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Image / Editorial

People are romanticising Joe from the Netflix series ‘You’ and it’s not OK


by Edaein OConnell
10th Jan 2019

I watched the Netflix series You in the space of a day. The first episode was one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable things I have ever watched but I decided to stick it out. By episode seven, my eyes were bulging out of my head as I quivered in horror behind the duvet and a tin of salt and vinegar Pringles.

There were obvious plot holes (like why doesn’t she ever close her curtains in a ground floor New York City apartment?) but overall, it’s a highly enthralling thriller that keeps you on tenterhooks. It’s an intuitive and alarming look at the world of social media and shows if you choose to put yourself out there, your life will never truly be private. Every haunting secret, ever miserable mistake can be found through the instrument that is called the internet.

However, the defining sentiment that comes from watching You is that Joe. Is. A. Psychopath. 

His every move, his every look gave me shivers. Yes, he had that misunderstood-avid-reader-who-likes-to-write-poetry-and-bake-cakes look about him but his demeanour screamed “stalker alert”. However, there are many on social media who seem to romanticize Joe and even lust after him. Some Twitter users spoke of how they wanted Joe to stalk them, while others spoke of the intense attraction they felt towards him, even though he was a murderer.

On a deeper level, this may be construed as a deeply chilling social psyche, or maybe it’s just that people can’t seem to separate Joe Goldberg from Gossip Girl heartthrob Dan Humphries, who was another misunderstood-writer type who lurked in New York but who was a lot less homicidal in nature.

Thankfully, Penn Badgley, who plays both characters, called out those on those on Twitter who were viewing Joe as a broken and broody heartbreaker they needed to protect them in life, and not a creepy man who had the potential to kill them.

Nevertheless, many continued on their weird Joe Goldberg desire filled tirade.

Thankfully, there were some who had a more logical thought process regarding the character that is Joe Goldberg.

But still, there were some who were just too conflicted over their feelings and it is making this entire experience unnerving.

Please, just make it stop.

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