*This review is spoiler free.
I struggle to watch TV. I can never get into most shows. The episodes feel like they drone on for hours, the shows are hard to follow or, worse, the plot moves too slowly. Netflix’s “You” has been the only exception.
If you thought seasons one and two were action-packed, wait until you see the new season! Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti, who play the main characters Joe and Love, are masterful actors, and their performances never turn into the cliché, unhinged murderer stereotype we see all the time in horror.
Badgley and Pedretti know what makes their characters uniquely terrifying isn’t their violent outbursts. It’s the humanity in them. Their flaws, goals, hopes, and passion for each other makes them whole people.
Imagining that your perfect, normal next-door neighbor that you see every morning is a serial killer is much scarier than imagining that murderers are scary men dressed in trench coats hiding in alleyways. We think we can recognize dangerous people easily, but Badgley and Pedretti’s characters show us it’s not always that simple.
Dylan Arnold’s performance as Theo Engler, Joe and Love’s neighbor, was excellent as well. He plays his role as a bored, contrarian college student so well and never resorts to lazy clichés, even though his character could easily be reduced to a stereotype. Again, his vulnerability, humanity, and unpredictability makes him seem all the more real. Theo’s character feels like a kid I’d run into in Powers Hall.
Badgley said his character is “this work in progress in dismantling and dissecting the myriad privileges that a young, attractive, white man carries with him” in a 2019 interview with The New York Times.
“You” forces us to grapple with how Joe gets away with so much and why he’s been able to abuse and terrorize women for so many years. At the end of season three, the answer is clearer than ever: it’s because he’s a “young, attractive white man.” No one else could do what Joe does.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced psychological thriller with an undercurrent of nuanced social commentary and dark comedy, “You” is a perfect choice. Binge watch all three seasons on Netflix over winter break!