I wasn’t planning on even watching this show, much less writing a review. It had found out about from people talking about it on Twitter. I decided to give it a shot. I ended up skimming a lot of episodes and skipping over the parts I found boring. I did go back and watch some of the parts I seriously skimmed over, but I’ve watched this show in bits and pieces. I’ve gone from liking this show, to despising it, to being confused as to why it makes me so uncomfortable. So, I’m going to try and share all of my thoughts!
On the surface, this show is good. It’s interesting to watch something where the main character is so obviously wrong and deluded in his fantasies. I don’t watch things that often and it’s certainly an experience to root against the main character so much. It’s easy to get sucked in and get interested in this story that is so wrong, so invasive, and so different from other types of media. I think that’s why my enjoyment of the show comes in, from the security of knowing how in the wrong Joe is. To know that what he is doing is so incredibly perverse. To know that I should be rooting against him.
I did not like Beck. I thought she was boring, bland, and such a typical trope of a female character. She just seemed so plain to me. I think some of the reasons I got confused with my feelings of this show is because Beck has problems she needs to work through. She’s a main character and you expect her to work through her issues in a healthy way. You expect her to get better, to get stronger, to be able to get on with her life in a healthier way. I felt like all her struggles were completely ignored. Sure, they come up and sure, she deals with them in a way. But they are so obviously not healthy. And you know from Joe’s monologue that things are not going to get better for her. I felt like her problems were brushed aside and it’s not something I’m used to in a story. I think me not liking her and the blatant disregard of her well being (I know that’s kind of point, but still) through me for a loop.
I think what made me so uncomfortable was how real this is. I know that was part of the point, I know that was the message the writers were going for, but it still terrified me. I hate that this is the reality. I hate that men feel so entitled to woman and their feelings and their time and their lives. My discomfort comes from the fact that I see inklings of this behavior in some of the guys in my class. When discussing a book, they think it’s alright and kinda romantic for a character to be lowkey stalked and not have a say in a conversation regarding her. It makes me so incredibly uncomfortable that I have to explain why that is wrong. (Disclaimer: I do not know these guys personally and I do not know them well enough to fully judge them. I am just going off of comments they have made.) This show, and it’s message, terrifies me.
I also hate how it seemed like the show was trying to make a message on how this behavior is wrong, is creepy, and unacceptable. And then the end comes and it’s like they throw that whole message away so they can make a second season? It seems like they’re just trying to get more out of it than trying to make a point. I dunno, it’ll depend on how season 2 is I guess. I didn’t watch Beck’s monologue at the very end, so maybe this clears some of this up. I dunno.
I guess this show is well done since I wanted to keep watching. I think the point of it was to start conversations like this? It just really sucks that it’s a reality for a lot of people. So, my feelings toward it are really tangled.
Thank you for reading!