Lifetime may be known for churning out delightfully cheesy movies, but the network is also filled with plenty of scary content as well. A new psychological-thriller TV series called You, based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, premiered on Lifetime last week. In You, Elizabeth Lail plays Guinevere Beck, the lead character. And if you watch at least half as much TV as I do, you'll definitely recognize Lail from a few other projects.
Elizabeth Lail, 26, is perhaps best known for playing Princess Anna in the TV series Once Upon a Time. She expertly brought the Frozen character to a live-action setting, despite not being a natural redhead (I kid, I kid). According to her IMDb, she's also had roles in TV shows including Dead of Summer, The Good Fight, and The Blacklist.
You tells the story of aspiring writer Guinevere Beck, better known as Beck. After Beck and a bookstore manager named Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) have a meet cute, Joe turns a ~bit~ creepy and begins to stalk Beck, according to a review of You's pilot by Den of Geek. Joe studies Beck's Instagram, he follows her around New York, and he even breaks into her apartment (for starterss).
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this is just Dan Humphrey-turned-stalker after the stress of managing the Gossip Girl website got to him?
Earlier this month, Lail opened up about working on the show in an interview with Decider. One of her favorite aspects of You is its female-positive and sex-positive nature. She told the website:
I think there is so much television where all you’re seeing is women’s breasts and women being objectified and you’re not really seeing a lot of the guy, or the woman is always going down on them and not visa versa. So any time I see it the opposite way, I’m like, yes, thank you. Let’s put more of that into the world, because we know we are influencing the world for better or for worse. Anything for females’ benefit, I’m for.
In that same vein, Lail explained that while Joe is the sole narrator in the book version of You, Beck gets to share more of her point of view in the TV show. She told HollywoodLife in a recent interview:
The book is entirely in his [Joe’s] point of view. He’s the narrator, but he’s a very unreliable narrator, whereas the show kind of allows other voices to come in. I think it definitely helps you understand where each character is coming from. Especially Beck because people are often quick to call her innocent and naive, but that’s not actually true.
In addition to Lail and Badgley, Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars fame has a supporting role on the show. Mitchell plays Peach, Beck's best friend — and she is over the moon to be a part of the show. "Truly when I was reading it — even before I was attached — I was like, 'This show, when it comes out, I'm going to watch it,'" she told PopSugar.
Badgley is also excited to be a part of the show — though he was hesitant to take on the part of a stalker. "The bottom line through all of this was that I wasn’t sure about anything," he told Vulture in an interview this month. "I put my trust in a lot of these people. I wasn’t sure I could understand Joe enough to believe in this at all times, but I’m gonna believe in these people."
You airs on Lifetime Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET. But if I were you, I'd wait until daybreak to watch a show as spooky as this.