A Friendly Reminder That You Shouldn't Fancy Joe from You
Joe would be the perfect guy if it wasn’t for the stalking and the murdering!!!!
Imagine this: you’re scrolling through the internet and you come across a news article. The headline states that a girl was stalked, kidnapped and murdered by her own boyfriend. You click on said article and as you continue reading, you find out that the boyfriend has also kidnapped and murdered one of her previous love interests, as well as murdering her best friend. God, what an absolute scumbag. You would say. He deserves to be locked away for life.
But it’s Ok because he reads books!
So, why, when a TV show decides to give him good looks, a charming smile, a sarcastic personality, and make him a lover of reading and writing do we decide that his character is likable?
I’ve got to say that ‘You’ is good at it’s job. In many shows about a psychopathic murderers they’re painted out to be a monster and are pretty one dimensional. But one great thing that You did is that it shows what psychopathic murderers are really like. It shows how easy it is for people who don’t know that they’re a murderer to like them. It shows how easy it can be to fall for them. But us, as the omniscient audience, should NOT like him.
I’ve seen so many people across the internet saying that “Joe would be the perfect guy if it wasn’t for the stalking and the murdering” and I feel like all of these people are completely missing the point. Joe IS a stalker and a murderer, so that should overshadow the fact that he’s good looking and reads book.
Is he really the perfect guy?
I have to admit that I’m not totally innocent here. In the first few episodes, I found myself being drawn in by his sarcastic personality. But then I snapped out of it and came to my senses. That’s when I really started to appreciate the show for what it is; a darn good show which does make you question your judgement of people. Joe is meant to be one of those people that no one would suspect was harbouring a deep dark secret. If you were a character in the show, you would be shocked when you found out what he did. And for that, I have to applaud Penn Badgley for his portrayal.
Once I was free of my Joe charm, every little thing that he did in the show became completely cringe worthy to me. And it was then I realised how much murderers are romanticised in shows. You need look no further than The Vampire Diaries. Pretty much all of them are murders, but it’s okay because they’re good looking, are likable and are vampires, right?
It’s okay to be torn, it’s okay to feel like Joe is likable but know he isn’t because he’s a murderer. What isn’t okay is choosing to forget the terrible things he’s done, or even fetishising the kidnapping storyline. It’s just completely wrong.
You is a pretty incredible TV series that I binged watched in one sitting. I would go as far to say that it’s one of the best TV shows I’ve watched in a very, very long time. But do I want Joe to fall in love with me and stalk me? No. Because that’s creepy and you should know that too.
We need to stop romanitcising murderes
The same sort of thing can be found in Gossip girl, where Penn also stars as a stalker, but not to the extreme as Joe. However this time, Serena ends up actually marrying him! And don’t even get me started on Chuck Bass, that’s a whole other article on why people really need to stop romanticising him!
And please, someone help Millie Bobby Brown
But perhaps the most worrying thing about Joe is that fourteen year-old Millie Bobby Brown has said on her Instagram stories that Joe isn’t a stalker, and he is just in love with her. This was a really frightening thing for me to hear. Now, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and hope that she hasn’t watched a lot of the show yet, so didn’t know all of the things that he had done. But what if she had? What if she had seen that he was watching her through her window (which she really should’ve had curtains on by the way!), what if she had seen that he had stolen her phone just to see what she was doing and saying to her friends? What if she thinks that that’s okay? It worries me. It really, really worries me that a girl so young would look at that and think it’s love. Something has gone seriously, seriously wrong there.
Would love to know your thoughts on this topic.