Last year, “You” created a social media storm. This was thanks in part to the handsome lead Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley.
The number of people thirsting over a murderer made Badgley uncomfortable, and he made several tweets discouraging people from lusting after a literal killer.
With the release of its second season, the conversation re-emerged. Particularly after a Vogue interview in which Badgley said that “You” is about “how far… we [are] willing to go to forgive an evil white man”. This analysis was mainly met with great applause, and understandably so.
If someone did not know about the show, that could make it sound like a deep dive into the more pernicious aspects of our society, how we forgive abusers and how privilege plays a part in who we forgive. “You” does absolutely none of those things.
Badgley’s description of the show is utterly bizarre. “You” is a cheesy thriller with much more in common with “Riverdale” than “The Sopranos.” The plot is a bit nonsensical; Joe avoids capture far more times than should be possible. Season two is even less grounded in reality than the first.
And that’s fine. “You” is an easy watch with an intriguing plot if you suspend your disbelief a little bit. It’s definitely not high-brow, despite what Badgley might say. It’s engaging, ridiculous and honestly a bit lazy.
The latest season is largely the same as the first. Just replace any New York clichés with those of Los Angeles. Joe finds himself taking on a new identity in LA and violently obsessing over another woman.
Joe’s new lover, Love (Victoria Pedretti), is just as obnoxious as her name would suggest. And that goes double for her brother Forty (James Scully). However, Forty slowly does become bearable as the season progresses.
Granted, that’s if you even make it further than the first few episodes. You’s second season is the first with a fresh coat of paint. Despite this, there’s very little continuity with the events of season one.
And again, if “You” is taken to be some cheap fun, that’s fine. But it’s most certainly disappointing for something that’s being presented as thoroughly thought-provoking. The show isn’t predictable, but that’s mainly because it’s not logical.
That said, the suspense of the show was ruined with the announcement of a third season not too long after the newest season’s debut. Any viewer who had yet to binge the latest ten episodes was robbed of the idea of Joe facing any karma for his evil. Knowing that Joe’s never really in any danger really lowers the stake of what should be an incredibly high-stakes show.
The two stand-outs of this most recent season have to be sisters Delilah (Carmela Zumbado) and Ellie (Jenna Ortega). Delilah is a Ronan Farrow type journalist who reports on predators by night and looks after her cinephile sister by day.
Those who weren’t blown away by season one should skip this latest instalment though. It has little to offer beyond a mildly interesting Weinstein-esque plotline.
Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque
Image Credit: Netflix