Friday, October 15, 2021

REVIEW: 'You' - Joe and Love Settle Into a New Suburban Life With Their Newborn Baby in 'And They Lived Happily Ever After'

Netflix's You - Episode 3.01 "And They Lived Happily Ever After"

After a delivery room surprise, new dad Joe struggles to connect with his infant child, but he has no trouble at all fostering a new infatuation.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Netflix's You.

"And They Lived Happily Ever After" was written by Sera Gamble & Mairin Reed and directed by Silver Tree

It won't be that easy for Joe to pursue a new obsession in the suburbs. He can't just look through a hole in the fence to admire his next-door neighbor. He also has to navigate his marriage with Love and being a father to his son, Henry. He continues to have all these expectations of what life and love are suppose to be. Not surprisingly, he extends that seriousness onto parenthood as well. He thought he would be great as a father to a daughter. When their son is born, Joe fears that he is only going to perpetuate the same vicious cycle. He will be cruel and abusive just like his father was. That's what every paternal figure in his life has been like. He places the blame on his child. People lied to him. This isn't what he expected. Parenthood isn't some grand novel either. It's repetition and exhaustion. It brings him attention. People take it as an invitation to invade his personal space and offer their advice. That only gets more extreme with the satire of mommy blogger culture. More importantly though, Love gets to operate openly as her true self as well. Joe believes that he was tricked into falling in love with her. Once he knew who she truly was, it was too late. They had a baby on the way. There was no going back. He had to commit to this path with her even though he quickly fell out of love with her. He couldn't love someone who could kill. It's completely hypocritical though. Joe has done so many terrible and monstrous things. And yet, he is still perpetually chasing the same fundamental thing. Each season could essentially function with him pursuing a new obsession. The first season was Beck. The second season was Love. And now, the third season is Natalie. That would be a familiar operating pattern for the show. The audience would know what to expect. As such, some curveballs have to be unexpectedly thrown in order to still surprise the people watching. Love isn't gone just because Joe has moved on to stalking Natalie. She knows his tricks as well. He isn't nearly as covert as he believes he is. That was revealed in the second season too. Love was just as capable at stalking Joe. She too feels the same impulses. She desires love. She craves it. She acts impulsively when it doesn't easily happen for her. They are horrified by each other because of what they are capable of doing. They are attracted to each other because they are kindred spirits. It's a complicated relationship. One that feels forced and strained on purpose. They always question what the other is doing. They can never tell if the other is joking about horribly disfiguring their neighbors. They refuse to be open and honest with each other. Love knows that Joe has these obsessions. She even figures out that he is operating that way towards Natalie. He claims he wants to do things right this time. That means he fantasizes about having sex with Natalie but doesn't actually do it. There is some truth to the idea that she is flirting with him though. She is basically in a lifeless marriage. The neighborhood doesn't really like her. She presents as a friend to Love. She offers support and guidance on how to navigate this world. She must gain respect while every action is analyzed excessively. This isn't the place to act irrationally. And yet, those impulses still dictate how these characters behave. Love dreams of opening a bakery. Natalie has the perfect location for her. Before even signing the paperwork, Love takes an axe to Natalie's head. Her response is only to call Joe and say that they need couples therapy. None of this is healthy. In fact, it's all quite twisted and depraved. Joe and Love have condemnation towards the various stereotypes of people who live in this world. They want to belong but feel as if they are failing at even appearing as healthy and functional human beings. They each strive for that success. They want that validation from each other. They simply take things to a deadly level when things don't work out for them. That too serves as a major disruption for the season. Joe never thought about what it would be like once he finally got the girl. He has Love but was obsessing over Natalie. And now, his wife kills their neighbor. The obsession is cut short before the season even really gets going. That's a shocking turn of events that once again confirms just how quickly this show burns through plot in the hopes of still entertaining the audience.