Why Netflix Show 'You' Is So Addictive And Why We Shouldn't Romanticise The Show
It’s the latest jaw-dropping, thrilling and oh so addictive Netflix tv show You, starring Penn Badgley and Shay Mitchell. Based on the novel You by Caroline Kepnes, the story follows a light-hearted aspiring writer, Bec and a charming bookstore manager, Joe Goldberg who goes to extreme measures to insert himself into her life. This includes stalking her every movement both offline and online - which just goes to show how easy it is for the modern day predator to find out information about a person.
However, despite Joe’s psychotic and murderous tendencies, some viewers still admire his devotion and romantic side. And I can understand where they’re coming from. He is a troubled boy who grew up in an unsettled childhood, moving constantly from different foster cares until he was under the care of Mr. Mooney, the owner of the bookshop where he now works. Mr. Mooney’s disciplining habits were mildly disturbing which included locking up teen Joe in a soundproof cage in the book store’s basement in an attempt to teach him the ‘virtues of patience and discipline’.
And of course, you do have to feel for the guy as he does reveal a softer and more ‘normal’ side of him as he plays the responsible older brother figure to his neighbour’s 9 year old son, Paco.
Spoiler alert* Despite his empathetic side of his admiration towards Beck and his desire to protect and provide her with everything she supposedly needs, he is a murderer! And did we forget the fact that he locked her up in a cage like a rare first edition novel?
In fact, fans became so obsessed with the dark character that Penn Badgley tweeted out the following:
Basically, by crushing on the dark protagonist and making excuses for his killer actions and psychotic motives, we are essentially romanticising the definition of an abusive and unhealthy relationship! There’s no excuse for his actions including his mental stability and violent upbringing.
As a thriller tv series, I really enjoyed watching the show and I actually am one of the few people who was familiar with the novel. (I had no idea they turned it into a Netflix show until mid episode 1 of the first season when I started piecing together the next scenes from my memory). And as a somewhat professional adaptation critic, it is one of the FEW shows that actually did not disappoint. Yes, there were some changes to the storyline and added characters, overall it wasn’t a catastrophe and the portrayal of the characters worked.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the show, it’s to think twice before sending out your next personal tweet or social media pic AND if you fall in love with a book store manager with wavy hair and alluring dark eyes… RUN!