TV Review: You: The Romantic Drama No One Expected
What begins as an accurate representation of modern dating in the age of social media quickly takes a jaw-dropping turn to reveal the manifestation of a sociopathic man with a love obsession.
You takes place in modern day New York City from the perspective of a man named Joe Goldberg, a charming yet seemingly normal book clerk. In his early to mid-twenties, Joe, like most single people his age, is desperately looking for love, or at least something that resembles it, to fill the void in his life. And sure enough, one day to his disbelief, the perfect woman walks into the bookstore and he is immediately hooked.
He examines and reexamines every single detail of her appearance: her movement, her choice of books, and even the sound that her bracelets make on her wrist as she grazes her fingers across the spines of books. Smitten by her beauty and decision to buy Paula Fox’s Desperate Characters as her new read, Joe knows that he has found his next target--and not in the sweet, romantic way you might think.
She introduces herself. “I’m Guinevere Beck, but everybody calls me Beck.” And Joe does the same. “I’m Joe, everybody calls me Joe.” Right then and there, he knew his humor set things off to the right start.
Luckily, once their encounter was over, Joe had her full name, and once his shift ended, he immediately resorted to his laptop back home in order to do the royal social media background check. But this was not just any Facebook stalking. Joe quite literally unraveled Beck’s life in the span of a few minutes. He used a reverse Google image search on her latest Instagram post to find out where she lives and where she works, and by the next morning, Joe was up bright and early, standing on the opposite side of the street of Beck’s apartment building, ready to follow and learn everything there is to know about her.
Now, we are going to run into some spoilers, so continue with discretion. As Joe continues to invest all of his time and effort into figuring out Beck to make sure she will be good for him, he encounters a few obstacles in regard to her friends and the current man she is seeing.
With love as Joe’s primary focus, he intends to do everything he can to keep Beck both safe and happy, even if that means cutting out the people in her life that he believes are bad for her. And when I say cutting out, I literally mean he kills them. Joe, though seemingly thoughtful on the outside, is psychotic. He is a man exhibiting sociopathic behavior to the fullest degree.
His so-called “love” for Beck turns him into an obsessive and compulsive lunatic, a pathological liar, and eventually a faux boyfriend to Beck herself. Yes, I know it is completely ridiculous. Eventually, he actually does begin to date Beck. But of course, she has no intuition of his affairs or anything other than the fact that he is a charming, low maintenance, and overall just a very normal guy who works at the corner bookstore and lives in a one-bedroom apartment downtown.
The show plays a bit with your head, I must say. Sometimes you actually feel sympathy for Joe because part of his background is revealed. You see why he became the way that he is, but then again, that is no excuse for his insane behavior. And then other times, the show takes a complete 180 and leaves you wanting to delete your Facebook, Instagram, and every possible app that can allow people to stalk you.
It is an emotional roller coaster, but I find it to be so very relevant to our current social media climate. In fact, maybe it is good that someone finally made a series about how people who seem ordinary can actually be psychopaths. Love can be a lie, and catfishing is very real.
It’s about time that social media’s potentials are questioned. We live in a world where it is normal to Google search a person after meeting them and it is acceptable to judge someone based on what they choose to post for others to see. That’s just the way we choose to live. But how often do we take for granted the luxuries of social media and forget the endless possibilities of anguish they can cause?