Stream Your Heart Out: “You”
by Madison Jarnot
Genre: Crime Drama, Thriller
Episodes: 10 episodes, 45 minutes
The psychological thriller series “You,” which debuted on Lifetime in Sept. 2018, has gained monumental popularity after being released on Netflix. “You” features actor Penn Badgley (known for his role as Dan Humphrey on “Gossip Girl”), who plays the main character and narrator Joe Goldberg. Joe is a conventionally attractive white guy with dark hair, a strong jawline, and deep voice. He lives a quiet life as a bookstore manager in New York, until Guinevere Beck (nicknamed Beck) walks into his bookstore in search of one of his favorite authors.
Joe becomes dangerously obsessed with Beck and begins stalking her within the first episode. Although all of us can admit to creepily scrolling back three years on our crush’s Instagram account or Googling our Tinder dates, Joe takes it a step farther. After finding her social media, he discovers other details about Beck’s life, like where she attends graduate school, and begins following her. I won’t spoil much more, but Beck begins dating Joe soon after and falls in love. Joe’s obsessiveness and abhorrent crimes are juxtaposed with his attractiveness and ‘nice guy’ demeanor. As he is an outstanding boyfriend who consistently sweeps Beck off of her feet, we want to sympathize with him. Joe is more complicated than any television villain I’ve seen before. However, his complex and sometimes lovable character traits are meant to remind us all that every evil human is still human.
Regardless of how dreamy Joe Goldberg can be, the horrible things he does are inexcusable. Joe falls in love, cares for children, protects his neighbor from her abusive boyfriend, and holds an adorable passion for books. He isn’t materialistic or superficial like every other guy Beck has met in New York. Despite all of this, Joe is still despicable. When we find ourselves rooting for him or feeling bad for him, we must remember what he’s done and why he got into trouble in the first place.
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