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Romanticizing Stalker Behavior on Netflix Series "You"

May 15, 2019

 

The TV show YOU, by Lifetime was picked up by Netflix and had great success. In the first four weeks of being released the viewers ratings were at about forty-million. It is an extremely popular TV series that only has one season out, but very binge-worthy. This isn’t your typical Rom-Com about a boy that meets a girl and falls in love. It starts off very innocent and romantic. Joe meets Beck at a bookstore he works at and immediately has a “love at first sight” reaction. Soon after Beck leaves, he begins his online investigation. Something everyone has been guilty of doing at some point, right? Later, in the show Joe begins to spy on her, check her phone, and hack into her accounts. He starts exhibiting a lot of red flags and an obsession towards Beck. Joe becomes very overprotective of Beck and starts making her question her friendships and family. He goes to various extents to “protect” her, like stalking, kidnap, and ultimately murder. 

YOU illustrates the behaviors that many romantic comedies normalize. Many of the behaviors portrayed by Joe are those of a serial stalker and manipulator but are romanticized in such ways that it makes it seem okay even when you know it is not. This show makes you root for the killer, the stalker, etc. YOU makes you empathize with Joe, and you almost want him to get the girl. It shines a light into stalking and how it is usually romanticized by having an attractive guy play the stalker.

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