Season Two Of ‘YOU’ Finds Continued Success After Moving To Netflix

Odds are, someone you know is watching ‘YOU’. The season two release of Netflix’s acclaimed psycho-sexual thriller has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike, with viewership numbers skyrocketing since the series found a new home on the streaming platform.

You Season 2 CastBased on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, ‘YOU’ serves as a cautionary tale about relationships in the information age. The series follows Joe Greenberg (Penn Badgley), an introspective but charming bookseller with a hidden penchant for stalking women. His bumbling romantic gestures seem at once sweet but misguided as he courts Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a young writer and graduate student who frequents his shop. But what seems like harmless pining soon morphs into endless fixation as he tries to control Beck’s life and the people around her in a quest to retain her love.

A HIDDEN GEM FOR NETFLIX

‘YOU’ was a series poised for success from inception. Developed by legendary show creator Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale) and experienced showrunner Sera Gamble (Supernatural, The Magicians), solid execution and audience viewership for its first season on Lifetime caught the attention of Netflix. The streaming giant later acquired the series where it garnered enough critical acclaim to warrant the release of a second season in December 2019. This most recent season marks a slight departure from the source material. Though according to creator Gamble, it’s loosely based on Hidden Bodies, the sequel to Kepnes’ first novel. Kepnes also penned an episode for the season one series.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

Victoria Pedretti As Love Quinn You Season 2Despite his manipulative, selfish, and even violent nature, Joe’s character has become a favorite among viewers — to the dismay of Badgley, who took to social media during the show’s release to denounce the fan favoritism. Badgley’s character isn’t a person to cheer for. He’s a predator with a pattern: find a target, collect intel, then infiltrate their life. Rooting through social media profiles to aid in his manipulative tactics, he culls enough information about his targets to orchestrate a run-in and seem effortlessly charming in their presence. Yet he denounces those who use social media and displays a strong elitist streak. He’s so convinced of his own good intentions that he’s willing to do anything to keep the romance alive.

If anything, it’s indicative of the unsettling amount of charisma Badgley packs into the role. And admittedly, watching Joe’s fervor is compelling. He’s persistent and clever. Aided by a healthy dose of charm, and he’s a character compelling enough to last several seasons. Like most predators, Joe will strike again. He’s driven by a rampant desire to have love at all costs.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

SEASON TWO UPS THE ANTE

At the top of season one, Joe’s initial attempts to woo Beck are thwarted by her on-again-off-again boyfriend. Joe makes quick work of him, capturing and killing the boyfriend to position himself as the best available suitor. His plan works. Convinced her boyfriend has run off, Beck begins falling for Joe. But Joe must sustain an exhausting web of lies as Beck’s friends begin to question the disappearance. Beck discovers evidence of his past victims, and their idyllic romance turns to a terrifying cat-and-mouse game ending in her death at Joe’s hands.

Penn Badgley as Joe GoldbergSeason two begins as Joe skips town for Los Angeles and adopts the pseudonym Will Bettleheim, hoping to outrun any potential trouble back in New York. But true to his elitist stance, he finds life in Hollywood to be vapid and insufferable. “Will” has convinced himself he won’t make the same relationship mistakes this time. Yet he quickly backslides into the same routine, finding himself infatuated with a local chef named Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti). At the same time, Love’s twin brother has grown wise to his schemes and threatens to out his crimes, including the murder of Guinevere Beck. Will recalibrates as he tries to keep his past at bay and lay the groundwork for a new life with Love.

Though he’s vowed to remain good, Will soon zeroes in on another target worthy of punishment: the notorious comedian and female predator known as Henderson. Will accumulates an impressive body count by season’s end, though he isn’t the only one to commit a crime of passion. Love reveals she’s just as relationship obsessed as Will, killing an ex-girlfriend on his behalf. As they move into a new suburban home to pursue wedded bliss with a baby on the way, we garner hints that this won’t be the end of Will’s obsessive streak when it comes to women. 

RIVETING RELATIONSHIP DRAMA

This is a relationship drama heightened to the highest possible degree, where breakups end in spilled blood. ‘YOU’ keeps the audience guessing at every turn with unexpected deaths, but also plays with our perspective. We are forced to sympathize with someone sociopathic because he’s convinced himself all his actions are in the name of love. Creators Gamble and Berlanti have wrestled continuously with their choice to frame the story from the stalker’s point of view. Though both Beck and Love have their own resourceful ways of uncovering Joe’s unsavory past, they don’t always come out on top. Season two presents a marked shift in the character dynamics where Joe is not always the smartest person in the room.

You Star Penn Badgley Season 2The unpredictability of the series remains an impressive feat as the story continues into its third season. It begs the question: how long can we watch Joe/Will outrun his bad deeds? And would we rather watch him get his comeuppance, or walk away scot-free? The one certainty audiences can count on is a season three, as Netflix announced in January of this year that the series would continue. Meanwhile, Kepnes is finishing a third novel that will follow Hidden Bodies, meaning this new season will mark a solid departure from the source material.

Production on the third season of the Netflix series has already begun and is expected for release sometime in 2021.

Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Review

Interested in Stark Trek: Picard? We love a good comeback. Furthermore, based on Star Trek’s track record, even the worst Star Fleet crews seem to please. However, they are taking the series into a more fractious quest by pulling a 92-year-old Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) out of retirement and throwing him into a new rebellious crew with a mission to find closure through righteous revenge.

Star Trek Picard CBS All AccessOpening with an unraveling of emotional turmoil and a simulated Earl Grey, we find Picard sipping away at his longing to find healing and closure from loss of his friend and AI companion, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner). If you missed Star Trek: Nemesis, Data sacrificed himself to the Romulans in a mission to save Star Fleet.

Abruptly, Piccard finds himself being pulled out of his tea and wine from his Chateau, where he must leave his new sidekick a pit-bull terrier he named “Number One.”

Following will be a chain of events that drag us all through the rabbit hole that is the Star Trek Universe.

The opening scene is set almost 20 years after his role in Nemesis, which left us in tears – not because Data got deleted, but because the movie didn’t get the ratings; fans weren’t impressed.

In the first episode of Star Trek: Picard, Rememberance, Picard is sought out by Dahj (Isa Briones), who seems to be connected somehow to his past. Coincidently, she is also mourning the loss of her recently slaughtered boyfriend after intruders disrupted their acceptance celebration into the esteemed AI and Robotics Daystrom Institue. This triggering her unknown ability to do karate as well, allowing her to survive and escape to Picard’s vineyard. Although she doesn’t know Picard, her memory bank “reminds” her he is the man that she needs to go to for help.

Star Trek Picard DataPicard and Dahj meet and showing her unreasoned feeling of security to Picard instantly, they travel back to the AI University together. Unfortunately, the decision to return turns to misfortune, and we join an obvious aged Picard as he tries to save Dahj from the Romulans, only to fail and witness her deletion as well. This chain of events only extending his turmoil and confusion as to why she was drawn to him in the first place.

Her short but stirring debut, however, is what makes the risk of overcrowding the first episode less of a threat and more a necessity for building a plot that can link back to the finales of Nemesis, Voyager and Next Generation. Dahj’s presence molds the past together with the present giving more convergence of Data’s desires to be human and Picard’s need to mentor. Consequently, it just gets deeper from there.

[Episode 5] ‘Remembrance’ engages with a complex mystery that blends the right balance of series lore and thought-provoking themes, marking it as a bold new chapter in the Star Trek canon.” – Rotten Tomatoes

This is just one review from Rotten Tomatoes that harbors trust in the next generation of Star Trek novelty among a galaxy of great reviews.

Traveling through the Star Trek Spectrum

Moving into the next three episodes, we find ourselves following the formula of plot building: Picard putting together a team; Picard and Dahj contemplating their existence, so they have a reason to continue the show; Picard meeting Dahj’s twin sister Soji, permitting the piecing together of maybes for building the timeline for more great television.

These events come with the underlying assumption that Data did, in fact, have children, twins to be exact, which only answers the question of why the Romulans wanted Soji terminated in the first place.

Picard resigned as Captain because the Federation joined missions with the Romulans to wipe out all fabricated life after rouge AI goes on a killing spree. At some point, the twins, Soji and Dahj’s history, will entail a more extended commentary on why and two were saved.

Nevertheless, this plot sequence is broken up when we are brought back to the Borg in the 5th episode of Star Trek: Picard, Stardust City Rag. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Picard are finally cast in the same view as she also explores trying to save the world because of a leaky valve of compassion, an emotion which she once could not relate to due to her mechanical genesis.

Jeri Ryan Plays Seven Of NineFor those unfamiliar with the Borg, it is a cyborg collective consciousness that consumes technology so it can promote a mission to “raise the quality of life” by “assimilating” species across the galaxy. It also views androids, such as Data, as primitive. They do not speak of themselves in the I, but in the first person “we” because they are part of a conscious collective, hence “Seven of Nine.”

Seven first appears in the Star Trek: Voyager series, where she becomes aware of herself as a separate entity while gaining compassion toward other species, as we mentioned above. Her appearance in Stardust City Rag intertwines her’s and Picard’s compassion and longing for closure by allowing them to mission together in search of Dr. Bruce Maddox ( John Ales).

Why are they looking for him? You’ll have to connect with your Spectrum On Demand for that. Let’s just say episode 5 gives Star Trek: Picard a raw Sin City edge we find slightly warming and necessary for mixing up the plot.

Star Trek: The Captains Log

So, as to not completely spoil the whole show, we want to say we are pleased, which seems to be the consensus of most Star Trek fans. Although some do complain it brings back the darker vibe they tried with the less popular Start Trek: Deep Space 9.

Where they went right is letting Sir Patrick Stewart guide the show with Picard’s iconic and morally driven character prose. This Captain’s Log – star-date, somewhere in the 24th century- gazes more in-depth into the projections of what it means to continue the fight for what is right. And at 92, Picard seems to have a decent handle on himself since coming out of retirement as a bounty hunter of sorts.

The characters that build up in each show so far are a great mix of what we all have come to love from the cast of Next Generation. Start Trek writers seem to be bandaging the wounds from Nemesis while simultaneously offering the healing of our favorite master Captain, Jean-Luc Picard. Though aged, he is still willing to stand up for what is right when protecting morale in the Star Trek Universe.

His newly gathered rebellion crew of old and new Star Fleet companions carry their own back story, somehow intertwining with each other, which Star Trek writers have mastered. And it is coming together rather nicely.

We are sure CBS All Access has seen an influx in their 7-day free trial since the release of Star Trek: Picard. However, If you are looking to get into the action here at Charter Spectrum TV, we can help you link up with Picard and the old and new crew through multiple avenues. As Rolling stone says, “It’s a joy to behold.”

You can catch up with all the best Star Trek shows and movies in our 10,000+ titles On Demand or record the newest episode on your Spectrum DVR, so you don’t miss where Picard lands next. Give us a call at 1-855-345-0208, and one of our friendly customer service representatives can help get you set up today.

13 Reasons Why: Shedding Light On Bullying And Mental Illness Or Glorifying Suicide?

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why is a controversial three season long Netflix original directed in part by “Tom McCarthy” stirred the pot across the nation.  From previews and trailers, what was a seemingly twisted teenage drama at an initial glance panned out to be a much darker and deeper storyline.

13 Reasons Why Justin

The three part series begins succeeding the suicide of key character, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). After experiencing the utter shock from both Hannah’s parents and classmates the story begins to unfold in a rather unexpected manner. Main character Clay Jenson (Dylan Minnette) has a connection with Hannah that is somewhat elusive as it slowly builds throughout the season. He receives a shoebox containing audio cassette tapes recorded by Hannah leading up to her death – relaying a promise to explain why she did what she did and the events leading up to the tragedy.

As the story builds and we gain insight to the devastatingly traumatic events that Hannah withstood leading up to her death, we start to form this empathetic love towards her and a desire to know her more. The show has a way of making us feel deeply connected to the characters as if we are experiencing the events alongside them. The series brings up issues that arise in teens and schools such as struggles with sexual orientation, invasion of privacy and corruption among leaders. But more explicitly revealed to us is a world of graphic rape/nudity, severe bullying, brutal murders and tragedy that all took place among a group of teens within a high school.  Aside from the extreme issues portrayed that at times can be hard to view, you still have your standard teenage drama to smooth the surface and allow you to breathe in between scenes.

Now that you have a brief overview of the series “13 Reasons Why” let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the controversial chatter that flooded the internet, news and radio stations – was this series a solid, light-shedding depiction of issues amongst teens or was it an unjust glorification of suicide? If you were like most people you were swamped with a gluttonous amount of bias information before you had the chance to pop some frigg’n popcorn and make your own observations and opinions (yes, I was a victim of this unfortunate overload of opinions if you were wondering).

13 Reasons Why TylerI didn’t hear many opinions favoring the idea of the show being a positive depiction of mental health issues and teen bullying but was indeed overwhelmed by the outpouring of shell -shocked parents and teachers along with local news stations extreme opposition to the racy content. Many were completely turned off to the idea of even viewing the series after the word got out about the plot revolving around teen suicide and the graphic depictions of the act. Understandably so, the somewhat disturbing truth behind the matter can be a tough pill to swallow and even harder to view.

The idea of the show somehow glorifying taking your own life was derived from the ongoing scenes of Hannah Baker living a sort of “afterlife” by watching her friends listen to her pre-recorded tapes and re-living her traumatic memories. The show plays this out in such a way that it takes on the look of an “unconventional murder mystery” which translated to some that once you’re dead you can somehow become vindicated by your acts of self-harm by pushing blame on all who harmed you (which unfortunately is not the case). Contrary to some beliefs, once you decide to take your life, you are gone. Not temporarily, not until you’re ready to resurface, but gone forever.  Hannah Bakers’ presence lingers to those who were prompted to listen to the tapes In order to hear her truth, feel her pain and in ways seek revenge to those who wronged her.  This is where the issues of an unrealistic portrayal of suicide and the afterlife came into play, deifying an act that is permanent and harmful to many more than just the victim.

13 Reasons Why Season 2Now, let’s take a look at the opposition. I’m not sure that there is a positive way to depict the raw truth about mental illness without doing it in such a way to save face”.  Sure, the show could have told the story of a severely traumatized, bullied teen that was struggling with negative feelings of self-worth and depression after being violently raped in a more graceful way… But that would defeat the purpose of what the show embodies. Truth. Whether ugly or pretty, tasteful or raw, truth is truth no matter the form it reveals itself in.  Though, more graphic than some people prefer the direction that the producers chose to take was not intended to tread lightly on people’s feelings or not offend the highly-offended (heaven forbid). The show was created to provoke emotion and to show things that are hidden in a dark corner and not talked about. The stigma attached to mental illness hinders anyone affected. Though “13 reasons why” offers some added shock value the intention is to allow the stigma to be broken.  They decided to show graphic details that are rarely portrayed in order to reveal what these issues truly look like and how they come in all different shapes and forms. Bullying is not just being teased for your weight or your physical appearance – it can be slut-shaming a young girl because she chose not to put out. Depression doesn’t always look “sad or helpless” it can be roaming the halls amongst hundreds of others smiling on the outside but dying on the inside.

This is what the producers of “13 Reasons Why” intended to do. Create thought provoking content that made people see these issues in another light. Recently, the Creator of the show, Brian Yorkey, removed the entire suicide scene from the first season in order to “do the most good for the most people while mitigating any risk for especially vulnerable young viewers”.  He continued with stating “No one scene is more important than the life of the show, and it’s message that we must take better care of each other”. That’s a good message to take with you.

Regardless of the backlash the show received for the heavy content, if you can get past some graphic, real-life scenes I would rate this show 100 percent binge worthy approved.