Why everyone is watching you
It’s true, America’s obsession with the clinically insane has proven itself again, making the phrase “I’ve been watching you” rather common in everyday conversation. Now, if you’re not well versed in current trending television then you may be a little confused. One of the most popular new shows of 2019 has been Netflix’s “You,” which follows bookstore manager/ cyberstalker Joe Goldberg and his relationship with an unsuspecting writer and recent college graduate, Guinevere Beck, in New York City. The show has gained massive popularity, earning a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as some criticism due to its romanticizing of stalker behavior. Because the show is narrated from Goldberg’s point of view, viewers are left feeling confused as to whether they should root for Goldberg or be appalled by his invasion of Beck’s privacy. Is it this very struggle that makes the show itself so interesting, or have people just become captivated by having the ability to peek into the mind of the mentally ill?
In the show, Goldberg meets Beck while he is working in a bookstore in New York City. She immediately captures his attention, and after learning her name from her credit card, which she used to pay, he is able to uncover quite a bit of information about her. Just from her first and last name, Goldberg is able to find out Beck’s job, friends, interests and even her address. This, at first, seems harmless enough. After all, it is pretty common to look up someone that you’ve met on social media, especially since this information is so easily accessible.
After their initial encounter, Goldberg begins to develop a serious obsession with Beck. He even goes as far as to wait outside her house and watch her through the windows, or follows her to a bar where she is meeting up with friends. All of these actions are justified by Goldberg, who thinks that he is protecting Beck by keeping such a close watch over her. After all, there are a lot of dangerous people in New York, and Goldberg cares so much for Beck that he would never want to see her get hurt.
As the show continues, viewers are dragged deeper and deeper into the psychotic mind of Goldberg, as he makes it clear that he will go to extreme measures to make sure that he ends up with Beck. Theft, fraud, and even murder are all on the list of things that Goldberg uses to justify his love for Beck. Even amongst these serious and what some might call unredeemable crimes, it is difficult for the viewer to root against Joe in his quest for love. This factor is what makes the show so captivating to many viewers. The fact that you have to remind yourself that Goldberg is the bad guy and not the hero makes you question your own morals as much as Goldberg’s, and makes you wonder just why he is so easy to root for even though he is so clearly in the wrong.
This idea of finding the story of a psychopathic person’s actions fascinating has been common in the media lately. With the recent release of the Netflix docuseries, “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” and the 2019 release of the movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” which follows the life and crimes of Ted Bundy, media consumers are receiving more than their fix of psychological charged thrillers. Goldberg’s charm and criminal behavior are somewhat reminiscent of Bundy’s real life crimes, but with a modern technological twist. The fact that Goldberg is able to commit such vile acts and obtain so much information about one person just through her social media and online presence is scary, because it could very likely happen to anyone in this day and age.
“You” is a great show to binge if you are looking for something exciting that will make you think. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for the entire 10 episode season. The show fits right in with the criminal/ psychological thriller theme that is taking over television, but with a modern twist. By the end you’ll be switching all your accounts to private and making sure that you never leave your curtains open ever again.