Spotted: Lonely boy in a New York bookstore. Only lonely boy now has an uncanny look on his face, and he is doing more than trying to win the heart of a beautiful but naive blonde.
How one could sympathize with a serial stalker is a question that has preoccupied many from the minute Beck walked into the bookstore to the end credits of the last episode.
Netflix’s “You” has forced people to take an introspective look at their personalities and question their sanity when they begin to empathize with a psychopathic murderer. The show’s dynamic cast portrays compelling emotions, a riveting and shocking storyline and a thought provoking message. All of this leads to the idea that we are all inclined, subconsciously, to sympathize with even the worst kind of person; especially when that person is played by Penn Badgley.
The series has gained some serious traction over the last three weeks. The world watched as a bookstore manager takes the meaning of “I did it for love” to new psychopathic meanings.
The cast is perfectly tailored to fit the spectrum of roles in the show, from the little boy that the main character Joe befriends, to Shay Mitchell as Peach Salinger, the rich and overbearing friend who has a secret love interest for the heroine. Actress Elizabeth Lail gave the not so innocent character of Guinevere Beck the perfect dosage of shyness to portray exactly how gullible she is. What took this show over the top was Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg and the crazy yet dreamy look in his eyes. This good boy gone bad proved to be the pinnacle reason for the show’s immense success.
“I find myself asking why I wanted the two of them to be together so badly when he was actually a horrible person,” said Natalie Day, a freshman business entrepreneurship major.
Penn’s immense talent as an actor was showcased in the multiple personalities he had to take on throughout the show: from being a sweet boyfriend and recreating a first kiss, to murdering people for Beck. As he so often justifies his actions through internal speech, there was no line that Joe would not cross for his love.
“It was like this weird mix of being so into what was happening while simultaneously being very very uncomfortable. You go through so many emotions because sometimes you understand where Joe is coming from and you make excuses for him, but he’s just a stalker who is creepy. He gets away with it because he is attractive and charming,” said Emily Rooney, a freshman art history major.
One of the focal points of “You” was that Joe was getting away with murdering people and stalking a girl he liked because he happened to be good-looking. This show forces people to question the boundaries we are willing to cross and the barriers we are willing to let down for people we find attractive. Through 10 episodes of everything from blood and gore to romance and love, the entire spectrum of human emotions was touched.
While captivating enough to force anyone to binge-watch the series in eight straight hours, there was something off-putting about just how captivating the show was. It was impressive how well the show could make people feel bad for Joe or made one want to understand where he was coming from.
“I think it was a very interesting play on having a main character who they purposefully casted to sound nice and normal while at the same time being insane,” said Jordan Kay, a freshman philosophy major.
Despite everything, viewers found themselves disturbed by the fact that they were bothered by the absence of Joe’s happy ending. The conversations this show has sparked both on Twitter and in real life have been revolutionary and crazy. Even Penn Badgley himself said “Ditto” on Twitter in response to a tweet saying, “the amount of people romanticizing @PennBadgley’s character in YOU scares me.”
With Beck out of the picture and the speculation of what may have happened between him and Candice, will we continue to be haunted by Beck’s naivety in season two?