"You" seems to be the newest and most popular Netflix series of 2019 and it is definitely a very weird and unique show, to say the least. This series was released originally on Lifetime September 9, 2018, and on Netflix, December 26, 2018, and was adapted from the eponymous 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes. "You" is an American Psychological Thriller television and Netflix series that follows Joe Goldberg, a New York bookstore manager who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck "Beck" and quickly becomes obsessed with her.
*"You" and "Gossip Girl" spoilers ahead!*
"You" explores the blurred lines between love and obsession, and hero and villain. In the process, it looks at the potential lengths to which the idea of "love conquers all", is really applicable. It explores the dangers of social media culture with an emphasis on a lack of digital privacy.
"Gossip Girl" follows New York Cities elite teens through on the journey through their scandalous lives of love, drugs, obsession and of course social media. "Gossip Girl" is an online blogger that receives information and stalks the elite teens in an effort to expose them to the world. This show explores the dangers of social media culture as well as the premature usage of drugs and alcohol.
If not already known, the main character Joe Goldberg is played by that of Penn Badgley whom also played a semi-similar character to Joe on The CW called "Gossip Girl" which has also made its way to Netflix since it finalized airing. "Gossip Girl" is set in NYC as well, Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) essentially gets tips from others about his friends "New York Cities Elite" as well as stalks them for information to add to an online blog. Dan was a rather intelligent individual that would stop at nothing to get what he wanted even if that ended up hurting his family and friends in the long run.
This is similar to Joe who is seemingly very intelligent and clearly, he will not stop until he gets what he wants which he seems to rationalize as helping Beck out by riding her of these people. During the series, Joe has to stop anyone who is an issue in Beck's life which means he ends up killing Beck's former wealthy asshat douche bag toxic boyfriend Benjamin "Benji" Ashby Jr. III. Along with Benji, Joe also kills Beck's also very wealthy best friend Peach Salinger in an act of "self-defense" but we all know this was going to happen regardless.
"Gossip Girl," a blogger often writing and speaking about the people they essentially stalk in NYC. Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager often thinking and speaking about Beck whom he stalks in NYC. Though Dan Humphrey was never a killer he was aware of many murders that occurred throughout the series and was an accomplice to some as well, that's not to say he is a good dude compared to Joe but Joe is basically just Dan on crack.
Now let's get back to the stalking.
Dan Humphrey was a lonely young adult seeking friendship and reassurance in his long term relationship with Serena Van der Woodsen but before he was part of the in-crowd he was a very shy individual that confided in his alter ego as "Gossip Girl." "Gossip Girl "(aka Dan Humphrey) would get emails from students and those within NYC about his friends and the other elite, but his real content was from essentially being a stalker to his own friends.. especially Serena. He wanted to be in and liked so badly that he always wrote about New York's elite teens and their whereabouts and essentially stalked them while befriending them.
This is very similar to Joe Goldberg, needing validation and love from Beck but to even become her boyfriend he had to stalk her first. He would go to her home which he found on social media and steal things of hers like her underwear and her old phone, stalk her at work and wrote in a journal about anything and everything he learned about her. Soon he became her boyfriend and things spiraled downhill fast, he was very keen on knowing every little thing about her and what was going on in her life.
Dan, though a seemingly sweet and innocent teenager, is also seen as a not so good stalker that was just along for the ride of the NYC elite group with some accomplice killings. Joe Goldberg, however, is seen as an awkward harmless adult but also as a killer and a psycho just trying to find love. Neither character is good, and neither show is bad but in retrospect, "Gossip Girl" is definitely just a cleaner, more fun and less creepy version of "You."