Television’s dopiest show, You, continues with “Maybe”, and I continue to love every moment of its charmingly stupid existence.
Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is useless. He’s terrible at disposing of bodies, for one thing. He’s had the corpse of his romantic rival dead in the basement of his workplace for, like, three days now. He’s too weak-stomached to smash his teeth out and has no idea how he’s actually going to dispose of the corpse beyond whatever titbits he can glean from popular crime fiction. He has convinced himself that Beck (Elizabeth Lail), his poetry-writing obsession, is a glimmering, innocent flower-child, without noticing that she’s one-night-standing her way around New York. And after all that fuss, when he finally does get in bed with her, he can’t last for more than five seconds. The title of this week’s episode is “Maybe”. Well, maybe not.
Still, this is all jolly good fun. You is a remarkably dumb show, but it’s smart enough to know that about itself. The stupider stuff gets, the more enjoyable it is to watch. Nobody talks or behaves like a real person, either. At one point in “Maybe”, Beck complains that she knows nothing about Joe, so he takes her into the bookstore basement where her boyfriend was decomposing and explains how his whole life is nurturing all these rare books – and she’s inexplicably super into it!
Like I said, nobody acts like this. That’s partly the point, though. It’s funny to watch Joe bundle a dead body in the back of his car and just leave it there while he ferries Beck and Peach Salinger (Shay Mitchell) around, because that level of idiocy is simply entertaining. Same goes for when Joe insists how special and doe-eyed and innocent Beck is when we can see quite clearly that she’s manipulating him into assembling her furniture and taxiing her around town. Joe insists, repeatedly, that he’s some kind of all-knowing lothario, and yet the moment he gets a bit of a smooch he immediately tries to go down on Beck in the furniture store where they go to purchase a replacement bed. Hers broke because she was having vigorous sex with someone else, by the way, which is just perfect.
And needless to say I have absolutely no idea where any of this is going. How could I? The advantage of nobody behaving sensibly is that it’s impossible to predict what nonsensical thing they’ll do next. Which is refreshing, really. I suffer through more than enough rote genre material. Give me surprising dumbness any day of the week.