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S01.E01: Pilot

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Joe meets and falls in love with Beck and goes down a social-media rabbit hole to learn everything about her; while this may be a real shot at real love, there are some things standing in the way, such as her ex, Benji.

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This is the topic to discuss the episode; please take discussion of the book (including comparing the two) to the Book Talk topic. Posts that discuss the book may be deleted, and repeated offenses may result in warnings. Thank you.

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Great, solid pilot. Penn Badgley is very alluring despite being a complete psychotic. Elizabeth Lail is darling -- I've liked her since Once Upon a Time. I haven't read the book but now I want to.

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This show has been on my radar for a couple of months now when I first saw the commercial.  I’m happy to say that I’m pleasantly surprised at how good this pilot was.  I knew nothing at all about Penn Badgley before this.  He has a magnetism about him that pretty much makes the show.  I love actors like him, who are able to convey more emotion in a glance than some actors can in 10 lines of dialogue.  I’m in for at least a couple more episodes.  I hope it stays this good.

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1 hour ago, poeticlicensed said:

Also, if money is an issue, how about getting a roommate in your ginourmous by NY standards, apartment?

Is she in uni housing? I was a little confused about that. (She should have a roommate regardless.)

1 hour ago, poeticlicensed said:

I'm hoping the writers have Beck break out of her just a pretty girl persona.

I hope they make her a bit smarter. She's kind of an idiot right now, even with the "my life is such a mess" angle.

Where does Joe live? Is he in Manhattan?

The NYT review liked it but also mentioned it was more of a trashy summer series, and I have to agree. Sunday night is a good slot for this, but once the fall season starts in earnest, I'm not sure how high a priority I'll give it.

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I only knew about this from the commercials, not from the book. Based on the reviews, I didn’t realize that it was rated Mature, so I was surprised by the strong language and sexual stuff. I don’t mind it, I’m not a prude, but I didn’t realize that beforehand.

I wish that sometimes an ugly girl would be stalked, and that we’d get inside the head of someone who isn’t doing this based on beauty per se. Beck seems like an airhead in many ways, not securing her social media, and just being oblivious in general. I always wonder why people don’t close their curtains, especially at night, and especially when they are fully nude getting down on the sofa in front of the window.  I like this show so far, and will continue to watch.

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The lack of curtains didn't bother me too much. It's pretty much remembering your broke days and remembering what you had money to spend on. Curtains or blinds usually weren't it. I lived in Chicago for a while and we had these huge old windows in the front of our apartment, second floor though. Since they were old the size wasn't standard so finding ready made blinds was impossible. I eventually got some sheers from Ikea and put those up to create a little bit of privacy but you could still see in. I didn't have the money but even if I did, buying window coverings for a rental wasn't on my priority list. That being said, I never walked around in a towel in front of them or put on an evening masturbation show for the neighbors. If anyone saw into my apartment they witnesses me watching a lot of Everwood and The Sopranos while eating.

I liked this. I also haven't read the book but a friend recommended I check it out. I also cheered for Joe when he'd have some luck with her. Terrible. I mean, yes, he kidnapped her boyfriend but  . . . I mean, that guy. If they want us to feel bad that he's going to die, they could have done a better job of not making him completely detestable. 

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To be fair about the apartment, she said “subsidized housing.” I had a friend who was post-grad at Columbia and rented a HUGE apartment owned by the school at way below market rates. So, as a working TA I can see that as a not-too-out-there bit of plot. 

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Requiem of a stalker?

I am so in.  

 

Edited to add....is that Emily from Pretty Little Liars?    Sure be in another stalker thriller drama thing.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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15 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

is that Emily from Pretty Little Liars?    Sure be in another stalker thriller drama thing.  

Yeah, that's Shay Mitchell.

I find myself rooting for Joe the way I rooted for Dexter Morgan. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes his victims sort of have it coming, you know?

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Shit!  This show is scary AF!  

Never heard of the book, watched on pure spec, and... wow!

She: Cute but dumb.  He: Pure Hannibal Lecter.  

I'm afraid to keep watching.

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I've just finished the pilot. The actor is good in the role: both charming and creepy. I'm with everyone talking about the huge window with no curtains. WTF is up with that? The main character was amusing at first, but his judging everyone is getting old. "waste of hair" made me laugh, though. 

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2 hours ago, legxleg said:

I thought the line where Joe decided that she paid for her book with a credit card because she wanted him to know her name to be so creepy. The girl is just living her life and he decides it’s all coded messages for him to justify his doing what he wants. And it sort of highlights something we all do (wonder what did it mean when my crush did X?) and takes it to the creepiest extreme. 

I work on a college campus and there's a Starbucks right by my office. No one uses cash, they all use cards for EVERYTHING. The staff say that they rarely get cash. So if he thinks that paying by card is a message to him, it must be a universal message, because kids love their cards. 

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3 hours ago, legxleg said:

I thought the line where Joe decided that she paid for her book with a credit card because she wanted him to know her name to be so creepy. The girl is just living her life and he decides it’s all coded messages for him to justify his doing what he wants. And it sort of highlights something we all do (wonder what did it mean when my crush did X?) and takes it to the creepiest extreme. 

How about the comment about her not wearing a bra? Dude, it's probably because all of her bras are uncomfortable and/or in the wash, not because she wants you to know she's not wearing one.

This is the sort of creepiness I really enjoy, and I hope the show can sustain it. It's a fine line to walk.

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It's a fine line to walk.

All credit to Penn Badgley for pulling it off. I'm not familiar with him but this much narration would normally annoy me. His character is an MRA asshole (and maybe a torturing murderer?) but I'm still interested to see what he gets up to.

Edited by 2727
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Really good start. They were very subtle balancing his obvious psychosis and this idea that, in today’s world, how easy it is to share too much. If you didn’t see the scenes of him stalking her and only saw what she saw of him you would think it was a traditional love story. Kudos to Penn for pulling the duplicity off in a very believable way. And they showed he had a kind side, so he isnt just one note evil.  I would never engage in victim blaming but the girl did seem clueless to the point of absurd, all the open social media, no blinds on the windows, not noticing g a humongous shadow behind her shower curtain (the most wtf moment for me), drinking beyond impairment. And im sorry, I too was once a poor college kid, I once bought cheap black fabric and used painters tape to hold it on my window so it wouldn’t be that hard for her to ensure just a smidge of privacy. For her to have sex and then masturbate in public view was perplexing. I’m in! .

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2 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

This is the sort of creepiness I really enjoy...

The difference between this and Dexter (say) is that I was rooting for Dexter to get away with it, whereas this guy...  I'm hoping there is an industrial-sized wood chipper in his future!

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I think that the fact that he's so astute, clever, resourceful, intelligent, and whatever else is part of why I--we--have this urge to root for him. Diabolical and sick, of course, but there's something impressive in his methods and, dare I say it, common sense. I recall the book doing a good job at making these traits in him not seem too farfetched or anything--I don't think I ever thought, "What, how the hell could anyone figure that out?" and detailing his tricks as stuff anyone with some intellect, a bit of patience, and some techno knowledge could also do if they really wanted to—or someone who could put those qualities to good use as opposed to misogyny and crime! The show is doing a good job of that so far too.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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5 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

 

This is the sort of creepiness I really enjoy, and I hope the show can sustain it. It's a fine line to walk.

I like his relationship with the boy in his building.  When he talked about how men should be chivalrous to women I kinda laughted.  Dude is stalking a girl...if he thinks that is chivalry I would hate to think what he thinks isn’t.  

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6 hours ago, 2727 said:

All credit to Penn Badgley for pulling it off. I'm not familiar with him but this much narration would normally annoy me. His character is an MRA asshole (and maybe a torturing murderer?) but I'm still interested to see what he gets up to.

And liking him better than Benji!!

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Crikey. That pilot had a lot going on. I was taken aback by how much he crossed the line in the first episode. He stood outside her windows jerking off. He let himself into her apartment and lay on her bed exploring her laptop. He stole her panties and her phone and followed her around the city. I guess I expected more nice facade and less psycho in the early episodes! It makes me wonder where Joe is going if this is where he starts from. How long until Guinevere is in "the cage", lol.

I totally agree with the comments here about Joe's take on Beck paying by card, or choosing to reach for the book herself. His interpretation of everything was totally convincing and slightly horrifying. Maybe those bracelets are just in fashion?!

I didn't find her oblivious eg. She knew exactly what the lech professor was doing. But what could she do about it? The way the professor handled that situation was very clever because he has total deniability. And I just assume the absence of curtains and locks/passwords is a contrivance for the show to make Joe's stalking easier.

Joe's reaction about Mr. Mooney ("He was a dick") stood out. So I'm guessing Mr. Mooney is dead. The scenes in the basement were all creepy, and the flashback made me wonder if Mr. Mooney sexually abused Joe. It makes me worry that Joe is grooming the neighbour's kid. I haven't read the book so no spoilers please!

Can I just say that her friend, Peach, was giving good advice.

This show could make you really paranoid because he appears to be so nice to her. I'm shipping Joe/Mallet to the head.

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I didn't find her oblivious eg. She knew exactly what the lech professor was doing. But what could she do about it? The way the professor handled that situation was very clever because he has total deniability. And I just assume the absence of curtains and locks/passwords is a contrivance for the show to make Joe's stalking easier.

But she is oblivious to some things, perhaps even willfully so (Benjy, for one thing, and teetering around at the very edge of a subway platform because she cares more about her phone, for another). Doesn't make her a bad person--it's not necessarily an insult--and most certainly not at fault for someone else's ideas and behavior. But, for example, if she's masturbating in front of a large window and not doing it on purpose for kicks (and I am not saying she is) or is someone who would be appalled if she knew she could be seen, but still does it, then oblivious is exactly what she is. She's a flighty person who doesn't pay close attention to certain things. Also, I think it's obvious that she knows what the professor is thinking; I don't think anyone here thinks she doesn't.

And we're supposed to understand that Joe's interpretation of her innocuous actions (wearing bracelets, using a credit card, whatever) are on him, not her. However, that is not to say that she isn't also doing some of them flirtatiously because why not? There's no fault on her for not expecting the attractive, mild-mannered bookstore clerk to be a real loon. Joe's the "nice guy," in quotation marks because it's vastly different than the not-in-quotation-marks kind of nice guy.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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3 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

They really made Daniel Cosgrove (Ron) look like a scuzzball. I almost didn't recognize him at first.

He's the reason I tuned in.  I loved his character on DOOL (and, yes, I'm still bitter over how badly he was thrown under the bus).  He really is a scumbag in this, though.  lol

I thought the pilot was pretty good, so I think I'm in for the season.

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Since the original mod note was apparently not clear - This is topic to discuss the episode.

Posts have been moved this time. If someone mentions the book, and you're unsure - report, or just take it to book talk. Post removal and possible warnings are the next step.

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I'm surprised with how much I liked this. It's definitely my type of show, but it truly is alluring and enjoying to watch. Penn Badgley is an actor who I have liked since his Gossip Girl days and always thought he was underrated. It also helps that Penn has grown as an actor since the Gossip Girl days so even when I found him good then, he's better now. Plus, I am super surprised in how entranced I am by his narration. His voice is very smooth and easy to listen to. I can see why they cast him as Joe. He's very charismatic, like people have said. 

Also, some of his delivery on his lines are really good. For example, when Joe first sees Benji, his narration of "Uh...Beck...who...is THIS?" along with his head tilt were on point. 

I think it's an interesting twist to look into the insight of Joe and how he sees himself and how he sees Beck, especially before we really get to know her ourselves. It's an interesting warped perspective that we know is wrong on Joe's end, but at the same time, I'm questioning some of his readings about her and if he is hitting some semblance of truth. We know Beck doesn't have any privacy on her social media or in her apartment, which seems to suggest that some things that Joe says in his narration could be right. He could be entirely perceptive. However, we also know that some things could just be from his warped, creepy mind, such as her paying with a credit card instead of cash. 

Obviously, it's easy to feel bad for Beck, who doesn't have any idea of the situation she has accidentally gotten herself in to, all for going to a bookstore and talking to the clerk. That's innocent enough, but now she has herself a stalker.

Though, yeah, Beck needs some curtains on her windows. It's a slightly different story if she was on a higher level in an apartment building. But the first floor, with big open windows? I kind of wish the show had been smarter in writing a better excuse for Joe spying on her through her apartment instead of going a very easy route. 

I get the feeling that something did happen in Joe's past with Mr. Mooney. That creepy basement stuff, especially the section with the glass box, definitely screams like some sort of sexual predator shit. It obviously will never excuse Joe's actions as he stalks Beck, and possibly other women before her, but I think the show does want to add layers to him from the start. I've also never read the book so I don't know what transpired there either. I do worry about Joe and the kid's relationship going forward. He seems nice to him for now, but I feel like that'll take a turn in a few episodes from now.

On 12/09/2018 at 4:10 PM, Kirsty said:

Crikey. That pilot had a lot going on. I was taken aback by how much he crossed the line in the first episode. He stood outside her windows jerking off. He let himself into her apartment and lay on her bed exploring her laptop. He stole her panties and her phone and followed her around the city. I guess I expected more nice facade and less psycho in the early episodes! It makes me wonder where Joe is going if this is where he starts from. How long until Guinevere is in "the cage", lol.

My thought is that, despite showing him being nice, the show wants to establish that Joe isn't someone we should be rooting for, even when they're showing different sides to him. They want us to not like him but also find him charming at the same time. Which, if this is their intent, I appreciate them jumping all in on Joe's stalker tendencies. It was difficult to remember him not being a legit good guy because Penn Badgley is playing Joe with a certain charm, as he believes that he's a good guy trying to save Beck from the world.

As for some of the supporting characters, I liked them. Shay Mitchell is a better actress than I thought she was. I didn't really like her as Emily on PLL, but she's doing a good job as Peach.

Overall, this pilot convinced me to watch the rest of the season. I am definitely in for the long haul. 

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11 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

I'm surprised with how much I liked this. It's definitely my type of show, but it truly is alluring and enjoying to watch. Penn Badgley is an actor who I have liked since his Gossip Girl days and always thought he was underrated. It also helps that Penn has grown as an actor since the Gossip Girl days so even when I found him good then, he's better now. Plus, I am super surprised in how entranced I am by his narration. His voice is very smooth and easy to listen to. I can see why they cast him as Joe. He's very charismatic, like people have said. 

Wow that was great. Really reminded me of the Dexter pilot. Fast paced breezy -- *bad* guy narration.  I was very into Joe until he bashed that guy's head in.  What is Joe's plan on that?  Won't someone come down to the basement? 

I did have some issues with Beck being so oblivious in New York city. 

It was interesting though that Joe was so kind to the kid early on.  I hoping they are trying to leave the audience suitably conflicted.  When I saw the ads for the pilot i though he was going to set up the fall into the subway but the fact that he doesn't does mean he really did save her life. 

I enjoyed his line about how being intelligent can make life miserable. 

Quote

I know I shouldn't, but sometimes his victims sort of have it coming, you know?

One reasonI love the anti hero.  But we will see how far he goes. 

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I found this show completely by accident, and decided to tune in, I have to admit, I thought it was cute and quirky at first, and then things started to turn a little creepy. Then a lot creepy. But I love it.

When Ron tried to play "big and bad" with Joe, and Joe just stepped to him with no more than a look, and we saw Ron back down quietly, I swear, I almost thought I heard Ron whimper. Umhmm. CRAY recognize CRAY. 

That's when I knew that I had probably mistaken what Joe was all about. This should be fun.

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4 hours ago, BooBear said:
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I know I shouldn't, but sometimes his victims sort of have it coming, you know?

One reasonI love the anti hero.  But we will see how far he goes. 

Daniel Cosgrove's character definitely seems to have it coming, but Benji? He's standard frat-boy douche, IMO, and given that Beck can't/won't shut him down, I kind of feel sorry for him. He's a good foil for Joe—they're both creeps in their own way.

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Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought that when they showed the apartment from the inside that the were some curtains albeit thin ones. Maybe Joe was imagining being able to see them having sex like that. I will definitely keep watching this show.

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8 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

Daniel Cosgrove's character definitely seems to have it coming, but Benji? He's standard frat-boy douche, IMO, and given that Beck can't/won't shut him down, I kind of feel sorry for him. He's a good foil for Joe—they're both creeps in their own way.

I don't feel sorry for Benji but I also can't go as far as saying that he "deserves" to get his head bashed in.  It's kind of the reason I sometimes struggle with these anti-hero shows.  Dexter was probably more straight forward in that he usually killed murderers.  But then there are other shows, like this one, where the victims might be unlikable but that doesn't mean they deserve to be stalked.  Or deserve to be assaulted.  It's that weird line where I know it's fantasy and can respect that it's enjoyed in that respect....but also that there are people out there who dream of being these people.

12 hours ago, BooBear said:

I did have some issues with Beck being so oblivious in New York city. 

Is she truly oblivious or is it her schtick?  That little helpless girl makes people like Joe and that one friend, who held her hand a bit too long, want to protect her? Maybe I'm projecting but there are certain people who get so much mileage out of willful obliviousness whether it's romantic attention or people wanting to pay her bills.  

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10 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

Is she truly oblivious or is it her schtick?  That little helpless girl makes people like Joe and that one friend, who held her hand a bit too long, want to protect her? Maybe I'm projecting but there are certain people who get so much mileage out of willful obliviousness whether it's romantic attention or people wanting to pay her bills.  

She seems oblivious in ways that could get her hurt without anyone there to appeal to. Such as being naked on a first floor of an apartment in a major city without shades.  

At the moment, I like that Benji "deserves" it... sometimes I do think that these low level users such as Benji are worse that the bigger more obvious bad people. But right now the line is close. 

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I had an issue with the lack of curtains as well.

I'm so in for this show. I really liked the pilot and I can't wait to see where this goes.

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On 9/11/2018 at 2:14 PM, sadie said:

I would never engage in victim blaming but the girl did seem clueless to the point of absurd, all the open social media, no blinds on the windows, not noticing g a humongous shadow behind her shower curtain (the most wtf moment for me), drinking beyond impairment. And im sorry, I too was once a poor college kid, I once bought cheap black fabric and used painters tape to hold it on my window so it wouldn’t be that hard for her to ensure just a smidge of privacy. For her to have sex and then masturbate in public view was perplexing. I’m in! .

I think he is right about her wanting to be "seen". Not stalked by a psycho, but she is a product of social media, reality TV and internet celebrity. She wants to be seen. She's a writer, so she is probably trying to build a fan base online, hence the open social media and the constant posting of every aspect of her life. This is a perfectly harmless thing to do, however, it does expose one to danger. It's part of what makes this show interesting. It's an extreme version, but this shit happens when you open your life up to total strangers. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this pilot. Becks seems a bit flighty. I do hope they wisen her up a little. But Joe is so incredibly well acted that he both horrifies me and has me kind of rooting for him. Not rooting for him to turn her into a lampshade or anything, but rooting for him to get help and find a way to have a healthy relationship. I find myself kind of liking the guy and wondering how he got this way. 

The only two things I found unrealistic was Beck falling onto the subway tracks (at first I thought Joe was imagining it in a kind of Knight in Shining Armor fantasy he was having) and the glass cage he put the BF in. I know that kind of fucked up shit happens but I found it unnecessary. Just kill the guy or do something to screw up his life so she dumps him. I really don't want to watch him being tortured episode after episode, so I hope that storyline ends quickly. 

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14 hours ago, BooBear said:

Such as being naked on a first floor of an apartment in a major city without shades.  

Like @Mabinogia said, she likes to be seen.  I don't necessarily think that invites danger but rather she gets the thrill of knowing she might have some random creepers. 

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22 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

The only two things I found unrealistic was Beck falling onto the subway tracks (at first I thought Joe was imagining it in a kind of Knight in Shining Armor fantasy he was having) and the glass cage he put the BF in. I know that kind of fucked up shit happens but I found it unnecessary. Just kill the guy or do something to screw up his life so she dumps him. I really don't want to watch him being tortured episode after episode, so I hope that storyline ends quickly. 

If anyone watched The OA on Netflix there was a very similar set up there.  So creepy.

Interesting point about the subway tracks.  It's so extreme for BOTH to happen that (1) she almost died that night and (2) he was there.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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4 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

It's so extreme for BOTH to happen that (1) she almost died that night and (2) he was there.

Joe was stalking Beck at that point, though, wasn't he? So he only pretended it was coincidence he was in the subway station. 

There was an article in today's NYT about people on the tracks.

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Yes of course I know it wasn't a coincidence and that he stalks her, as that is the point of the show.  However, we clearly see that he is not always with her - so to be with her at that point is extreme.  I am agreeing with @Mabinogia.

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On 11/09/2018 at 8:14 PM, sadie said:

And they showed he had a kind side, so he isnt just one note evil.

I don't know... His line about how "The most valuable things in life are usually the most helpless" has me worried about the kid...

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I can't even begin to say how pleasantly surprised I was by this show.  I figured it was going to be more Lifetime crap, but I caught the first two episodes On Demand.  The trailer looked so good so I figured I'd give it ten minutes and ended up watching both episodes back to back.  

I think Joe might be right when he says Beck wants to be seen.  No one is that naive.  Girl must get off on being nekkid in public.

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The book has been on my radar for awhile now, but I never dove in.  Now, I'm completely hooked on the show and am not even sure I want to read the book just yet. I love the actor who plays Joe and I have been looking forward to the new eps since I watched the pilot.  I thought for sure it being Lifetime it would make it cheesy crap, but it's actually really good. Enjoying the ride.  

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I read the book long time ago. Don't remember a details anymore, but this pilot got a atmosphere and actors a pretty right. I am onto next episodes! 

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