Why Netflix’s Hit Series YOU Is So Addictive


Netflix Series “You”; photo courtesy of TV Guide

Bita Zadeh, Photojournalist

Everyone has been in this situation. They have been forced to watch one or two episodes of a series that they weren’t that interested in, only to find themselves getting addicted.

Now there’s “You”. A show one is almost certain to become addicted to. This enjoyably unsettling 10-episode series follows a love story gone wrong.

Joe (Penn Badgley) seems like a sweet, normal guy. He works in a bookstore, befriends his kid neighbor whose mother has an abusive boyfriend and is nearly always charming and smiling. The only thing is, under this “charming” Joe is a violent sociopath and stalker. One day he meets Beck (Elizabeth Lail) at his job and instantly becomes obsessed with her. He methodically stalks her and starts manipulating her life, little by little, until he makes his way into her heart.

The intense storyline does not wait for a few episodes, and I can genuinely say I wanted to know what happened after the first episode. A lot of the time shows wait to grab you after building the plot line for a few episodes, but not “YOU”. From the first couple minutes of the show I was hooked. While there are a ton of side plotlines that can get confusing, the storyline itself made me want to keep watching and find out what happens in the end.

After a few episodes, I felt very connected to these characters. The whole show is more or less based on how life isn’t private if you’re on social media, and how technology can harm us in ways we don’t think about. Joe also has a way of making you feel bad for him even though he is the bad guy.

“YOU” is honestly unlike any show I’ve ever watched. It may have similar traits to some other shows on Netflix, but you can’t really compare it. You want Beck and Joe to end up together, but Beck is also super negative and annoying at times. You want Joe to get away with everything he’s doing, but you know that’s not right.

Of course, none of this in any way justifies Joe’s behaviour. That’s the point. You have to constantly check yourself, as you find yourself laughing at something he says, or lusting after Penn Badgley, and recognize Joe’s behaviour for what it actually is. YOU one of the best recent examples of a show in which you don’t need characters to be stated as either good or evil in order to know what you are supposed to feel about each one. All of them are complex, and at various times hilarious, charming, brilliant and horrifying. YOU is an amazing and VERY addicting show (and also a very good reminder to close your curtains at night).