A breakdown of the Netflix series You

Staring off into the distance, Penn Badgley gives off an unsettling vibe. Viewers who have seen him star in other shows are starting to now notice his roles having an odd similarity.

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Staring off into the distance, Penn Badgley gives off an unsettling vibe. Viewers who have seen him star in other shows are starting to now notice his roles having an odd similarity.

Ashlyn Mills, Staff Reporter

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   Lately, social media has been noticeably captured by the addictive nature of psychological thrillers and puzzles. Coming back from winter break, a spike in the conversation over the season two drop of the Netflix series You appeared on the radar of everyone’s conversations. While Joe fled to the new scene of Los Angelos with a fake identity, fans forgave his behavior from the first season. Interestingly enough, the main character may have just cracked the code as to why. 

  Penn Badgley believes that being attracted to the behavior of Joe says a lot about our society. The premise of the show is that a bookstore manager is infatuated with a woman by the name Guinevere Beck. This pattern then repeats itself over into season two regardless of his attempts to hold back with Love Quinn. Upon the first impression, he is obsessed with his victim, and then he completely immerses into her life to fix any flaws. The show is aware that the portrayal of sociopathy is not clinical but instead more of social commentary. Aired in just September 2019, You caught the public’s attention, immediately being recognizable by its main character, Joe, the man with questionable morals. Although Joe does happen to be on the extreme end of the spectrum- labeled as a serial killer, Joe’s lifestyle as a way of manipulation allows the show’s mastermind to intentionally commit what we may innocently perceive as mistakes; viewers are beginning to love him. Penn Badgley mentioned that society should not be blamed for it, but instead call attention to the fact that we have a much more forgiving nature towards people of his race and gender. Tragedy strikes and he is the “hero.” When we take a closer look, it seems as if Joe shows that his level of superiority created by his manipulative tricks is the reason he always manages to get the final prize. Senior Samantha Hernandez commented, “It is really funny how even though we view the acts of sociopaths as horrible and malicious, we tend to fall for them in a sort of Stockholm syndrome effect. It is what sociopaths do to their victims. Sooner or later you are in their trap because they played innocent off so well.”

  What most people see is a crime of passion. Even though Joe’s questionable morals are what makes this show intriguing, others can argue that what makes it a hit is that he keeps the audience guessing. He had Guinevere Beck in his grasp, and seemingly Love, so it only makes sense that he has the viewers too. His popular quote about how she needs him allows him to appear protective, but the language is his game. Joe Goldberg grew up around books, and he knows how to talk his way out of sticky situations. Joe is the mastermind of You, and having another life in his hands is a game to him. Joe does not have to commit the crimes he does, but even so, there is a sense of power for him that he uses to block out a younger version of himself that felt inferior.