I’ve Been Binge-Watching ‘YOU’ on Netflix and I Need To Talk About It.


There’s physically no way for me to write this article without spoiling the narrative, so if you haven’t seen ‘YOU’ on Netflix, you need to leave.

(But then come back okay!!).

‘YOU’ premiered on Netflix about three weeks ago and in true millennial fashion most of us have already binge-watched and finished it with next-to-zero chill. The show is best described as Gossip Girl meets Riverdale meets Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars. It follows Joe, played by Penn Badgley, who falls in love with and consequently stalks the lovely (if not problematic) Beck, played by Elizabeth Lail. But here’s the tea. It’s not Joe. It’s Dan Humphry. Like it’s not, but it is. If Dan never married Serena, parked his obsession with Upper East Siders and retired his job as the Gossip Girl (I’m still shook), changed his name to Joe, started working in a bookstore and also had the capacity to lock people in basements and kill them (SPOILER) then THIS IS HIM.

Dan and Joe are both nerdy, a little shady, mysterious, with great hair and a penchant for lurking in the aisles of libraries and wearing chinos.

Shay Mitchell plays Beck’s best friend, Peach, and carries my favourite Goyard tote for most of the season, but that’s another story.

Something else worth discussing is that yes, on paper, Joe is a stalker. He stands outside Beck’s house watching her get dressed. He steals her phone, screens her calls, and text’s people on her behalf. He locks her ex-boyfriend in a basement and then kills him. And if you’ve made it to the end of the season, then that cliffhanger is pretty hard to argue. But he’s also just a Stan! Joe’s a Stan. According to the Urban Dictionary, a Stan is “an overzealous and obsessive fan.” What a mood. Joe is just an exaggerated version of how we’ve all felt at some point in our youth when we’ve liked someone who didn’t reciprocate the affection. When I was at university (and truthfully old enough to know better) I once drove my decomposing Toyota Vitz past the flat of an ex-boyfriend hoping to see him, thinking that if he just saw me he’d remember to text me. Is that not the saddest story you’ve ever head…

We’ve all been Joe. Been Dan. Been Stan. Just, you know, except the murder part.

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club