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You is an American psychological thriller television series developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. Produced by Warner Horizon Television, in association with Alloy Entertainment and A&E Studios, the first season is based on the eponymous 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes and follows Joe Goldberg, a New York bookstore manager (Penn Badgley) who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and quickly becomes obsessed with her. It features Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, and Shay Mitchell in supporting roles.

You (TV series) intertitle.png
Based onYou
by Caroline Kepnes
Developed by
Narrated by
Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg
  • Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck
Composer(s)Blake Neely
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Ryan Lindenberg
  • Adria Lang
  • Jason Sokoloff
Production location(s)
  • New York City[1]
  • Los Angeles, California[2]
CinematographyDavid Lanzenberg
  • Harry Jierjian
  • Gaston Jaren Lopez
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time41–49 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkLifetime (season 1)
Picture format
Audio format5.1 surround sound
Original releaseSeptember 9, 2018 (2018-09-09) –
present (present)
External links

The series premiered on Lifetime on September 9, 2018, in the United States, and streaming on Netflix, internationally, on December 26, 2018. The series attracted a limited audience on Lifetime before becoming more popular and a critical success for Netflix, with over 40 million viewers, having streamed the first season after its debut on the streaming service.[4] Lifetime announced that You had been renewed for a second season based on Kepnes' follow-up novel Hidden Bodies, on July 26, 2018, ahead of the series premiere. On December 3, 2018, it was announced that the series would move to Netflix as a Netflix Original title.



The first season follows the story of Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager in New York, who upon meeting Guinevere Beck, an aspiring writer, becomes immediately infatuated with her. To feed his toxic obsession, he uses social media and other technology to track her presence and remove obstacles to their romance.

The second season follows Joe Goldberg, who upon taking a trip to Los Angeles, has his eyes and obsession set on aspiring chef, Love Quinn.[5]

Cast and charactersEdit


  • Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager at Mooney's who stalks and then dates Beck[6]
  • Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck, a broke NYU graduate student and an aspiring writer (season 1)[7]
  • Luca Padovan as Paco, Joe's young neighbor[7]
  • Zach Cherry as Ethan, a bookstore clerk who works with Joe[7][8]
  • Shay Mitchell as Peach Salinger, a wealthy and influential socialite and Beck's best friend (season 1)[9]
  • Victoria Pedretti as Love Quinn, an aspiring chef and health guru in L.A. (season 2)[10][11]
  • James Scully as Forty Quinn, Love's beloved and troubled brother (season 2)[12]
  • Jenna Ortega as Ellie Alves, a teenager who grew up fast in the big city (season 2)[12][13]
  • Ambyr Childers as Candace, Joe's ex-girlfriend (season 2; recurring season 1)[14][15]
  • Carmela Zumbado as Delilah Alves, an investigative reporter with a keen nose for a story (season 2)[16]


  • Daniel Cosgrove as Ron, the parole officer boyfriend of Paco's mother (season 1)[17]
  • Kathryn Gallagher as Annika, one of Beck's friends and a social media influencer
  • Nicole Kang as Lynn, another of Beck's rich friends[18]
  • Victoria Cartagena as Claudia, Paco's mother
  • Mark Blum as Mr. Mooney, the owner of Mooney's and Joe's boss
  • Hari Nef as Blythe, a rival graduate student to Beck
  • John Stamos as Dr. Nicky, Beck's therapist[19][20]
  • Adwin Brown as Calvin, a manager of a high-end grocery store (season 2)[21]
  • Robin Lord Taylor as Will, an intelligent guy who deals with unsavory clients as part of his job (season 2)[22]
  • Marielle Scott as Lucy, an edgy-chic literary agent (season 2)[23]
  • Chris D'Elia as Henderson, a famous comedian in L.A. (season 2)[24]
  • Charlie Barnett as Gabe, Love's oldest friend and closest confidant (season 2)[25]
  • Melanie Field as Sunrise, a stay at home lifestyle blogger (season 2)[26]
  • Magda Apanowicz as Sandy, an acquaintance from Joe's past (season 2)[26]
  • Danny Vasquez as Fincher, a cop who is experiencing an occupational burnout (season 2)[27]



Season 1 (2018)Edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Lee Toland KriegerGreg Berlanti & Sera GambleSeptember 9, 2018 (2018-09-09)0.82[30]
22"The Last Nice Guy in New York"Lee Toland KriegerSera GambleSeptember 16, 2018 (2018-09-16)0.77[31]
33"Maybe"Marcos SiegaApril BlairSeptember 23, 2018 (2018-09-23)0.57[32]
44"The Captain"Vic MahoneyMichael FoleySeptember 30, 2018 (2018-09-30)0.56[33]
55"Living with the Enemy"Marta CunninghamNeil ReynoldsOctober 7, 2018 (2018-10-07)0.57[34]
66"Amour Fou"Marcos SiegaAdria LangOctober 14, 2018 (2018-10-14)0.71[35]
77"Everythingship"Kellie CyrusApril Blair & Amanda ZetterströmOctober 21, 2018 (2018-10-21)0.62[36]
88"You Got Me, Babe"Erin FeeleyCaroline KepnesOctober 28, 2018 (2018-10-28)0.49[37]
99"Candace"Martha MitchellKelli Breslin & Michael FoleyNovember 4, 2018 (2018-11-04)0.47[38]
1010"Bluebeard's Castle"Marcos SiegaSera Gamble & Neil ReynoldsNovember 11, 2018 (2018-11-11)0.53[39]

Season 2Edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"A Fresh Start"[40]Kevin Rodney SullivanSera GambleTBA
122TBASilver Tree[41]Michael Foley[41]TBA



In February 2015, it was announced that Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble would develop a series based on Caroline Kepnes' book: You with Berlanti and Gamble as the scriptwriters, and Berlanti as the pilot director.[42] Initially, Berlanti and Gamble pitched the show to Showtime but were unsuccessful in their attempts.[43] Two years later, it was announced that the series was purchased by Lifetime and put on fast-track development.[44]

In April 2017, Lifetime gave You a 10-episode straight-to-series order.[45] On July 26, 2018, ahead of the series premiere, Lifetime announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.[46][47] On December 3, 2018, it was confirmed that Lifetime had passed on the series and that Netflix picked up the series ahead of the release of the second season.[48][49]

In November 2018, Gamble confirmed that like Hidden Bodies, the sequel novel to You, the setting of the series would move to Los Angeles for the second season.[50][51][52][53]

In March 2019, Berlanti discussed in a panel interview on the challenges of finding the right platform for the series. Speaking at the INTV conference, he stated that "we pitched it [You] and sold it to Showtime of all places, but…once they read the script, they were really cool about saying, ‘You can take it somewhere else’...". After being turned down by the network, he later pitched the show to Lifetime, which "wanted to make it, and we shot it, and because of their launch cycle it sat in the can for a while for two-and-a-half years. Then they finally started to release it, and it didn't do very well." Although, Lifetime reneged on their initial renewal offer for a second season in late 2018, Berlanti recalled that he went to the offices of the network executives to plead them to change their mind, asking "I still think it's going to work, I still think it's going to work – maybe one more episode, maybe if people have a chance to see five more episodes." Later, he was relieved by the news of Netflix's guarantee of committing to a second season after Lifetime canceled the series.[54]


Penn Badgley was cast as lead character Joe Goldberg in June 2017.[6] Elizabeth Lail's casting as Guinevere Beck was announced in July 2017,[7] as well as Luca Padovan as Joe's neighbor Paco, and Zach Cherry as Ethan, a bookstore clerk who works with Joe.[7] Shay Mitchell was cast as Peach Salinger, Beck's wealthy best friend, in August 2017.[9]

In September 2017, Hari Nef was cast in the recurring role as Blythe, a talented and competitive peer in Beck's MFA program.[55] A few days later it was announced that Daniel Cosgrove had been cast in the recurring role of Ron, a correctional officer.[17] In October 2017, Michael Maize and Ambyr Childers were cast in the recurring roles of Officer Nico and Candace, respectively.[14] It was announced in November 2017 that John Stamos would recur as Dr. Nicky, Beck's therapist.[19][56]

On January 30, 2019, it was announced that Victoria Pedretti had been cast in the main role of Love Quinn on the second season.[10][11] On January 31, 2019, James Scully was cast in a main role as Forty Quinn, Love's brother, who is "confident, opinionated and privileged – at his best, a charming buddy; at his worst, a razor-sharp bully. He's been working a 12-step program with all the sincerity (and smugness) he's got, relying heavily on his sister for support and attention. But it never takes much of a shove for him to fall back off the wagon." and Jenna Ortega was also cast in a main role as Ellie Alves, "a teenager who grew up fast in the big city, Ellie likes to act and appear older than her years. Secretly living with minimal supervision or nurturing in her life, she must take care of herself and isn't afraid to get into murky waters to make a little cash. This includes working cons on the adults around her, including Joe Goldberg."[12]

On February 1, 2019, Deadline Hollywood reported that Ambyr Childers had been promoted to a series regular role, ahead of the premiere of the second season.[15] On February 6, 2019, Adwin Brown was cast in the recurring role of Calvin on the second season.[21] On February 15, 2019, Robin Lord Taylor was cast in the recurring role of Will on the second season.[22] On February 21, 2019, Carmela Zumbado was cast in the series regular role of Delilah Alves on the second season.[16] On March 4, 2019, it was reported that Marielle Scott has been cast in the recurring role of Lucy on the second season.[23] On March 5, 2019, Chris D’Elia was cast in the recurring role of Henderson on the second season.[24] On March 26, 2019, Charlie Barnett was cast in the recurring role of Gabe on the second season.[25] On April 4, 2019, Melanie Field and Magda Apanowicz were cast in recurring roles as Sunrise and Sandy, respectively.[26] On June 4, 2019, Danny Vasquez had been cast in a recurring role.[27] On June 24, 2019, it was confirmed that John Stamos will reprise his role, as Dr. Nicky in the second season.[20]


The first season of You was filmed in New York City[1] and wrapped on December 19, 2017.[57] For the second season, the series relocated its production to California to take advantage of tax incentives provided by the California Film Commission under its "Program 2.0" initiative.[2] Filming for the second season took place on location in Los Angeles, California from February 2019 to June 2019.[58][59][60]



The official trailer for You was released on April 10, 2018.[61]

Teasing the original premiere on Lifetime on September 9, 2018, the main cast, Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail and Shay Mitchell, as well as the show creator, Sera Gamble, and author of the original book, Caroline Kepnes, sat down with BUILD Series, a YouTube talk show meant to promote new buzzworthy shows and movies.[62]

Various critics gave praise to the series, by complimenting its eerie tone and terrifying approach to the themes of real-life violence and stalking, reminiscent of contemporary thriller films and series like Dexter, Gone Girl and American Psycho. Certain reviewers highlight that You provides an alluring but, disturbing insight into the mind and profile of a psychopath, who charmingly manipulates his way through his anti-hero charisma, motives and warped sense of morality, in order to convince the audience "to sympathize with a stalker" and "serial killer".[63][64][65][66][67][68][69]

The marketing for the series used the buzz around the #MeToo Movement to gain attention to the start of the show. You has been said to have been "tailor-made for the #MeToo Era."[70] One of the show creators, Sera Gamble, commented on this era by saying we, as a culture, only pay attention to the perspective of the male and in his story, of course he is the hero. She states "We're focused on their story, their triumph, their downfall, their redemption arc...So I doubt the show will singlehandedly change the way we think about dudes and our culture, but I'm happy to be part of the conversation."[70]


You premiered on Lifetime in the United States on September 9, 2018.[71] In May 2018, it was announced that Netflix acquired the exclusive international broadcast rights to You, making it available as an original series on the platform.[72][73]

On December 3, 2018, it was announced that Lifetime had passed on the second season, and that the series would move to Netflix as a global Netflix Original series.[74][75] The first season became available to stream instantly on Netflix worldwide on December 26, 2018.[76] An estimated 40 million people streamed the series in its first month on Netflix,[77] dwarfing its viewership from Lifetime.[4][78]


On January 17, 2019, Netflix announced that the series was on track to be streamed by over 40 million viewers within its first month of release on the streaming platform.[79]


You explores the romanticism between two people named Joe and Beck. In the process, it looks at the potential lengths to which the idea of "stalking is the best way to enter somebody's life", is really applicable.[80] As the first season of You is situated in modern-day New York City, it explores the dangers of social media culture with an emphasis on a lack of digital privacy.[81][82] The author of the book, Caroline Kepnes stated that her inspiration for the book grew out of her moving back to LA. She stated that when she moved, she noticed that "suddenly everyone was following each other and being followed, and I always thought of that as such a negative thing," soon creating Joe in her mind as a very real possibility of what can happen with that type of access into people's lives.[62] In an interview at The Contenders Emmys 2019 panel, the showrunner of the series, Sera Gamble, highlighted the importance of casting the right person to play the role of Joe Goldberg. She stated that "it had to be a love story and a horror movie in every single scene", further adding that if they "cast someone who was sort of creepy, then the story wouldn't work; the idea is that it's a lead in a romantic comedy who works in a bookstore and a woman walks in, they have a cute meet and fall in love and live happily ever after. That's the show."[83]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a 93% "certified fresh" rating with 54 reviews, with an average rating of 6.97/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "You pairs thrilling drama with trashy fun to create an addictive social media horror story that works its way under the skin – and stays there."[84] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[85]

Alicia Lutes of IGN gave the first season an 8.4/10, stating that it is "so insane, you're bound to be riveted and engaged if nothing else" and that the series is "a horrifying love letter to all those romantic ideals and expectations that have permeated our society."[86] Liz Miller from IndieWire mentioned in a positive review of the first season, that it invokes "the best qualities of David Fincher's Gone Girl and Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho," and that the series "juxtaposes the idea of love as glamorized by the romance industrial complex with its dark side."[87] Kylie Nixon from Stuff complimented the first season in her review by adding that the "show will mess with your head. You might feel super, super awkward a couple or fifty times, but by God, you'll be entertained."[88]

Tiffany Kelly from Daily Dot recommended the first season in her review of the series by stating that it "quickly evolves into a disturbing profile of a psychopath in the digital age, one who uses social media to aid his stalking."[89] While reviewing the first season, Anna Leszkiewicz from New Statesman declared in a positive review that the "Netflix series You does what it says on the tin – offering surprise twists, drip-fed reveals, a magnetic villain in Joe, the horrible suspense of knowing more than his clueless victims and satisfyingly gory murders."[90] Christina Radish of Collider named Joe Goldberg as the "Best TV Villain" of 2018. Radish wrote that, "thanks to the performance given by Penn Badgley and some terrific writing, the character has layers that make him complicated and intriguing, even though you know he should be making you cringe and recoil. Joe Goldberg is a character that does horrible things, but also keeps you so engrossed that you can't stop watching."[91]

Samantha Highfill from Entertainment Weekly mentioned You in her wish list of contenders for the 2019 Emmy Nominations. She adds that "YOU presented a different look at a serial killer, one that took viewers inside the mind of Joe Goldberg, thereby presenting them with the reasoning for his actions. By never shying away from Joe’s dark side, the show’s freshman season unraveled a beautifully paced modern-day thriller about what people do for love…and what is acceptable to do for love."[92]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Saturn Awards Best Streaming Horror & Thriller Series You Nominated [93]
Best Actor in a Streaming Presentation Penn Badgley Nominated
Best Actress in a Streaming Presentation Elizabeth Lail Nominated

Critics' year-end listsEdit



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