By Christos Zambounis

In these dark days of unspeakable grief for the loss of so many young souls, Netflix has decided to air, in two installments, the fourth season of the TV series “You”, perhaps the most noir psychological thriller of recent years. For all of us who were already addicted, back in 2018, to the dark Joe Goldberg, it was impossible not to succumb to the temptation to follow his new adventures, this time in London. The ease with which the protagonist switches identities – he now teaches American fiction at university level – is just one of the interesting aspects of his character.

The other lies in his psychopathy, which is characterized by a recurring pattern in his relationships with women. A psychiatrist would easily describe it as a love addiction, but there are other dimensions, the first and best being his enduring obsession with murder. Social media users may be fascinated by his mastery of electronic surveillance of his victims. Oh yes, he is a master of stalking, from the English verb to stalk, to watch unseen. Book lovers will enjoy his care in preserving old editions, as well as his sophisticated literary references. The rest of us will enjoy, at the end of the day, a television product that stimulates the mind, cultivates the spirit and, why not, for those who lack or need it, gets the adrenaline pumping.

They may be reminded of another hero, Dexter Morgan, of the series of the same name, except that Joe Goldberg is as sympathetic as a serial killer can be. We’ve come to understand, by now, that Netflix’s formula lies in constant plot twists, but I think that with You, the aforementioned streaming platform is taking an Olympic medal. Kudos to Penn Dayton Badgley for the performance, and to Charlotte Richie, my favorite upper class Brit. If she weren’t so young, I’d want to marry her.

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