All of a sudden, it seems like everyone has been talking about one juicy and addictive TV show: Netflix's You. The 10-episode first season, starring Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail, is a perfectly crafted combination of thrills and romance. Fans can't wait to see what happens next, and thankfully, season two is already in the works.
The series is based on the book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, published in 2014. How does the show differ from the literary work? Let's take a look. Read on to find the five ways the show stuck to the book, along with five ways that the show differs.
10 Like The Book: The Main Characters Are The Same
One thing that YOU has kept the same as the book is the two main characters, Joe Goldberg and Guinevere Beck (called Beck for short). While sometimes book-to-television adaptations will change characters so much that they are unrecognizable, that's definitely not the case here.
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Joe is still the charming bookworm who becomes totally obsessed with Beck, and Beck is still the writer who doesn't realize that he's actually bad news (and is literally stalking her). Audiences simultaneously root for this strange couple while, of course, realizing that they can never really be together. It's a weird journey of mixed emotions for the viewer.
9 Like The Book: The Second Person POV
What sets Caroline Kepnes's book You apart is that it's written in the second person. The POV is all about Joe talking directly to Beck and describing what it's been like to meet her, become interested in dating her, and then fall in love with her.
The show does the same thing. Joe's inner monologue is a big part of many of the episodes. This device is used in many films and TV shows, and while it can be cheesy if used poorly, it works really well here. The viewer always knows what Joe is thinking... namely, that his thoughts about Beck are getting creepier and darker as the episodes go on.
8 Like The Book: Joe Works In A Bookstore
On a television show, the setting is everything. It's where the characters spend all of their time and can often be a character itself. On a mystery show, the setting becomes even more important, and thankfully, the main setting in You is perfect: it's a bookstore.
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In both the book and the TV show, Joe works in a bookstore. It's a quintessential, old-school New York place, with dusty shelves and a feeling like it's been there since forever. This is where Joe and Beck meet for the first time. (Technically, it's their "meet cute"... but that feels strange to say, given the storyline.)
7 Like The Book: Mr. Mooney As Joe's Weird Mentor
While he has a bigger role in the book than on the TV show, the character of Mr. Mooney does exist in both of these worlds of You.
He owns the bookstore where Joe works and took Joe under his wing when he was a teenager. It seems like this is part of why Joe is such an angry, violent person as it wasn't exactly the best or healthiest situation. Fans are all too familiar with the glass cage in the basement of the store, and Joe spent a lot of time in there thanks to Mr. Mooney literally locking him up.
6 Like The Book: Peach Is A Big Enemy For Joe
According to Entertainment Weekly, Peach plays a role in both the book and the TV show. While the way that Joe ends her life is different, the character is the same in the sense that she's a huge enemy for Joe (and a real thorn in his side).
Many fans and critics have praised Shay Mitchell's performance here as she's impossible to ignore. She moves beyond the poor little girl trope as she's hiding a deep secret (her own obsession and love for her best friend Beck). You simply wouldn't be the same without this character, even though the main storyline revolves around Joe and Beck.
5 They Changed: Joe's Ex-Girlfriend Is Still Alive
As soon as we learned that Joe has an ex-girlfriend named Candace who people think disappeared, we immediately assumed that she was dead because Joe killed her. That would be an easy assumption to make, right? We know that Joe is dangerous and that he's capable of a lot.
It turns out that in the book, Joe's ex, Candace, is dead and he was the one to end her life, as Cosmopolitan UK explains. But on the show, she's still alive. At first, we think that she might be in Europe since she seems to have run away, but we're still convinced that something sinister is going on.
4 They Changed: Beck Is A Published Author
This is a big difference between the book and the show. As Cosmopolitan UK explains, in the book, Beck never becomes a published author. When Joe locks her in the cage, he gives her a novel to read. She remains an aspiring writer who only wishes that someday her status would change.
On the show, Beck has a typewriter and she starts telling the tale of their twisted love story and the things that have happened to her. After her tragic death, her book gets published and she becomes famous, but of course, she isn't around to see her literary dreams come true. Talk about dark.
3 They Changed: Joe's Neighbor Paco Is A New Character
Although pitting good against bad is a common theme in fiction, we always want to believe that people aren't completely bad.
When we first meet Joe, we wonder if he has some good in him. When we see him interact with his neighbor, a little kid named Paco, we see a different side of him. Joe looks out for him as Paco's mom is an addict who is in an abusive relationship. As Insider.com explains, Paco wasn't in the book at all, and he's a new character that was added to the series. It's easy to see why this creative decision was made (but we still know that Joe is the worst).
2 They Changed: Beck Learns Joe's True Nature
Here's another difference in the move from book to TV; according to Cosmopolitan UK, Beck never finds out what Joe is really doing in the novel. She's totally ignorant of it.
On the Netflix show, it's a totally different story. Beck learns about Joe's true nature and it completely freaks her out. Fans will recall the epic scene when she's in his bathroom and discovers his hiding place in the ceiling. When she realizes that he isn't actually a cute, charming guy and is literally evil, it's definitely too late. That's really tough to watch, even though we figured that is how things would go.
1 They Changed: The Amazing Ending
A juicy and dramatic TV series absolutely needs an epic ending or the whole thing was for nothing. Luckily, fans were treated to quite the ending when they tuned into the season one finale of You.
Entertainment Weekly notes that the ending is different in the book and on the TV show. In the book, a new girl walks into the bookstore and readers know that she will be Joe's new obsession. On the show, a girl also walks into the bookstore... but it's not just any girl. It's Candace, and she's not actually dead, and we can't wait to see what happens next. Season two can't come soon enough.