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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

'You' Season 3 Review: Penn Badgley & Victoria Pedretti Get Sick Of The Suburbs In Netflix Thriller

Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti next to a glass cell

Hello you, what a surprise to see you around here. Well, maybe it's not much of a surprise since You is so immensely popular that we're talking about season three of the twisty psychological thriller series already, after making the jump from network to streaming where it really broke through. Things are slightly different compared to previous seasons for our main serial killer and stalker Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) as we find him and menacingly matched Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) moving to San Francisco-esque suburbs of Madre Linda with their newborn son Henry. They are set to leave the past behind them and live a cosy domestic life before Joe's old habits resurface when a new neighbour comes into picture, also throwing Love off balance as she gets to know the community of their new home town.

First two episodes of the season maintain the show's main formula, observing a new place once again through Joe's perspective while Badgley narrates his character's findings. That narration has been a major part of the series' success but it feels even more refined and effective, almost as if showrunner Sera Gamble and her writers' room are willing to lean on madness with more courage now. Strength that is displayed through writing for Joe does however make a lot of the faults more obvious, case examples being episodes three and five where the exploration of a new residence is paused in order to introduce action without any kind of building blocks. Love and minor characters like teen neighbour Theo (Dylan Arnold) and Joe's colleague Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) are treated as wrecking balls to bring the house down which can easily make the story feel very much overstuffed.

Putting writing aside for now, acting in You continues the delicate dance between soap operas and crime thrillers, Badgley and Pedretti leading the way just as well as in season two while even smaller roles like Shalita Grant and Travis Van Finkle's (as Sherry and Gary Conrad, respectively) turn out to be more than the vague sketches they appear to be at first. That main quartet's work sets up the fantastic season finale which is a real high point for this series, creating the perfect mix of tension, consequences and bitterness while showing more technical flair than before. Now we're just off to see if there is anything more to ''You'' than has met the ''I''.

Smileys: Ending, Victoria Pedretti

Frowneys: Writing

Love will never die, they say.


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