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The Mass Media

Netflix’s “You” Review

“You” was released on Netflix on Sep. 9, 2018, starring Penn Badgley, and Elizabeth Lail. It currently has a 92 percent on the Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes.

The show mainly centers around bookstore manager, Joe Goldberg (Badgley), who meets a graduate student and aspiring writer, Guinevere Beck (Lail). Immediately and obsessively smitten with her, he begins to stop at nothing to get her to love him back; and, while I generally don’t condone this sort of action, I have to say I might have wanted these two to just get together immediately following their bookstore banter, which they seem to hit off almost too well.

Classic trope of boy and girl kindling the beginning of a hopeful romance at a bookstore. At first Joe’s inner narrative commentary on her as a sort of cat-mouse dialogue jilted me when I watched the trailer long before this, but then I started to just find it amusing as he attempted to figure her out pretty much stalker-style with how he can just get some of her “vibe” so right as he does.

The feminist in me wants to not like him because he is a stalker, and that’s just a weird thing to be into, but even as soon as the first episode alone he does a couple things that make me like him. Like play friends with the poor kid, Paco (Luca Padovan) whose single mom fights with jerks she sleeps around with. But these actions of Joe’s are all a part of the façade.

Granted, the girl this guy follows does like to be watched, as Joe continues to note, especially the whole first episode. But there’s also a lesson here.

As we can see from the first episode, Beck is lonely. The friends she surrounds herself with aren’t really her friends, and only one goes out of their way to so much as appear to care about her personally. Millennial culture to a ”t.” We’d rather reach our Facebook limit of friends than say we have five friends we actually know, and do know.

Yes, this guy is weird for being a stalker, but it brings out a good point on the rest of society. Making him research her and watch her from afar only to comment on how otherwise empty her life is. Netflix might be going somewhere with this idea.,  and how else to best do it than turn it into some sort of thrilling handful of episodes it knows we will watch?

But, don’t get too attached to this couple—as a couple they do finally become halfway through the season. For, as the show will come to reveal, nothing with Joe lasts forever, much less long enough.
“You” is a ten-part series, with season two confirmed and expected to be released on Netflix, hopefully, sometime this year; probably around September, as such was the month the first season was released.