TV Show Review: You

By Taylor Brown, Correspondent

On Oct. 15, Netflix released the third season of the hit show “You.” The show received 40 million member views in the span of just one month. It’s wildly popular and follows the dysfunctional and obsessive life of Joe Goldberg, a hopeless romantic with a troubled past. “You” has a fast-paced storyline with a juxtaposed mix of romance, humor, and a lot of murder.

Over the span of three seasons, Joe Goldberg obsesses over, stalks, manipulates, and ultimately kills multiple women. He justifies his chaotic and immoral behavior by claiming his undying love. Each season follows a similar formula, adding twists, drama and emotional turmoil along the way. In the beginning of every season, Joe spots a woman who piques his interest, and then uses sociopathic stalking and manipulation techniques to weasel his way into their lives. He builds a personality specifically catered to each new victim of his obsession, giving these women the illusion of a perfect man.

But alas, the perfect man is actually a serial killer. Anyone who Joe believes is an obstacle between him and his obsession he kills in increasingly brutal ways. His “love” is essentially a death sentence that attracts chaos anywhere it goes. The show is vastly entertaining, each 40 minute episode ending on a cliffhanger, making the entire series perfect for binging.

While the premise of “You” is enticing, and the cinematography is well executed, the light in which Joe Goldberg is portrayed is ultimately very problematic. Of course, good television isn’t determined by morality. Amazing cinema can follow morally-grey characters and be absolutely wonderful. The problem, ultimately, lies in accountability and romanticization.

The issue with “You” is that Joe is seen as the protagonist. He always wins, gets away clean before ever acknowledging the consequences of his actions. Ultimately, “You” perpetuates negative stereotypes and behavioral patterns that harm the multitudes in the real world. Joe Goldberg acts like the perfect man, boyfriend, and husband but his intentions are entirely self-fulfilling.

Joe Goldberg is a deeply damaged and toxic man, and the romanticization of his character is damaging to the many impressionable viewers the show caters to. Never does he see justice or accountability, hence the show’s audience is encouraged to praise him. Joe Goldberg doesn’t love these women, he is obsessive and possessive to a dangerous degree. The moral of “You” is essentially damaging, reinforcing the idea that obsession equals love.

In summation, I give “You” a total of three out of five stars. Even though the show is troublesome, I watched all of it and will watch the fourth season when it premiers. If you like drama, messy romance, murder, and screaming at your laptop screen in moral frustration, then “You” is the perfect show for you.

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