'You' Shows Viewers How a Fragile Ego Can Lead to Madness

Damian Holbrook
Preview Lifetime

If Caroline Kepnes’s 2014 page-turner You, about obsession and online stalking, scared readers into changing their passwords, this unsettling adaptation will likely spark a social-media shutdown.

Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg, a New York City bookstore manager who’s instantly smitten with a customer named Beck (Elizabeth Lail). At first, "he does what you or I might do," says executive producer Sera Gamble (The Magicians). "He Googles her, looks into her social media, walks by her yoga studio. Then cut to: He’s sneaking into her apartment."

'You' EP Sera Gamble on the Decision to Cast Penn Badgley as a Creepy Stalker

'You' EP Sera Gamble on the Decision to Cast Penn Badgley as a Creepy Stalker

Plus, Sera Gamble shares how the show differs from the book.

Joe crosses every line imaginable to control Beck and isolate her from her best friend, Peach (Pretty Little LiarsShay Mitchell), providing a chilling look at how toxic masculinity and a fragile ego can lead to madness.

"There’s truth to those stories you hear," Gamble notes of the timely theme. "Men are afraid they’ll get laughed at, while women are afraid they’ll be murdered."

You, Series Premiere, Sunday, September 9, 10/9c, Lifetime

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This article also appeared in the Sept 3 - 16 issue of TV Guide Magazine.

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