- Mercy Teres Johny, I M.A. English
Image source : bustle.com
In 2019, nothing is really a secret anymore. Privacy is questioned or laughed at. Social media stalking has become the norm – after all, what harm does it do to merely look up someone online, track down their data and follow their activities? Turns out, quite a lot of harm as the TV series You reveals.
The latest fad that hit the internet and went viral was the release of You that took Netflix (and consequently, a large part of the world) by storm. Featuring a young, charming bookstore owner whose attention is caught by a struggling writer, the series portrays Joe, the protagonist, whois fascinated with Beck, the woman who enters his bookstore one day. It doesn’t take long for him to track her down on social media, identify her location, peer into her windows, take note of her daily schedule, ‘accidentally’ get hold of her phone and get access to her account. And everything done throughout the show is done in the name of ‘love’.In fact, everything he does – whether it’s a murder or brutal torture – is done for the sake of his absolute ‘devotion’ to Beck. And that seems to be absolutely logical and self-explanatory to Joe, even when he eventually locks down Beck. It’s only further proof of his ‘love’, after all.
Throughout the show, there are instances that throw light on issues of child abuse, obsession, safety, true identities and much more. Toxic relationships can always be explained with a four letter word, and that is all it takes for one to move past it. While watching this show, internet users went berserk with their tweets, and what did (or didn’t) seem shocking was the fact that many of them rooted for Joe, in spite of knowing his obsessive, stalking tendencies, in spite of knowing that he murders those he believes are a threat. All it took for them to swoon over him was his charming nature and his utter ‘love’ for Beck. Apparently, finding a devoted man at this time and age is quite hard, and young girls seem to want to find ‘true love’ even at the risk of them being killed the next day.
Users described him as the “hot murderer” and even went so far as to say, “kidnap me pls”. While the depletion of their brain cells could be attributed to the romanticisation of such men through media, the actor himself clearly remarked that the show’s purpose was to show exactly the kind of society that one lives in. He pointedly stated that viewers shouldn’t be lusting after a stalker/murderer. And one can only think of how this trope seems to be carried on through another show – Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bunty Tapes. Ted Bunty, the charming, handsome serial killer woos women with his looks and murders them as quickly as the click of a finger. And how does he do it so easily, one may ask. A good-looking man is all it takes, apparently.
We truly live in questionable times. And this show portrays exactly what is at stake here – now and in the future. All one needs is the internet. It’s a scary place to be in – the real world, the online world. Is there a difference anymore? For all we know, anybody’s privacy can be intervened, their schedule studied, their life picked apart. For all we know, it could be you next.