This new psychological dramatic thriller begs the question, “What would you do for love?” as our seemingly meek main character Joe goes to extreme and deadly lengths to be with the woman he loves.
The series originally premiered Sept. 9, 2018 on Lifetime, but was sold to Netflix in late December. It follows the life of a young and quiet book store manager named Joe (Penn Badgley) who becomes immediately enamored with a woman who comes into the store named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail).
What may seem like the beginning of a romantic comedy quickly becomes dark when Joe takes internet stalking to a whole new level. By Googling Beck’s name, Joe gets a closer look into her life virtually, then physically as well, when he starts stalking her in real life.
Although Joe may seem easy to hate due to his criminal acts, his ability to point out fatal flaws in Beck’s life, like posting her entire life on social media, makes it difficult to disagree with his reasoning.
The entire series is narrated by Joe as he tries to manipulate his way out of sticky situations and analyzes Beck’s friends, including her best friend, Peach (Shay Mitchell, “Pretty Little Liars” alum).
While it’s difficult to rationalize the horrible outcomes that await these characters, viewers will find themselves struggling with logic and reasoning as Joe predicts the hidden behavior of so many people.
Joe’s attempts to protect Beck from what he believes is impending danger from negative people in her life navigate the plot of this series.
Although the outcomes for many of the victims of his crusade are somewhat predictable, the lengths he goes to before reaching these results and his thought processes are particularly stimulating. As mentioned before, Joe believes all of his behavior is not only justified, but at times warranted based on his observations while stalking.
To see a man not just want to be with a woman, but also want to see her succeed in her career and personal life is admirable. However, for a man to be so forceful in what he believes is best for her without her knowledge or approval is terrifying.
I recommend this series for anyone looking for a unique thriller, which shifts the focus away from the violence usually prevalent in the genre to the actions and intentions of humans building relationships.