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[TV REVIEW] You portrays toxic relationships in the digital age

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[TV REVIEW] You portrays toxic relationships in the digital age

Negative use of social media: The main character of You uses digital media to learn about his obsessions.

Negative use of social media: The main character of You uses digital media to learn about his obsessions.

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Negative use of social media: The main character of You uses digital media to learn about his obsessions.

Fair Use Image

Fair Use Image

Negative use of social media: The main character of You uses digital media to learn about his obsessions.

You is the kind of series that preys on the fear of unlocked doors and open shades. It’s a spine-tingling Netflix original that’s worth all of the buzz.

This new, ten-episode Netflix original drew a lot of attention after first being released. The main character, Joe (Penn Badgley), falls deeply for a girl, Beck (Elizabeth Lail). He wishes to supply her with everything she could possibly need in her life, and to make her feel happy and perfect. This goes so far that he’ll do anything for what he thinks is right for her, no matter how extreme it is. This clash between love and alarming actions, both deeply intertwined, is the main hook to the show.

It was even scarier to know that the plot could happen to anyone.”

At first glance, the plot is polished and consistently engrossing. Many complex characters appear throughout the whole storyline, such as Beck’s manipulative best friend, Peach (Shay Mitchell). The characters’ pasts and personalities are well thought-out, and have more than just one conflict in their lives, making the plot more interesting. Moments such as extreme snooping were bone-chilling, and there were a few of these instances in each episode. It was even scarier to know that the plot could happen to anyone.

Television doesn’t usually show the thoughts and motives behind a character who’s creepy or in the wrong, but instead instantly villainizes them without giving the character a chance to explain themselves. In You, Joe’s thoughts are the narration of the story, giving the audience a window into his brain. The viewers get to know what he’s thinking and why he acts the way he does at every step along the way. This allows the audience to decide whether they sympathize, support, or despise Joe for his thoughts and actions.

The viewers get to know what he’s thinking and why he acts the way he does at every step along the way.”

You also shows how open and vulnerable social media can leave a person. Joe uses social media and other online resources to stalk, not just track down, but learn and draw conclusions from every detail possible of Beck’s social media presence. It’s a great insight into how much our generation lives within social media and how dangerous it can be when someone misuses it.

You illustrates toxic relationships with both friendships and romantic relationships. Obsessive, manipulative, and dishonest only begin to describe it. While not necessarily realistic to all relationships, relationships like this do exist and are important to keep an eye out for. You is able to accurately capture examples of toxic relationships and pass the message onto the viewer. Overall, You is a great show to watch for a creepy, yet emotionally complicated, experience.

This article was originally published in the March issue of The Rubicon.

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About the Writer
Lizzie Kristal, Opinions Editor

Lizzie Kristal is the Opinions Editor for The Rubicon. This is her second year on staff. She believes that journalism keeps the world on its toes, ready...

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