USD 79.9667 CNY 11.3044 EUR 85.9190 JPY 57.2008
Home » Review of You Season 4: A Confusing British Mystery

Review of You Season 4: A Confusing British Mystery

09 February 2023, Thursday
Anyone who's watched You will know that Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) tends to attract deadly drama wherever he goes. Whether it's a New York City walkup, a high-end Los Angeles neighbourhood with his family, or a spacious London loft on his own, Joe will always look for someone to observe, stalk, rescue, and ultimately hurt - narrating his bafflement in a deep voice. It's part of what makes the show so compelling, but also what has begun to wear thin with the fourth season, which is split into two parts. Starting off with five episodes, the show is a bit overstuffed, but still enjoyable owing to Badgley's dedicated acting and the script's dark humour.

You's insightful analysis of Joe's detrimental behavior is still applicable even though the storyline has shifted to a dulled-out whodunit. The thrills are faint yet compulsively watchable, demonstrating why it merits a runoff on Netflix (even though their choice to partition the season is ludicrous). The second installment of the series, based on Caroline Kepnes' novels, does well in dissecting Joe's poisonous practices without excusing them. He isn't a charmingly wicked antihero, he's just pure wickedness.

The show also astutely attempts to break down years of conditioning surrounding who can be deemed a suitable romantic partner. Joe initially appears as a gentle, thoughtful partner but is in actual fact a stalker who projects his own insecurities onto the women he pursues. Every season reveals more about his character as he genuinely believes he is progressing. During seasons two and three, this involved Joe confronting his unstable equivalent, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti, sadly absent in season four). The advancement of Joe's character is stagnated because, despite what he might say in voiceovers, he continues to commit murder. (Acknowledging that outside forces have put you in certain positions isn't the same as self-awareness, Joe)

At this point, You has to make a concerted effort to prove itself, overthrow its own formation, and illustrate why Joe has been successful in eluding prosecution for all of his offenses. It is no secret that it is his white Caucasian appearance which has enabled him to get away with so much. Yet, the amount of wreckage he leaves in his wake each time he escapes begs the question, how long will this continue? Season four does not directly touch on these essential queries, and this can be seen as an issue if it is broken up into separate parts.

The opening episodes of the show struggle with the task of setting up Joe's new life. He kills his wife Love and then hastily hurries to Europe to meet with Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), trusting that she will be open and willing to let him back in. The narrative quickly shifts to London, which is why Joe can't stay in Paris with his fantasy girl, but has instead settled as English professor Jonathan Moore. Naturally, the course he instructs is American Iconoclasts of the Short Story. Despite the new name, profession and wardrobe, his pride does not fade away, as both his trademark blue cap and corpse-disposing methods are showcased in the series opener.

Joe manages to ingratiate himself to London's high-class, thanks to his affluent co-worker, Malcolm (Stephen Hagan). The allure of Malcolm's alluring girlfriend, Kate (Charlotte Ritchie), captivates Joe. After partying with their circle of friends one night, Joe wakes up finding a body in his kitchen. As he frantically searches for the culprit amid the group he despises, the murderer takes things a step further and starts sending Joe cryptic texts, forcing him to do their bidding. Joe is far from guiltless himself, and soon finds that he has created a web of his own mess.

Badgley's performance as the curmudgeonly Joe, attempting to fool his way into a wealthy society to figure out the truth about himself, is enjoyable to watch. It certainly spices up the show's formula. Badgley is impressive in his portrayal, changing his demeanor and attitude between affable and charming to startlingly maniacal and self-hating. Without the previous season's contentious dynamic between him and Pedretti, Badgley is the standout in season four so far.

The premiere of season four of Netflix's You introduces plenty of new faces, but the hurried introduction of them is haphazard. EastEnders’ Tilly Keeper shines as Lady Phoebe, an heiress who befriends Joe, and The White Lotus’ Lukas Gage makes the most of his limited character. Despite the entertainment, the first five episodes are mostly just a setup for the second half of the season, arriving on March 9. Hopefully, the finale episodes of the season will prove to be worth the wait.
UselessPoorFairGoodExcellent (No ratings yet)