TV Review: Wait, 'You' Season 3 Premiere Has To Be Kidding Me

You Love Quinn Goldberg Victoria Pedretti Joe Goldberg Penn Badgley Netflix

Just when you think it is safe to estimate, the creative abilities of Netflix’s smash hit series, “You,” Season 3 premieres. The pop culture phenomenon is back with Joe contending with his most dangerous obstacle yet: life as a suburban husband and father. You have to be kidding me. How can one show be this good?

(Good news! *No* Spoilers)

In its opening moments, “You” sends Joe reeling as he and Love welcome a son in the Season 3 premiere instead of the daughter they had in mind in Season 2. For Love, it is not a big deal. For Joe, it is a massive shock to the system that puts him on a path of reckoning with himself.

Once again, Joe utilizes his insightful narration to take “You” viewers into the mind of a man with a rationalization for everything. Whether it is why he has hypocritically fallen out of love with Love or is struggling to connect with his baby son, Joe has an answer for it all. Unfortunately, he also has a new fixation in Season 3.

If you think this is going to be a repeat of his previous obsessions, though, think again. The ingenious team behind “You” has many more tricks up its incredibly cunning and clever sleeve. Moreover, the writing continues to be an absolutely operatic masterpiece that cuts an indelible figure as a dark comedy, moving drama, character study, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

There is no line out of place as Joe bemoans the “Hell-burbs,” railing against his neighbors while admitting it is the “prison” he deserves. The angle Season 3 walks up is simply masterful. What happens when Joe has to stop protecting himself and start focusing those efforts on his family?

“You” surprises with where it heads with this concept as Season 3 premieres. Joe is a man trying to outrun the shadow he has cast, and as one knows, you can never do that. His mind is a complicated minefield made even more explosive by his true match: Love Quinn-Goldberg.

Love and Joe are what it means to be an excellent TV coupling. One that gets better after getting married and having a baby. Most TV shows try to avoid that part of a pairing’s story. However, “You” leans into it in Season 3 with a remarkable abandon that breathes new life into a series that has never found itself winded.

Penn Badgley once again makes his case for awards attention with his nuanced take of Joe. Badgley’s growth as an actor continues to astonish as he digs even deeper into Joe’s psyche with painstaking commitment. Thanks to his wildly on-point take, Joe has dimension, pathos, and a wicked sense of humor that makes the character one of the most dynamic currently on TV.

Thankfully, Joe has someone to play off of in Season 3 that knows the ins and outs of his mind. As Love, Victoria Pedretti manages to keep the likable woman Joe fell in love with while also playing the dark part that loves Joe despite his true self. Pedretti and Penn Badgley make for a formidable on-screen team, and “You” has genuinely never been better as a result.

Three seasons in and still going strong, this dynamite drama shows no signs of sliding. The series continually comes up with something new to cut its teeth on, avoiding the plague of a painful plot redux. As someone who has approached every season with skepticism, it is saying something that “You” never fails its assignment. 

The Season 3 premiere of “You” is brilliantly ambitious entertainment. Not since “Bates Motel” has a show had as deep of an emotional undercurrent. “You” actually has meaning. Netflix still has a major adult hit on its hands. Hopefully, it makes more of them, even if “You” is impossible to match. What can I say? “You” gets it.

The first three seasons of “You” are now streaming on Netflix. You need to hurry up and watch.