You season 4: Kill the Rich

Rating: 3 out of 5.

We have seen Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) in a variety of situations. As a bookstore manager, trying to find himself in LA to being a suburban father but now we get Joe taking up the alias as Jonathan, an English University professor who finds himself sucked into the lives of the rich. Joe has a habit of stalking women, killing them and anyone who stands in his way. After the first season, the others have not been great. You can enjoy bad TV if it is fun or so ridiculous that you enjoy it, and that is what You has been for the most part. Last season it was a sludge to get through, but season 4 promises a fresh new take on Joe’s story. The stalker becomes the stalked in the series version of a who-done-it murder mystery. If that makes you roll your eyes, Joe shares your sentiment.

One of Joe’s obsessions managed to escape him last season in the form of Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) and the opening episode does not shy away from that. Joe still lingers on his former obsession, the loose end that got away that he feels the need to be involved with. Thankfully, the opening episode resolves Marienne’s arc in a satisfying conclusion to establish how and why Joe is in London and able to live as a professor. The sooner the previous season is dealt with, the better.

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Focusing on Joe trying to rebuild his life (and failing), the premise that he is now the stalked is an interesting move that fits seamlessly into the plot and the character. The bond Joe unwillingly has with the Eat the Rich Killer (dubbed as ETR in the series) is the propelling force of the season but unfortunately can be rushed at times. They are the most interesting moments as Joe is taunted indirectly through IM by his stalker. He is easily frustrated and it impacts every aspect of his life, but he never makes a link at how ironic that is given his own actions.

With this new focus comes a new clique to be irritated with. Adam (Lukas Gage), Kate (Charlotte Ritchie), Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper), Rhys (Ed Speleers) and others round out the cast and, for the most part, do a decent job. Keeper, Gage and Speleers make for the most interesting and less annoying of the newest additions with some great chemistry with Joe/Jonathan but the same cannot be said for Ritchie. Too often Kate has the same facial expression and spends the majority of the first five episodes scowling and doing the same thing in every scene to set her apart as the outside of the group and so blatantly forced to have something with Joe/Jonathan. Those scenes are the weakest and lacking in any chemistry. Joe/Jonathan has more chemistry with the text bubbles on his phone than with Kate.

You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe, Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe, Lukas Gage as Adam in You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Many of the supporting characters are purposefully annoying in an attempt to get us to hope for the ETR Killer to select one of them as their next victim and, thankfully, they do as the murder mystery continues. Joe uses his stalking investigative abilities to try and decipher who the killer is. An interesting twist and one that we should have seen more of to make for the ETR Killer reveal to feel more satisfying. Instead, that feels rushed and obvious at times. The dynamic between serial killer and Joe/Jonathan was the most interesting part of the story but sadly rushed through.

You is self-aware. It knows it is not praised for its acting talents (except for Badgley) or its plot, but it knows what it is, unashamedly so and can be fun to watch. There is enough of an interesting concept to keep you hooked and enough silliness to not take it too seriously. 

The MVC is awarded to Joe for this series. He tries his hand at using his stalking prowess for good and fails miserably, not as smart as he thinks, but ends up in the most interesting and entertaining situations. 

You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe, Charlotte Ritchie as Kate in You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

You season 4 part 1 was screened for review and premiers on Netflix 09/02/23


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