[Series Review] YOU Season 4 Part 2
YOU Season 4 l Netflix

Netflix knows when they have a hit and social media is a huge part of that. I’m curious as to how shows like YOU would have succeeded without memes boasting about toxic relationships. When characters like Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) joined the series, everything was elevated due to both new character dynamics and riveting acting. Unfortunately, the best ingredient was removed at the end of season three and now we are in the second half of YOU Season four with no substitution.

Part one left us with the promise of a Joe versus Rhys (Ed Speleers) storyline, but it ends up being short-lived. More characters are thrown in the mix, including one played by Greg Kinnear. No matter how talented any of this supporting cast is, it doesn’t add any flavor to the mix as it becomes more difficult to figure out how all these people fit in. They seem to just be thrown in to add to the body count and, yes, more people we don’t care about die in part two.

Joe’s ability to hide his true identity weakens as more attention is drawn to him and he starts to lose count himself as to what’s going on. Unfortunately, YOU Season 4 continues to play on familiar motifs to keep the episodes rolling. There’s even an “It was right here!” moment when the rescue shows up a little too late.

(L-R) Ed Speleers as Rhys, Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg l Netflix © 2023

Penn Badgley continues to ramp up the camp in his performance as Joe but now acts in a producer role which went viral when he said in an interview he made sure to not have any intimate scenes. Maybe that’s what led the story in a new direction. He even directs one of the episodes which didn’t add much to the creative aspect of the series. I can’t help but feel his latest role played a part in making Joe a hero instead of the main villain. People with a 9-5 job usually get are told it’s a “conflict of interest” when it comes to these scenarios, but we will always see how quality goes down when the stars get involved behind the scenes. I’m looking at you, Sarah Jessica Parker.

When the reviews came out for part one, I was relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one scratching their head in this new direction. While I may have been one of the more harsh critics, the general consensus was the confusion over the show becoming a murder mystery. Does YOU Season 4 part two bring any life to the convoluted storyline? Somewhat. The tension rises a bit as a familiar face turns up, bringing us to the concept of an unreliable narrator. How much of what we’ve been watching this season has been true or just part of Joe’s psychosis?

This psychological aspect got me back into the series, but the YOU Season 4 finale ultimately wrapped things up too cleanly in Joe’s favor, and now we are threatened with another season. YOU was once a guilty pleasure filled with juicy storylines and toxic relationships, yet has now become whatever it needs to be to stay on Netflix. It has aimed for what many shows before it became: quantity over quality.

All ten episodes of YOU Season 4 are now available on Netflix.

Jovy Skol
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