Netflix is at it yet again with another groundbreaking hit television series to get everyone talking. After the new year, Netflix dropped the Lifetime original series You on its streaming website and as is to be expected, virtually everyone was immediately talking about this captivating millennial thriller. The show’s premise is about a seemingly normal, mid-twenties, bookstore manager Joe Goldberg, played by Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley, and his quickly uncomfortable and obsessive stalking of the other main character of the show, Guinevere Beck. The show starts off with your typical girl-meets-boy-in-an-off-chance-encounter, which unfortunately for Beck, quickly turns sour and locks her fate in with Joe.
Over the course of the show, Joe’s tactics to win Beck over without her even knowing includes things like stealing her cellphone so he can keep tabs on who she is talking to, killing the guy she sees on the side, also killing her controlling best friend, stalking her social media accounts, and to top it off watching her in her apartment from across the street, it’s basically Dan Humphrey, but on ten different levels. While Joe’s behavior is surprising to many because the character he takes on is actually pretty normal in other aspects like helping to take care of his next door neighbor’s little boy, what is also shocking about the show is not even portrayed on the big screen.
Once the show was dropped and viewers rapidly sped through the series, a social media outburst of sympathy for Joe Goldberg and his sociopathic ways took over the internet. Women on twitter were actually saying that Joe and Beck were #relationshipgoals and that they wanted to find their “Joe Goldberg.” Now, what the show does portray is how perfect Beck thinks their relationship actually is because she does not see the behind the scenes twisted side of Joe. The show has scenes where Joe makes Beck breakfast and does her laundry and seems like the ultimate, perfect boyfriend. However, as the viewers know Joe’s stalking and obsession with Beck, the fact that viewers are still treating Joe and Beck’s relationship as something to idolize is simply everything that is wrong with the world.
This kind of behavior actually is encouraging the environment of unwanted advances by men towards women. If Beck knew that Joe broke into her apartment just to steal her used underwear, I don’t think she’d be too thrilled.. Some tweets by viewers suggest that because Joe is an attractive and intelligent man his behavior is “cute” or just “how in love he is.” However, I do not think that most normal people have to kill off their significant other’s best friend and former “friend with benefits” just to get them to get drinks with them.
Ironically, Penn Badgley himself had to take to Twitter to knock anyone saying that they are ito Joe and Beck’s relationship because of how much he was getting told so by viewers. What the show does so well is portray how some men just assume that they can act freely towards the woman that they desire at the moment and she is essentially theirs to keep. This situation not only applies to Beck, but to life in general. Most girls I know would rather not have a psycho stalker watching them constantly from their apartment and into their whole day of activities, but maybe it is just me and my friends that think like that. I think the shipping of Joe Goldberg and Guinevere Beck’s relationship needs to not be a thing anymore even if Joe did save Beck from being roadkill on the train tracks when she stumbled down onto them after a night of binge drinking in which he followed her to the exact bar she was going to, but yay for stalking her right?
I’m not even going to bring up the fact that Joe assumes Beck’s life is a mess in which he needs to clean up. Yes, Beck has her problems in her life and she may be not be as focused on herself and bettering herself as she should be, but it’s herlife to fix not Joe’s. In society, women are often treated as though they need to be controlled by men, in You Joe’s actions towards Beck are reflective of men’s societal norms. Not too often do you see shows being made about a young woman helping a young man to clean up his life by being authoritative and controlling, because women are just not suppose to do that right. Well, men should not be displaying that behavior `either, gender should not even be an issue with this because regardless of gender that type of behavior towards another human being is just sickening and not okay.
So, from now on we all need to remember while watching You who the real villain is regardless of it being masked with a cute melt-your-heart grin and swoon-worthy hair. Let’s end the Joe and Beck relationship goals and make stalking someone not great again.