’You’ got to Love the deadly twist in the third season of the psychological thriller
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Do you remember how, amid all the hype of “Game of Thrones”, there were clusters of people who gloated about their indifference while adding insult to injury by admitting to having never watched a single episode of the show?
I wondered if they thought fans would catch feelings about it.
To put it bluntly, we didn’t care. Not one single bit. As fans, we were far too distracted by one thing: “Who was going to rule the seven kingdoms?”
So I laughed at the irony when the third season of “You” dropped on Netflix, and I felt a little bit like those “GoT” detractors.
Allow me to explain. Although I had heard of the series, I never watched it.
So when the latest show started trending, shortly after it debuted on the streaming platform, I did what any self-respecting TV critic would do, I started watching You.
Am I a fan? It’s a bit too early to tell.
But five episodes in, I will admit to it taking me on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.
I’ve vacillated between a state of annoyance and morbid fascination.
Since we live in times where morality lives so comfortably in the grey, it was an understandable response to a show where obsession, stalking and murder are pedalled with harmonious chaos.
In season three, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn-Goldberg (Victoria Pedretti) settle into their new white picket fence life in Madre Linda, California.
While suburbia takes a bit of getting used to, Joe is determined to make a go of it for their son Henry.
As first-time parents, Joe and Love are put through their paces as the sleepless nights render them perennially exhausted.
As such, the spark they once shared has been replaced by routine and complacency.
Joe feels inadequate as a father. Every time he’s with Henry, the little one cries nonstop, and nothing seems to placate him.
And Love has run out of patience. She snaps at Joe over every little thing.
The tense mood in the Goldberg household is augmented by several external factors.
Love discovers Joe is falling back into old habits with their neighbour Natalie Engler (Michaela McManus), who is married to tech magnate Matthew (Scott Speedman).
At the same time, she’s looking to get back to work and opens a confectionery shop in the “Desperate Housewives”-esque neighbourhood.
And she also seizes the opportunity to take out Natalie, who signed her up with a lease for the new shop.
While annoyed by her hasty action, Joe is secretly impressed by Love. Having fought so hard to stifle his menacing urges, here’s his wife channelling her inner Dexter.
Love is irrational when it comes to protecting her family. It was never more evident than when the whole measles outbreak happened, and she learned that it was the kids of Gil Brigham (Mackenzie Astin), a geology anti-vaxxer professor, who gave Henry the viral disease.
And she decided to teach the father a lesson.
Did she go too far by putting him in a cage? Yes. Did she go too far by getting dirt on his family that led to him committing suicide? Yes.
But that’s just the thing, while she is sweet as pie on the outside, she’s cold, dark and dangerous on the inside.
The neighbours in suburbia are a welcome distraction as well. Sherry Conrad (Shalita Grant) is the queen bee in town.
A celebrity mom influencer, she’s not to be crossed. And she will jump onto any bandwagon if it means more likes on her social media.
Her husband Cary (Travis Van Winkle) is more carefree than his wife.
Meanwhile, Theo Engler (Dylan Arnold) has a major crush on Love. His father Matthew, on the other hand, views the Goldbergs with a sort of subdued hostility.
Aside from the well-etched characters and sublime performances, the writing is truly mind-blowing.
I love the sardonic tone and bluntness of the storytelling.
Love’s recklessness does become a point of contention, though.
And it also pushes the viewer to accept Joe, flaws and all, much more.
He is a husband and father that is trying to do his best.
Unfortunately, the niggly issue of dead bodies keeps throwing a spanner in the works of a do-over in suburbia as Joe is constantly trying to do damage control.
“You” has certainly got my attention. Perhaps by season four, I will be a convert. Who knows.
“You” season three is currently streaming on Netflix.