You

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
You TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Thriller series explores stalking from stalker's POV.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

In some ways it's presented as modern romantic thriller, but ultimately this is a story about a violent stalker hurting a woman (and others along the way).

Positive Role Models & Representations

Joe is a violent stalker. Some of the people he builds relationships with are also extremely disturbed.  

Violence

Stalking and murder are key themes. Scenes include brutal, bloody attacks with instruments like hammers, and images of bloody corpses with slashed throats. Kidnappings and other events are also visible.  

Sex

Lots of sexual moments, including simulated sex acts that reveal a lot of skin, including a bare backside. 

Language

"D--k," "bitch," "bastard, "a--hole," "s--t," "f--k."

Consumerism

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. are featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, champagne, cocktails at social events. Cigarette smoking and vaping visible. References to using cocaine. Drunken behavior leads to some unexpected consequences. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that You is a series about a charming and violent young man who stalks young women. Social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, are used to help him. There's lots of cursing including "d--k," "bitch," "bastard, "a--hole," "s--t," and "f--k." The series features many sexual situations, including skin-revealing simulated sex acts (but no frontal nudity). Aside from the systematic stalking, it also addresses domestic abuse and murder. Violent, bloody attacks with things like hammers are sometimes visible, as are gruesome injuries on bloody corpses. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 and 9-year-old Written byRachael G. January 25, 2019

Totally inappropriate

I started this show and could not get through one episode. The language and sex scenes were horrible. I was hoping for a good thriller but this was crude and... Continue reading
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bySpeirto January 27, 2019

Adult themed

I enjoyed the series so far but in the end it's about an obsessed stalker/serial killer. There is a lot of sexual content, some murderous scenes, swearing.... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDBbooks December 26, 2018
This show is about a man who works at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman and stalks her online and in person. For instance, he follows her when she leav... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byavadutro June 4, 2020

Amazing and totally appropriate!

This show is super good and great for all ages. As long as the kid is mature and can handle a little violence they are good to go. This show is very appropriate... Continue reading

What's the story?

Originally based on a book of the same name, YOU is a thriller about a young man who uses the internet to stalk his female victim, and how his life unfolds as a result. New York City book store manager Joe Goldberg (Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley) is known by his co-worker Ethan (Zach Cherry) as a quiet guy, and by his troubled young neighbor Paco as a friend and hero. But when he meets and charms Guinevere (Elizabeth Lail), who goes by "Beck," a graduate poetry student and avid social media user, he reveals his darker side. Armed with Beck's full name, Joe uses the internet to get information about her, and follows her to work, school, events with friends like Peach (Shay Mitchell), and home, all in hopes of being able to charm and protect her when they are eventually together.  As Joe's voyeuristic behavior grows more intrusive and violent, he looks for ways to get closer to Beck, and to eliminate the people from her life that potentially stand in his way.

Is it any good?

This dark and disturbing drama is uniquely told from the point of view of a smart young man obsessed with a woman he barely knows and begins to stalk. Joe's inner monologue allows viewers to listen to the way he makes sense of his irrational feelings, and how he's unable to see in himself the violent, abusive characteristics that he loathes in other men. They also get to see how his sexual fantasies are driving him, and how easily social media aids him in his efforts. As he manages to justify his actions to himself, he reveals a familiarity with the process that makes you suspect that he's done this before. In later seasons, as he interacts with individuals like Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), his behavior is even more bewildering.

While You offers some suspense, it also offers a distorted way of looking at Joe's criminal behavior. He's characterized as a likable man motivated by a desire to be loved. His inner banter is filled with one-liners and quips, and some of the charmingly awkward exchanges during his planned "accidental" meetings with the women he is obsessed with create some lighthearted but alarming moments. This makes it easier for viewers to see Joe's actions as OK while still finding themselves horrified about the violent acts he commits. Some may look past this for entertainment's sake, but it's also easy to point to the series as an example of how violence, particularly against women, can be minimized by the media.

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TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark drama

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