way to reset.
Created by Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti (based on Caroline Kepnes’ books), “You” bears watching. Even better? If you start with Season Two (out this week on DVD), you can go back to Season One and fill in the blanks.