Reality in “You”

Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

Warning: This program is intended to be viewed by mature, adult audiences and may be unsuitable for children under 17.

The Netflix original series You came out with a new third season after two years of fans waiting. After watching the Netflix original, the issue of being obsessive or infatuated is brought up throughout the series and becomes way more apparent in season 3. Covering up your real life through using social media to have some sort of control over something, and homewrecking because of low self-esteem or abandonment, are all issues all too relatable and prevalent in our society.

Being infatuated ties in with being obsessed by having a short-lived obsession with someone because of the idea of what they can be to you. Throughout the series, Joe Goldberg, the main protagonist, is caught up with the idea of finding the one for him. This leads him to finding who he believes is “the one” and hyper-analyzing their every move, creating a narrative for himself of who they really are. Goldberg’s phrase throughout the series, “I just want to know who you really are,” turns out to be ironic once he gets to know who he thought was his soulmate and doesn’t actually know who she is. He realizes he doesn’t know what love is, yet still pursued her, or the idea of who he thought she was. 

Upon closer analysis of Goldberg’s obsessive and murderous tendencies, his behavior all circulates back to his childhood. He witnessed the one his mother, the person he loved most, get abused by his father. He grappled with attachment issues, the desire to keep loved ones excessively close to him, and in Goldberg’s mind, this meant going through any extent possible to keep the ones he loves near him. This can be quite literal when we meet his season three love interest, Marienne, for whom Goldberg will do anything for her to stay in his city just so he can be with who he thinks is the “one.” 

Tackling this issue of being infatuated with someone, not to the extent in which Goldberg is, but to the point where that person becomes an obsession or takes over your mind all day, is actually a very common trait in most of our youth today. The show takes on a very prevalent issue in our youth and makes the extent of it very dramatic with drastic outcomes. Being obsessed or infatuated with someone is one of the most toxic traits one can exhibit because of the narrative formed of that specific person. 

The directors of You portrayed the dark side of being obsessed with someone so effortlessly that most viewers forgot this was a very prevalent issue in our society. Goldberg is a narcissistic character who acts out the worst possible scenarios of what obsessions can lead to. Many who find themselves being obsessive over someone find themselves validating their existence just by whether that person gives them the attention they want or not. Low self-esteem and deep insecurities prompt this form of thinking and make it difficult for them to find their own sense of individuality. 

Being obsessive can also be a form of distraction. Goldberg distracts himself from the thoughts of his childhood trauma by putting all his time into analyzing other people and immersing himself in their lives. Obsession is escapism from your own insecurities and Goldberg is the perfect example of this.

“At times I can identify with each character, not too drastically, of course, but it’s there,” junior Mellanie Grbavac said.

This Netflix original is rated TV-MA, recommended for persons of ages 17 and up. Watching this show with someone of age is advised as some content may not be appropriate for certain viewers. Though, if you do watch, see if you’re able to recognize yourself in the actions of each of the flawed characters.