You Is Fiction, Not Real Life, And It’s Possible To Find It Unsettling And Entertaining

The Netflix thriller has its critics - but as thousands binge watch season three, it's worth remembering the show isn't real.

you season three

by Bonnie McLaren |

Over the weekend, many of us will have witnessed a couple murder their way through a small American suburb. Thankfully, not in real life. You season three dropped on Netflix on Friday - and this time, one of the world's most famous TV serial killer, Joe Goldberg, has meet his match, as it transpires that Love Quinn, his wife, also has a penchant for extreme violence.

The second season of the show had 54 million viewers, and considering this series is the most compelling of the three: the numbers for S3 are bound to be far higher. But since the first series aired in 2018, there has long been discussion that the show glorifies and romanticises male violence and stalking. One article recently stated that, after three seasons, we shouldn't be watching the show in 2021.

We are horrified any instances of male violence in the real world. But you can simultaneously enjoy You, and hate misogyny and violence because You is not real - it's complete fiction. It's a psychological thriller; you're meant to feel disgusted, outraged and shocked, all at the same time. Otherwise, what's the point?

There's also long been the argument whether it's moral for the serial killer to be cast as Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley - as if good looking men aren't capable of heinous things. But now we're in season three, is it true to claim he is romanticised? To state the obvious, Joe might be good looking. Yet he's so creepy, it's incredibly difficult to render him likeable. You wouldn't want to date him, and you want to jump into your laptop and save any of the women who fall for his very convincing love bombing.

You is unsettling and problematic, because as a fictional thriller, it's supposed to be. You're supposed to want to scream every time Joe says something nonsensical in his monologues, trying to justify what he's about to do. (Just me? OK then.) You're supposed to wonder how on earth - after countless acts of violence - Joe hasn't been caught yet? And we'd like to think it if was real, Joe would have been behind bars a long, long time ago for being a menace to society. The plot is so absurd you can't watch it and think it's slightly realistic - if you haven't seen it already, the last ten minutes of the third season is some of the most ridiculous TV ever written.

As previously noted, in the third series, the narrative shifts - and we're not just watching an obsessive man kill his love interests and everyone around them. Joe is not the only killer in the Instagram-perfect Madre Linda. His wife, Love, is just as violent, possessive and jealous. In fact, she kills the first person in the series. Their relationship is hell on earth, and anybody who feigns an interest in either of them is fair game to be murdered. As it becomes clear towards the end of season three, not even Joe is safe from Love. It's incredibly stressful viewing, but, luckily, it's not real.

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