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You Season 4 Part 1 – Review

When they announced they were doing another season of the Netflix hit show, You, I was skeptical to put it lightly. Season three certainly left the door opened for a fourth season, however it didn’t feel like it could make it happen nor did it feel like it could be the same show, and I guess that’s where we are with You. While this is not going to be a traditional review at all as to discuss anything really about the new plot or characters would be super spoiler territory and that’s not what we’re about. So this will be more about what You has become and what is in store for Joe on this first half season.

When we left Joe, Penn Badgley, last (spoilers! Though if you’re reading this it is assumed you’ve at least watched up to season 4 by now) he’s given up his entire life, left behind his literal flesh and blood and trying to get a new fresh start, or so we think. He ends up in London, England as a professor, and as luck would have it Marienne Bellamy, Tati Gabrielle, is there and his past is slowly starting to creep back into his present.

Before we dive into what You season 4 is about, its important to discuss what You has been. It has always been like a murder mystery Dexter meets Clue esque story – which made it sort of great. It was always about who Joe was after next, and then season 3 gave us the Rita Morgan for Joe, and that threw a wrench in his masterplan, but as that season ended we have ourselves in a new world for Joe and it’s certainly interesting and brings something new to the table.

The new cast consists of Kate – Charlotte Ritchie, Malcom – Stephen Hagan, Lady Phoebe – Tilly Keeper, and Adam – Lukas Gage. They’re wealthy, snobby, and obnoxious, what perfect targets for old Joe, however, he has left that life behind him. That is until one night after being drugged, he wakes up and finds a dead body on his table that makes him slowly realize someone is playing him and knows who he truly is. As things start to get going and develop amongst Joe and these new gang of characters, they suspect Joe and things go from bad to worse.

The issue with this new direction of You is that it’s not the show audiences fell in love with, it’s become a dumb iteration of Sherlock meets Benoit Blanc in a bad Agatha Christie adaptation. Now I’m not saying You season 4 part 1 is bad, it’s just not what we wanted? Not what I wanted at least? I wanted the creepy Joe that stalks his victims and sort of Dexter Morgan’s the town while he’s creepily stalking and terrorizing his victim. His instant good guy status by default of everyone seemingly being the worst in retrospect is sort of off putting and Joe isn’t charming and likable enough to be that anti-hero people tend to favour. Benoit Blanc doesn’t have anything negative against him and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is balanced by Martin Freeman’s Watson and the fact that no one really actually likes Sherlock? Joe is, and has always been, the villain we cheer for, but by forcing him to be the anti-hero and favourite for the season is a weird choice.

However, everything You season 4 part 1 does that is weird and different in than everything else, it does a lot right. The cast is still great, even if there is no distinctive good character and Joe as the protagonist that is meant to be liked fails all around. While a fourth season is still engaging, unless the second half brings something so shocking and insanely whimsical, Joe should hang up his days and become someone else entirely and leave everything behind. Without him being the likeable bad guy because everyone is just worse the show lost the one thing it had going for it. Everyone loving a bad guy, no one likes the bad guy anymore, he’s gone good, and that has become stale and unappealing.

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About The Author

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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