“You” - Does this Netflix Original glorify psychopaths?
The Netflix Original show “You” depicts a psychopath stalker telling the narrative from his perspective. Throughout the series he chooses girls to stalk and uses the information he finds to make these girls fall in love with him. He obsesses to intensely that murder and deception are involved. We get to hear his thoughts throughout the entire process as well and realize that he thinks he can still become a “normal person” through love, which he claims to have for these women. The protagonist Joe Golberg does not believe that he stalks and kills on purpose. He makes up excuses for them and usually claims he does it for the women and that they would want him to do it. In reality he is just too afraid to face the demons inside him.
In season one we get a look inside his past and find out his father was abusive, which easily becomes an excuse for his behavior to viewers, or at least “reasons” it. In season two we actually discover how screwed up his mom was as well, adding to the reasons for his mental instability. Even though he isn’t portrayed in a glorifying manner, sometimes the show provokes sympathy in the viewer for a psychopath killer. This is not the only show that makes you “root for the bad guy”. Shows before “You” like “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad” make you want the protagonist to get his way, which often times involves murder. However, personally I always at some point find myself hoping they figure it out and essentially become a healthy and stable person which never happens, hence the 8 seasons of Dexter. But do these shows glorify their behavior? And why do we like watching people suffer through illnesses like this?
Since the beginning of movies we’ve watched villians on screen who don’t always lose like in the traditional superhero movies. They try to give us a glimpse of what lies behind their illnesses and give us hope for change just to prove that they will never change. In many cases these illnesses are misportrayed and movie creators love to make up symptoms. Whether we watch them to get away from our crazy lives or just because we enjoy crime, murder and punishment shows they are undeniably intriguing.
I personally did not enjoy the camera work and effects used for the show “You”. It was often times unnecessarily blurry and up close to avoid showing that some of the actors just can’t act that well. It has somewhat of a soap opera aspect in the overdramatic reactions, crazy situations and drastic story changing plot twists. However, I did watch both seasons so they must have done something right. I do have to admit that the show is very capturing and sometimes I don’t mind watching a show that’s basically an overly dramatic generation z drama thriller soap opera. It’s a nice switch up from the usual upbeat “everything always works out perfectly” type tv shows.