Are You a Fan of 'You'?
Netflix has been a little disappointing in the latter weeks of 2018 (with the grand exception of Bandersnatch), with movies that were lesser knockoffs of classic Disney movies or memeable movies that had a better meme following than the movie itself. Almost entirely converted to Hulu at this point, I took a leap of faith when I decided to try out this show that I kept seeing trailers for on Instagram: You.
Starring Penn Badgley, probably much better known as Lonely Boy or Dan Humphrey, You is about a stalker who pursues someone who he believes he has experienced “love at first sight” with. Without giving any plot spoilers, the majority of this show focuses on the skin-crawling, at times deadly chase of bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Badgley) into tricking troubled English student Guinevere Beck (played by Elizabeth Lail) into falling for him. The show is currently at one season with ten episodes, though there are already rumors spreading about its second season, as the show has been received with intense popularity.
It was interesting enough that Badgley took another role in which he portrays an obsessive creep, but this show goes far past the absurdity of Gossip Girl and takes it to the next level of intrusiveness and shock value. Badgley’s character should be easily condemned by societal standards of dating etiquette, but the public reception to his character is more than unsettling. In the Twitterverse, the actor has had to shut down many romanticizations of his character, blocking any fan appreciation of Joe Goldberg’s attachment and twisted views on “romance.”
Here’s just an example of such tweets:
Fans seem unable to grasp the reality and gravity of the situations that play out in You. Perhaps it is the internal dialogue that Joe uses to rationalize his behavior in the show that allows him to easily share his vulnerability and desires with the audience. However, this certainly should not welcome empathy for such a demented character. What are your thoughts?
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