“It’s like you’ve never seen a horror movie,” Joe says, speaking to Beck through narration when she stands half-dressed near her window, later responding to her text to a friend by insisting, “I’m not a maybe. I’m the one.”
As noted, there’s an uncomfortable aspect to the material, given how violated Beck is, whether she realizes it or not. The “dreamy stalker” is a wrinkle we could have probably done without.
Again, though, “You” plays with those edges — and at least makes them interesting — by refusing to make Beck a helpless damsel or wholesale victim, at least through the five episodes previewed.
Underneath it all, the series not only explores one particularly misguided mind but the very notion of privacy, and the perils of not safeguarding it in an age where practically everyone seems to be oversharing.
For Lifetime, “You” — already renewed for a second season — thus feels like a shrewd evolution of its much-lampooned women-in-jeopardy formula into something more ambitious, wittier, and in its jaundiced way, just a little bit unnerving.
In that, it’s a cautionary tale with an unconventional bad guy — a reminder that you can’t always judge a book, or bookstore owner, by its tousled hair and beguiling smile.
“You” premieres Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.