Netflix 'You' Review: Old habits die hard for both Joe and Love in dull suburbia
Netflix's 'You' is an ideal example of pairing several concepts, which seem contradictory, but somehow work together as a narrative cocktail. The nature of the plot revolves around a man named Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) who finds himself singularly obsessed with one woman, who in time, becomes his only focus to an absolutely unhealthy (and even violent) degree.
This Netflix series, based on the novels by author Caroline Kepnes, recently dropped the third season. 'You' temporarily makes you forget the kind of show you're actually watching. You don't realise what can happen and when, so feel completely invested in binge-watching this one! Season 3, however, introduces the fun spin of not only sending Joe to the outwardly dull margins of suburbia but shakes things up a notch because he's officially tied down, to someone just as dangerous as he is. A match made in heaven, indeed! The series stars Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti in lead roles.
'You' Season 2 offers more of the same Joe in a different world and Penn Badgley is a thrill to watch
Fans of Season 1 of 'You' will love its second season on Netflix, but others might find it tedious
At a glance, Season 3 throws light on the couple, now new parents. As is normal, with the birth of Henry, their son, both Joe and Love's lives have officially started to revolve around countless sleepless nights. On the other hand, they're both missing out on the spark they once had, and it doesn't take long for the two to realize exactly how they can reignite the fire between them. A major difference that separates the two is their implementation. While Joe is careful, methodical, and someone who plans extensively to make sure that everything is meticulously laid out, Love is impulsive and spontaneous, lashing out in a more passionate displays of anger. Although it's uncontrolled and sloppy, she has to rely on Joe for any necessary clean-up after she's calmed down. It doesn't come to us by surprise that this dynamic leads to a building resentment, and in turn, becomes something that leads the two to seek out help via couples' therapy.
Having said that, one of the best parts of Season 3 of 'You' is how the series portrays both Joe and Love as two people who are both trying to present a united front to the rest of the world, whilst also struggling to trust each other at every turn. Their counselor's effortless ability to vacillate between Love's open vulnerabilities and rage is a constant reminder of why she is one of the best things to happen on this show as a whole. Although the scenes spent away from one another prove to be less compelling, to the point where we find ourselves eagerly waiting to see more of the two together, it seems almost disappointing as Joe's attention is lured away by another potential "The one".
Despite the show's fan-following, the new season stumbles through unnecessary attempts to drum up sympathy for the lead characters, as is always with such narratives. Frequent flashbacks that we see throughout the ten episodes introduce us to Joe's childhood. Here, we see that his misguided instinct for trying to protect certain women was something instilled in him from a very young age; his mother was brutally abused by his father. This instance explains a lot about his character, and not only do they succeed in interrupting the more exciting present-day plot, but they also introduce Joe's underlying maternal issues as more of a revelation, rather than something that could be naturally intuited.
After three years, there's still no possible reason for the show to continue trying to make us pity a person who consistently shows no remorse towards his victims. It's safe to say fans would feel better if excuses weren't made for Joe's behavior at this point, although it's best when there's no room for apologies as it paves the way a juicy, twisted thriller!
Season 3 of 'You' hit Netflix on October 15, 2021. Get on the binge-watch bandwagon with this thriller!