There’s one thing with the multiplication of platforms and content distribution: it’s harder to deliver content that holds the promise of surprise. Better, I would say, focus on the interesting part of the narrative and forget about twists and turns. Even coming out of a successful book, You handled with praise a plot that would barely sustain itself after the first and here we are in the fourth.
The story of a stalker and serial killer Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) started out frighteningly plausible – when it was part of an unsuspecting guy who, in two seconds online, discovered the whole life of his victims, but already ending up a bit fanciful (having someone trapped in the basement of the store without anyone suspecting?). Having made his stay in New York impossible, he moves to California where he falls in love with a widowed chef, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) while being pursued by a serial killer himself. The twist is interesting, Love is really Joe’s soulmate, a psychopath even more dangerous than he is.
The third part was already more incredible, even having left a trail of death behind, the two – now with a baby to take care of – our free in another city. Joe tires of Love, she loses control and in a surprising turn he kills her and runs away. Once again unpunished.
We arrive in Europe where Joe gets a job as a teacher, and starts to circulate among the British millionaires while being “persecuted by a psychopath”. He has a face and a name, but I swear by this point I’ve tried hard to be interested. Fans picked up on the twisted formula from the very first episode and when it came, well, everyone was right. The alternative? Using Fight Club‘s secret formula, the split personality. Worse than a magical Joe is having two Joes in different faces doing the same thing.
Clipped, without a cast that sustains interest (neither Gregg Kinnear saves nor the “surprise” participation of past girlfriends), You missed the charisma of Victoria Pedretti, who managed to make phrases like “I Wolff you” get cute. Penn Badgley for me may forever be the psychopath on duty, his narration and interpretations are perfect and without him, the series would be a shame. But with Joe AGAIN escaping and returning to New York, with a woman in the same place Love once occupied, it was a less than acceptable ending.
Will there be a 5th time? It depends on the algorithms of that one. I don’t rule it out, but I do. And you?