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You Season 3 found a new way to send up suburbia

  • Season 3 of the Netflix psychological thriller "takes the show on its funniest, meanest and most wickedly addictive ride to date, sending Joe (an avowed nonconformist and hater of the bourgeoisie) to the posh California bedroom community of Madre Linda," says Judy Berman. "Or, as he describes it, 'white-picket purgatory.' Last season’s bloodbath has subsided, for now, leaving Joe with a wife (Victoria Pedretti’s Love Quinn) who turned out to be just as unhinged as he is; a beloved baby son, Henry; and a full cast of new neighbors to loathe from the bottom of his twisted, hypocritical soul." But as Berman points out, "suburban satire and its criticism of conformity are about as old as the suburbs themselves, but rather than repeating The Stepford Wives or Pleasantville—or even the tongue-in-cheek mom dramedies of the aughts, like Desperate Housewives and Weeds—Madre Linda reflects our internet-addled, politically and economically polarized present...Caricatures like this have certainly been done before. But what makes You so fun and so different is the fact that it’s always playing with the tropes of popular entertainment at least as much as sending up the real social worlds it both mirrors and influences. Its makers haven’t just watched Desperate Housewives; they’re also banking on the likelihood that we’ve seen it, too, or are at least familiar enough with it to get what they’re doing when they cast Marcia Cross in a recurring role. The show never loses sight of the expectations viewers bring into story lines like the one in which the sullen dropout next door (Nashville alum Dylan Arnold) develops an all-consuming crush on Love: Christian Slater from Heathers meets Mrs. Robinson. Part of the pleasure in bingeing You (as Lifetime discovered, that’s really the only way to watch it) is spotting the archetypes and clichés and phonies, and laughing along as they get skewered. Cheating husbands! Submissive wives! Disaffected youth! Women running themselves ragged to 'have it all'! Men who live in multimillion-dollar houses and type on computers all day but spend their weekends running around the woods with crossbows! And, of course, season 3’s overarching trope: mommy issues. For a certain kind of viewer, myself very much included, there’s nothing more enjoyable than this deranged, Big-Little-Lies-on-steroids maximalism. Yet at its best—that is, much of the time when it isn’t needlessly flashing back to Joe’s generically awful childhood—the show does more than simply flatter its pop-culture-savvy audience. It challenges us, too."


    TOPICS: You (Netflix series), Netflix, Penn Badgley, Sera Gamble, Taylor Swift, Victoria Pedretti