YOU: The “Nice Guys” Fallacy

YOU: The “Nice Guys” Fallacy

The world is made to believe that villains are just waiting for you to recognize them; with their personality traits, heinous appearances, and rather noticeable aspects. And a working pair of eyes is all you need to identify them. From the days of Shakespeare to the present, villains primarily have been recognized by their appearance. But it is not that simple; we have Netflix’s You season 3 to prove that not every pretty face is a hero.

The third season of the popular Netflix Original returned back in October 2021, starring the very handsome Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, as the major lead (or the main villain?). The show follows a cute bookseller as he stalks women, commits questionable crimes, and even murders people, justifying all this by saying it is for love. While Joe may appear to be a good guy, the man is practically a monster. And that certainly makes us question, is this “nice guy” trope just a fallacy?

The nice guy deception

While it is a well-known fact that not every criminal appears to be one, seemingly nice guys can often be the most horrendous monsters, but few shows actually talk about it. I mean, yes, there are some that have done it with great accuracy, and sitting on the top of that list is Netflix’s You. A show where you will plainly fall in love with Joe during the first few minutes, but will gradually see how ugly this man is.

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Men have this trait or rather need to appear as someone who is pleasing, beautiful, and desirable, and they honestly do not care what the cost is. Joe, at times, reminds me of Dorian Gray. Even though there are no direct parallels between the two, we can see that the two will go to extents just to make sure nothing hinders their impressions. The important thing that we need to see here is that these men actually think they are nice. “You have [these] characters that genuinely believe they’re innocent,” says Dr. Catherine Wheatley, a film studies lecturer at Kings College London. “It’s a problem of conflicting visions.”

You Season 3 and how romcoms created these unrecognizable monsters

We owe it to the cliche romcoms for giving us this rather weird notion; everything is justified if you are doing it for love. Knock, knock! It is not. You can not justify killing people, invading privacy, and kidnapping people by saying it is for love. For once, you may be able to justify pineapples on a pizza, but this is a clear and big NO. You as a show is a bit confusing as well; it really wants you to see how problematic Joe is, but also makes sure you see things from his POV almost 80% of the time. Maybe they just want us to judge this absolutely handsome bookseller who will not even think twice before slicing your throat.

A large chunk of the audience has still found a way to romanticize Joe, and Penn Badgley, the actor who plays the role, is never okay about it. he has reminded people multiple times that Joe is a murderer, and they should not overlook it.

You Season 3, however, has brought a minor change of pace for the show. Joe is living a peaceful life along with his son and wife in the suburbs and is trying to put an end to his murderer persona just to make sure his son is safe. But, You always needs a psychopath who will kill people for “love”. Coincidently Joe’s wife’s name is Love, and boy oh boy, she is definitely prepared to kill anyone who threatens her relationship with Joe.

Did you like this weird gender equality of the Netflix Original? Let us know in the comments.

One thought on “YOU: The “Nice Guys” Fallacy

  1. Reply
    Payal
    January 17, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    After that I would definitely love to watch this series. “you”

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