IMHO - What is wrong with You?
A look into why we have romanized serial stalkers
Some of my content is based on facts and supported by evidence. IMHO posts are posts that are written In My Humble Opinion. These are posts that are based on my opinions, personal experience, and feelings.
Well… hello there. And who are you? Look at you… sitting there. Reading this article. Your chin propped up on your fist, a small smile on your lips. You wanna know why people are so obsessed with stalkers too. Well then… it’s talk about it.
Okay, so I'll admit it. That wasn't necessarily my best opening, but it was pretty good. Got your attention. So let's talk about it. Stalkers. It's a scary thought, you know. At this very moment, someone could be watching you. Through your window, through the camera on your phone, your laptop. They could be searching your name on google, scouring the internet to find any information on you. For many of us, the mere thought of this is frightening, but to others, some long for it… that is, if the stalker looked a lot like Penn Badgley. You know who that is… xoxo Gossip Girl Dan Humphrey. Yup, lovable writer known to many as Dan Humphrey from the show Gossip Girl is now starring in an original hit series on Netflix - You. A twisted tale of a man that has an obsessive tendency who stalks and kills.
If you have never seen You and want to see it and hate spoilers, click out of this article now because here come some spoilers. Directly, a little background information. You is a Netflix original series that was released in 2018. It's classified as a thriller, and at the moment, it only has two seasons. The third season is set to be released later this year. The series follows the main antagonist, the exceeding charismatic Joe Goldberg, who falls in love with various women, stalks them, charms his way into their lives, and then kills many people.
So after the first season dropped, people were hooked. Suddenly, it was everyone's fantasy to be stalked and kidnapped by the charismatic Joe Goldberg. People were tweeting Penn Badgley asking him to seize him, which he kindly tweeted back… absolutely not.
I've watched the series myself… and then again with my fiance… and then again, we're all stuck at home because of the pandemic. I won't lie… I found myself swept up in the charismatic and lovable Joe Goldberg. Besides the fact that Penn Badgley is gorgeous with his chiseled jawline and bedhead hairstyle, there's something about his deep, soothing voice as he does his monologues that makes your girl weak in the knees. It almost makes me forget about the fact that he is a total creep.
The fact is that good ole Joe is a serial stalker and killer. Although You have romanticized the idea of being stalked by someone like Goldberg, there is nothing fun or sexy about having a real-life stalker. You have sparked the beginning of a conversation that needs to be had about the realities of stalking. Stalking is one of the most challenging crimes for the police to handle because of technicalities. Usually, the police cannot act until the victim is physically harmed, and by then, it can be too late for some. The laws surrounding stalking can be murky, with no specific laws to protect the victims. Recently, stricter regulations are being put into place to help protect the victims, but stalking crimes continue to slip through the cracks even then.
It is so going back to You. Although it is a great series, I won't deny that or discredit any of the work that all of the actors and the crew have put into it. I do think that it is sparking some interesting conversations. What is it about Joe that makes us want to forgive him? Understand him? Personally, after some reflection, I think it's the monologues. It's the juxtaposition between Joe's calming monologues and his creepy actions. Those inner monologues make it seem like Joe is just a regular guy who is falling in love with a woman. For example, in season 1, he broke into Beck's home for the first time. He talks about cleaning their house, cooking her meals, and doing her laundry, while he is snooping through her belongings and picking through her drawers, and stealing her underwear. The contrast between Joe's behavior and his inner thoughts is so contrasting, confusing the audience. It confused me. As the audience, we are supposed to be upset with Joe. Disgusted with him for violating Beck's privacy in such a way, but at the same time, he's saying such sweet things about all of the things he wants to do for Beck. It's like once we hear his reasoning that somehow makes it better because it's so sweet or he's making some sense. But I think that's an important thing to note. To Joe, he rationalized his deviant actions to make sense and seem logical. Thanks to those monologues, it helps us see why Joe is doing the terrible things he does and helps us rationalize it.
Overall, I think You is a great show. Penn Badgley's acting? *Chefs Kiss* Amazing. But I think people are asking the wrong questions. Instead of asking, "why can't I be kidnapped by someone like Joe?" or "Penn Badgley, can you kidnap me?" I think people should ask themselves, "why the hell would I ever want to be kidnapped?" "What is it about Joe that makes us want to forgive him? Understand him?".