The most recent Netflix Original craze that has taken the world by storm is ‘You’, a psychological thriller that follows the story of Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) as he falls in obsessive love with aspiring writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Joe finds himself going to extreme lengths to try and be ‘the perfect boyfriend’ for Beck, which in his mind appears to be by getting rid of her closest friends, who he sees as threats to their relationship…
Bookstore manager, Joe, meets Beck while she is at the store and immediately becomes infatuated with her. He revels in making their story out to be the ultimate romance novel, making himself appear as though he is just a man in love (and not a total serial killer). The internal monologue used throughout the series achieves its goal of making the viewer feel sympathy for Joe, forgetting his wrongdoings as he justifies it through himself being a hopeless romantic.
In today’s society, this is an important discussion to be had, about whether or not the type of person affects how we see their actions. That is if it is a handsome white man, is he going to be given more sympathy than someone else?
We’ve seen this countless times with Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019) just being one example of where we are unable to put our preconceived ideas of what a serial killer looks like to one side.
This is why You are such an important show in today’s climate, pushing forward the discussion about whether or not we are able to avoid feelings of sympathy by judging these characters based on their actions, not their gender or looks.
All in all, You are a fantastic show. It features dynamic characters, plot twists in almost every episode, and raises a whole series of important questions… proving that it is not just another Netflix fad.
Overall rating: 9/10