Season 3 of You has been regarded by some to be the best season to come out of the series yet, still managing to make the viewers root for the main character and obsessive killer, Joe Goldberg, portrayed by Penn Badgley. What started as Joe’s attempt at winning Varsity writer, Guinevere Beck’s, heart in season 1 has resulted in him moving across America to start a whirlwind romance with new obsession Love Quinn who turned out to be just as psychotic as he is. With the two now married and a baby on the way, they made a home for themselves in the fictitious suburbia of Madre Linda with a cast of new characters blissfully unaware of their new neighbors’ dark past. The aspects that made You such an amazing show have been heightened in this new season and yet it still begs the question: Why are we so taken with You and other shows about stalking and murder?
One of the ways in which the genius of the show really shines is how it’s able to get the viewers onto Joe’s side, despite all the murder and mischief he gets up to. This is done through the show’s ability to humanize Joe as we’re constantly in his head, so anyone Joe sees as an enemy we see as an enemy even though they are way more innocent than Joe will ever be. The actions of others are escalated and dramatized so when things don’t go according to Joe’s plan it feels so much worse for us, as the viewers. As Variety.com states: “Joe’s struggles are just a slightly amped-up version of the viewer’s own. He’s ‘You.’” We want Joe to win even if it means he must end another somewhat lovable character’s life. And in the case of season 3, one of those characters might just be Love.
It is this cheerful willingness of the writers of the show to screw with their audience that keeps us coming to see the continuation of Joe’s story. The unpredictability of You is another major draw, as with most shows that involve murder, gore, stalking among other things, an element of mystery has accompanied them. You achieved this from its pilot episode and continue to keep the audience on their toes from this latest season. Especially since we’re always in Joe’s head we’re also trying to understand and decipher the things he is, attempting to figure out why Love is the way that she is, and finding out more about the mysterious and arousing neighbors next door. It’s a breath of fresh air from comfort shows with storylines that we’ve seen time and time again and reveals or twists that didn’t really surprise us. This season also couldn’t come at a more perfect time as thrillers like You were made to get you into the spooky season spirit.
Of the lineup of recurring Netflix shows, You stands out as one of the more binge-able of the bunch with its quality writing, cinematography, and top-notch acting. It’s another guilty pleasure to add to the list because, although we know we shouldn’t we’ll be rooting for Joe all the way.