The third season of the series “You” overtook the South Korean sensation “Squid Game” and won the title of the most-watched series on Netflix. What’s so attractive about a bookseller who stalks women and takes justice into his own hands?
The tendency of people to observe with special interest other people’s misfortunes, floundering in delusions, excess weight, or infidelity, is the secret of the success of all tabloid content. Psychology says that watching someone else’s misfortune helps us to deal with our problems better if we don’t run away from them into ones that don’t belong to us. The mass production of soap operas serves to satisfy the banal need to drown in imaginary problems, and the cheapest form of self-help is, believe it or not, gossip.
Netflix had several such projects that aroused tabloid tendencies in viewers and, as a rule, positioned themselves at the very top of the ratings. The costume drama “Bridgerton” focused on the author of a gossip column in a local newspaper, who recounted small-town love intrigues, while “Squid Game” showed a perverted world in which the rich watch as those on the edge struggle in a game of survival, fighting for their bare lives. The latest sensation arrived in the form of the third season of the game series “You”.
You and Hidden Bodies
The “You” series was created on the basis of the literary model “You and Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes. It was originally shown on the American television channel Lifetime, and with the second season, it moved to Netflix. The third season of “You”, just a few days after it was released on the platform (October 15), took the first place of the most searched content, overtaking the brutal “Squid Game”. The reason lies in the fact that she actually succeeded in one thing. It combined tabloid insight into the love lives of desperate people (“Bridgerton”) and elements of brutal revenge violence, which were treated in “Squid Game.”
It all started when the analytical manager of a bookstore decided to use his knowledge of the Internet and modern technologies to stalk a young woman and make her fall in love with him. In the first season, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) becomes obsessed with the troubled and unhappy Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), who, of all her problems in the world, only needs one more, in the form of a bookstore psychopath. Joe punishes human weaknesses in the most brutal ways, reaching for the axe, hammer, and various methods of imprisonment.
You Season 3
In the third season, new challenges and new women appear. After the tragedies he left behind in New York and then in Los Angeles, Joe married Love (Victoria Perdetti) and the two of them raise their newborn son Henry and live in the Californian suburb of Madre Linda. However, as Joe drowns in boredom, he gradually develops obsessive tendencies toward his first neighbor Natalie. Love, unlike all of Joe’s victims, nevertheless decides that her perfect family life will not be jeopardized by his lewd tendencies.
It is interesting that the American actor Penn Badgley appeared in the series “You” a few years after the end of work on the project “Gossip Girl”, a series that showed the cruel side of growing up in times dominated by new media and new technologies, but where corruption and malice remain less – more the same. His performance as a narcissistic psychopath works very well within the nineties feel of the series. Shots of muted colors, shot in the ambiance of American everyday life of abundance, simply take us to a place where nothing should be a problem, and yet nothing is as it should be.
We all have a friend who is in the emotional clutches of a psychopath. And we all have some friends whose problems we would solve quickly if only we had five minutes of power and… time to solve our own doubts first. Voyeurism, which is not only about observation but also includes punishment for all those who have bad intentions, is the ultimate fulfillment of all the viewer’s fantasies. Human nature is like that. In addition to all the unlimited powers of our imagination, for some, it is best to dive into the basket of other people’s dirty laundry.
“You” warns of the perverted world of psychological vampirism and warns of the dangers of reckless use of social networks and the Internet in general, because in that endless space, you feel that you are lost, and in fact, it is very possible that some sick person is watching you from the other side.
The main idea of the series is the criticism of social networks and our insane need to openly report our every move to the whole world. Our addiction to updating our status on Facebook and Twitter and posting travel photos on Instagram at the same second, in the background, may be feeding someone else’s addiction, and obsession with us and our lifestyle, which we are not aware of until it is too late. After a short research and a few clicks, Joe managed to slip into Becky’s routine and, wearing a tracksuit and a cap, imperceptibly follow every part of her day, find out what her friends are like before they even knew about him, and use all that information for his selfish visions of a happy life together. A story is very relevant to the life we lead today.
For decades pop culture has been bombing us with stories of love that have nothing to do with love. Again, it has been like this ever since pop culture became a thing. On the other hand, the fact that so many people worldwide have been watching this show non-stop shows that there has been a shift in the view of love. Isn’t that interesting? We need something extreme in order to be able to see the truth behind what we have been considering normal. And that is Your greatest legacy.