Have you ever empathized with a murderer? The hit Netflix original series You might just make you feel that way.
For those of you unaware, the show follows the main protagonist Joe Goldberg, a book loving middle aged man who has a series of love interests that almost always inevitably end in the murder of at least one person.
In the show, Goldberg extensively explains and validates the reasoning behind his countless crimes and the show’s writers do such a good job at making him seem so normal that it leaves many people, myself included, wondering why am I rooting for a murderer?
Time after time Goldberg narrowly escapes the law or other characters that would ultimately result in his demise and it is during these moments that people are breathless in anticipation, wondering how their star is going to get away.
So the question has to be asked, why do you WANT him to get away? Now the argument could be made that it’s just a TV show and has no real effect on people but the same thought process could be applied to virtually anything. For example, listening to music and watching TV that has a lot of profanity does not increase the likelihood of someone swearing or consuming extremist media on either side does not influence your personal beliefs.
Goldberg is not a sane or mentally stable person and constantly attacks and kills people throughout the show. Such behavior is a serious thing and needs to be addressed as such. Other similar shows such as Dahmer, another Netflix series that tells the life and killings of serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, can have a lasting impact on people and possibly overly stimulate the curiosity that most all people have of that which is taboo or forbidden.
With the release of the fourth season, You has broken into Netflix’s top 10 hottest shows for the month of February. It is not unreasonable to think about the large-scale impact that the show could have on individuals and households. The first season alone brought in an astounding 40 million views and the seasons following have subsequently increased in popularity.
The point I am trying to make is that yes, it is largely understood and realized that shows like You are purely fictional and there for entertainment purposes, we need to be careful idolizing criminal acts. More so it wouldn’t hurt to be reminded of or even re-ground ourselves about the impact that the shows we watch can have on us.
The show however, is a good entertainment piece that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and leaves them craving more. You can watch the first half of season four on Netflix now.