1:00 pm EST, February 7, 2020

I finally watched Netflix’s ‘You’ and I have questions for the fans

Hello, you. Care to help me out?

It seems like everyone has watched Netflix’s You, and after watching it myself, I’m left with a lot of questions I need answers to.

Somehow, the show that flopped on Lifetime garnered a huge fanbase on Netflix. Netflix touts You as having been watched by 40 million households in its first month. Although their definition of “watched” is simply having watched 70% of one episode, You ’s large social media presence would indicate that it’s certainly watched by, at least, a lot of people.

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While I managed to avoid the hype for a long time, I finally buckled under the Twitter pressure and decided to give it a shot. In short, it was all right. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as engaged by the story as it seems many others were. My lack of engagement led to stray thoughts and questions that I couldn’t shake. Those questions festered and made it difficult to properly focus back in on the show. Now I turn to you, the fans, to help me out. 

How did so many of you manage to watch Netflix’s You with such dedication? Did my questions and issues ever cross your mind? How did they not hinder your enjoyment? Hopefully you can answer some of these questions that I haven’t stopped thinking about.

Why do you like Joe?

My biggest question for you You fans has to be about your love of Joe Goldberg. I went into You knowing he was a murderer, but liked by fans. I assumed it would be like a Loki situation; he’s a morally ambiguous guy who has redeeming qualities that betray his true nature. But I was duped. He kills an innocent person in the second episode, what is wrong with you guys?

Joe Goldberg is great with kids, I’ll give him that. Joe Goldberg also kills innocent people. Were some of those people the most upstanding citizens in the world? No, but they weren’t bad people who deserved to die. I hate to burst your bubbles, but Joe Goldberg is no Frank Castle.

Murder aside (though how can you put that aside?), Joe is straight up creepy and obsessive. It’s one thing to take an interest in someone’s activities and friends, and another thing to literally track you, break into your house to steal your panties, and have private access to your phone and computer to read all your messages and online history. That’s the kind of boyfriend you want? I think we need to have a chat.

Why does Beck not have curtains?

Joe’s prey lives on the ground floor with a big window facing the street. There’s a clear view into her apartment from the sidewalk, yet Beck doesn’t have curtains, or she has them and doesn’t use them. I don’t know what’s worse, not having curtains or having them and not ever closing them.

Beck’s lack of curtains enables Joe to fulfill some of his creepiest desires and spy on her in her home. Obviously it’s not Beck’s fault that Joe is a creep, but it’s also just common sense to close curtains and blinds when you don’t want to be seen, particularly at night.

Is this supposed to be a character trait of Beck, as opposed to a plot device? Are we supposed to deduce that because Beck doesn’t close her curtains, that she’s the type of person who wants attention? It didn’t seem that way.

Not to mention, how was Joe the only person who noticed Beck having sex in front of a street level open window? Is that just common activity to New Yorkers? Does nobody find that odd?

I also can’t understand how Beck didn’t have a job yet was able to afford a New York City apartment that lavish. There are, however, certain things I can suspend disbelief for, and I’m willing to let this one go.

Do you like any of these characters?

If You didn’t have so much hype, I would not have stuck with it. It wasn’t just that the story wasn’t engaging enough for me, season 1 had no characters to root for. Not only that, they weren’t even unlikeable enough to fuel feelings of hatred to root for their demise.

Admittedly, season 2 introduces characters that you feel more of an attachment to, but how did any of you get to season 2? Did you really care about any of the characters in season 1? Why? What about them made you feel an investment in their future?

Related: You season 2’s strength lies in its supporting characters

Moreover, were we supposed to hate Peach? She’s no saint, few in You are, but she was the one who came closest to really knowing who Joe is, the creep he tries to hide. Her bluntness was refreshing in a sea of fakeness, secrets, and lies. Then again, if you all like Joe, it makes sense you wouldn’t like the one person who calls him out.

Does Joe think he’s Clark Kent?

You’ve heard the joke before about how ridiculous it is that people don’t recognize Superman just because he wears glasses. It would seem that Joe Goldberg has taken a page out of Clark Kent’s book, because his way of hiding himself is by wearing a baseball hat.

Apparently television has learned nothing from the ridiculousness of Superman, because we’re supposed to believe that Joe is unrecognizable when he wears a hat. You has taught us that successfully stalking somebody is as easy as accessorizing. It’s difficult to believe though that Beck wouldn’t have noticed somebody, the same guy even, following her. If anything, a guy wearing a hat, slouching, and doing his best to hide his face is more conspicuous. But what do I know, I’ve never stalked somebody before.

Why isn’t Joe a carpenter?

I get that Joe loves books so much he wants to be around them at all times, but I feel like he’s really missing out on his true calling. He possesses valuable hard skills that could easily get him a more lucrative, stable career than a bookshop owner/employee. I am of course referring to Joe’s ability to build a slightly tricked-out glass cell in just two days.

In season 2 of You, Joe moves to LA and in doing so, must leave behind the glass cage in the bookstore basement. It’s not a problem though, because Joe is a master builder and managed to recreate his NYC cell in only two days. Joe rented a storage unit, found all the materials he needed, brought it all to his storage unit, and built the cage, all in just two days. He really ought to quit the book business and try his hand at building, he’s got some skills.

Can I call Joe ‘Dan Humphrey’?

I, like many, watched and loved Gossip Girl back in the day. It was my first introduction to Penn Badgley, and I watched him play Dan Humphrey for five years. For everyone in that cast, not just Badgley, I’ll only ever see them as their Gossip Girl characters, I can’t help it. 

In the case of You, it’s even harder to distinguish Dan from Joe. For a start, both of their names are very white-boy generic. Secondly, they’re both bookish, with a mix of “I’m relatable because I hate pretentious people” while simultaneously thinking they’re better than everyone. Sorry not sorry, but I can’t look at Penn Badgley in You and not see Dan Humphrey if he went off the deep end. It’s just intrinsic to look at him and think Dan, like looking at Daniel Radcliffe and thinking Harry Potter.

What other questions do you have about Netflix’s ‘You’?

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