Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pilot Review: You

You (Lifetime)
Premiered September 9 at 10pm

I don’t watch a lot of programming on Lifetime, encountering a handful of pilots over the past few years and just one Emmy-nominated series, “UnREAL.” I sat down to watch this pilot not sure what to expect, and it definitely doesn’t fall into the category of shows featuring strong female characters. It might be better suited instead to the tastes of female viewers, though I can’t understand why anyone would want to watch this show. While some series feel particularly counterproductive in this #metoo era, this one takes it one step further by showcasing something infinitely less appealing: a stalker who sets his sights on a woman that he’s going to manipulate into falling in love with him. That doesn’t give her much credit as an intelligent character, and it also takes more than a few liberties about his ability to not seem like the creepiest person who ever lived. Somehow, just one person thinks that he’s suspicious, a parole officer who spends most of his time getting drunk and threatening to, of all things, cut Joe’s eyes out if he continues to spend time with his son. The tone of this show is all over the place, with Joe’s casual comment of “I’ve seen enough romantic comedies to know that guys like me are always getting in jams like this” when he got stuck in the shower feeling very different than his book-glue lair. Lines like “Bro, you waste of hair” are almost more cringe-worthy than the premise of this show itself. It’s billed as a psychological thriller but falters in that area as well.

How will it work as a series? I can’t figure out why he captured and imprisoned her boyfriend – maybe to interrogate him and find out everything about her that he needs to know to woo her? It seems like a faulty plan, and one that’s sure to go awry. He has managed to get close to her very quickly, and presumably she’s the only “you” that this show is going to focus on.
How long will it last? For some reason, the reviews are actually mostly good, which I can’t quite believe. More importantly, the show was actually renewed for a second season even before it premiered, so its future is sure to be just as successful as it is off-putting. Whether its characters will survive that long is another question someone who is going to continue watching will have to answer.

Pilot grade: D

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