Review: We’re watching ‘You’

The Netflix sensation’s success stems from its deep dive into a criminal’s mind



In Netflix’s “You,” Penn Badgley plays an obsessed criminal wise murders are hard to watch — and hard to turn away from.

Elle Smith, Staff Writer

Many students at MCHS are obsessively binge watching the new show “You” on Netflix. When season two was released in late December, the show started rapidly growing in popularity. Below the surface this show has some profound messages to teach a younger audience about dangers that they might be ignorant to. 

The main character of “You”, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), meets Guenivere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), or known to friends as Beck. He begins to fall in love with her immediately upon meeting her and takes it to the extreme within only a few days. 

Joe goes from stooping outside her window with a pair of binoculars to kidnapping her current boyfriend as well as her best friend, Peach Salinger, (Shay Mitchell). Joe kept Beck’s boyfriend locked up, and eventually murdering her boyfriend, Joe’s neighbor, and her best friend.

The show is interesting because it reveals insight into the mind of a criminal. The most complex part of each murder is that somehow Joe finds a way to justify every single case. As he commits these brutal crimes, he truly believes that he is justified in doing so. He believes he is protecting Beck or in the case of season two, Love (Victoria Pedretti), who is his romantic partner in the second season. He believes that it is his job to defend those he loves, and when someone becomes a threat… he eliminates them. As the show progresses, we learn about Joe’s past trauma, which serves as an explanation as to why he is so profoundly violent. 

Perhaps the reason this show has become so successful, particularly among the generation Y and Z aged audience is because there is some reality to the concept. Viewers watch as Joe goes mad but somehow manages to keep a cool exterior. This is an all-too-real scenario, as often those who commit crimes are the ones who many thought “could never hurt a fly”. 

The show draws attention to the complexity of the human race: unpredictable and quite strange. It subtly encourages viewers to be cautious of who they fall in love with, and who they let into their life by showing the worst case scenario of what can happen when love really is too good to be true.