Finding a binge-worthy show can be difficult, with so many platforms offering so many different options, you don’t want to waste your time cramming a sub-par show into what should have been a fiery binge-watching session. Not to worry, Fennec and Friends are here to tell you which shows are definitely worth your undivided and obsessive attention, and which are not.
This series got a lot of attention when it first came out, inspiring a selection of overly-attached-boyfriend memes which were a riot of the time. But beyond the internet propaganda, was this series worth the watch? The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is as follows…
As you probably know, the series follows the relationship between smart but ditsy college student Beck and her obsessive would-be lover Joe. Throughout the episodes, the two go through all the regular ups and downs of a relationship; the honeymoon period, jealousy, meaningless fights and romantic makeups. All of these moments are made more interesting with our insider knowledge of Joe, who is no prince charming. Joe has been manipulating Beck and the people around her to get what he wants, her. As the series goes on Joe makes more and more evil decisions to secure his place in Beck’s life, making him a real danger to everyone around the blonde-bombshell. It is the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing scenario.
The show did a great job of riding the line between romance and thriller, making the series a true merging of genres. In fact, it did so well at this that as an audience member, I often found myself rooting for Joe. It sounds insane given his murderous tendencies, manipulative personality and downright creepiness, but Joe put on an excellent façade for Beck and it was rather believable. There were moments where the two would fall out or Joe would become side-lined for other friends or potential love interest, and I truly felt sorry for him. Which is a real credit to both the acting of Penn Badgley and the show’s writers.
One of the most interesting choices this series made was in the construction of Beck. In Joe’s eyes, this character is perfect, even worth killing for. But as the show moves forward, Beck really lets herself hang out and even becomes dislikeable. Small selfish behaviours, hypocrisy and an overly dramatic attitude have the audience rolling their eyes at this character. Choosing to make Beck rather obliviously imperfect, rather than the stereotypical squeaky clean victim, was a great decision from the series, and ultimately made for a better watch. Her irritating personality, paired with Joe’s Ted-Bundy-esk charm saw me wishing Joe would just walk away and find someone else, he deserved so much better. In hindsight, the point of view feels completely deranged but caught up in the drama of the moment you forget to cheer for who is the better person and end up rooting for whoever is more likeable in that moment.
This conflict between the right choice and the more likeable choice was definitely the most exciting element to the series. The show was not without its issues, as tension seemed to drop in places, but there were plenty of high stakes moments to keep you engaged.
Overall You was a highly bingable show, as the constant threat of discovering Joe’s secrets kept us wanting to see more. However, given the slight pacing issues and the somewhat dislikeableness of the heroine, I sense that if the show was not being consumed as a whole, it could be a bit lacklustre. In this instance, perhaps a binge-watching session would be the best way to watch the show.