You (TV Series)

[If you’re interested in a full discussion of the Netflix series, You, check out the You episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast!]

It’s tough to make a show about writers. We’re generally dull people, but besides that, externalizing an internal process…that’s fraught with issues, meaning lots of cheesy voice-overs of bad writing.

There’s a disproportionate number of movies about writers, because writers know about writing and think what they do is really important, when it really pales in comparison to, oh, neurosurgery.

Which brings us to You, a Netflix Series that’s got the glossiness of Melrose Place, and its brain too, depending on your perspective.

Guinevere Beck (“Beck”) is an MFA student with aspirations of holding down a John Updike New Yorker gig, or maybe becoming the next Robert Pinsky. Problem is, she’s neither inquisitive nor creative, procrastinating like it’s everybody’s business and with a work-rate to rival JD Salinger. Speaking of whom…one of Beck’s friends is a distant relation to Mr. Catcher in the Rye.

Beck crosses paths with dashing Joe (pictured), a literate Midtown Manhattan book store manager who can match her with verse and is no slouch in the flirt department.

Soon, they hit it off, but paranoid Joe stalks her immediately, gazing into her palatial brownstone walk-up (seriously, if this is what passes for student-subsidized housing in New York City, I can reasonably expect to rent a 1,000 square-foot dorm). This then escalates into social media stalking, admittedly not too difficult as both Beck and her cadre of friends are so self-absorbed they could double as infomercial sponges.

What Joe sees in her is anybody’s guess, and where You keeps you guessing is that it’s not the usual “if I can’t have her, no one can” boilerplate. Instead, Joe is more than happy to play the long-game to wait out a revolving door of sub-par lovers before he can tee off.

There are some fun subplots where our charming stalker stepdads a neighborhood boy on his stoop, and there are enough references to good writers to let the occasional sloppy writing pass.

Pure, sugary junk, this Netflix show is oddly enjoyable even if its writers have already painted themselves into a narrative cul-de-sac in the first season (no spoilers here).

*** (out of 5)

The Really Awful Movies Podcast

Smart talk, dumb movies? That’s not a bad description. The Really Awful Movies Podcast is a celebration of genre cinema of all stripes, with a focus on horror. If you like what you read here, or in print (our acclaimed book, Death by Umbrella!) you’ll (hopefully) like what’s being talked about there.

Every week on the show, Jeff and I get down to the business of critiquing films that occasionally get short-shrift from the mainstream. Despite our name (derived from a phrase one of our mothers used to describe a burgeoning interest in horror, “why do you have to watch those awful movies?”) we are relentlessly positive, silver lining types. Even as we fire broadsides, we pull back and offer praise and constructive criticism (something lacking in movie criticism).

Over the course of hundreds of episodes, we have explored everything from misguided musicals (Xanadu), to lurid Italian cannibal movies (Cannibal Ferox), meatheaded action flicks (Shotgun), and even silent surrealist films (Un Chien Andalou).

The beauty about our mandate is we’re never pigeonholed. As much as we could chat about our favorite slashers week after week, we have the luxury of pulling back and delving into film noir, like we did with D.O.A., or peeling back the curtain for some 70s exploitation (The Baby).

We realize that time is precious. When we started The Really Awful Movies Podcast, we wanted to create bite-sized morsels rather than buffet-style entrees. As a result (with a few exceptions), our episodes are roughly 30-45 minutes in length. We cut right to the core, with some extemporaneous personal anecdotes and detours as we see fit. Mostly though, we place our focus where it should be: on the film.

You may have wondered about our banner…The Lamberto Bava film, Demons, is a mutual favorite. It’s a perfect combination of hilarity and horror, a lunk-headed oddity that is impossible not to love. And those three demons on the poster capture the spirit of the film  (and our podcast) perfectly, even if there are only two of us (we have a guest on occasion, so there’s room for a third).

If you’d like to subscribe to The Really Awful Movies Podcast, we’d really appreciate it. We’re not big on Patreon. Instead, we urge listeners to grab copies of our book (soon to be plural – update to come) to support us.

Thanks for listening! And thanks for reading too, we update Really Awful Movies as humanly possible.

Best,

Chris & Jeff