"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

You 4.1.-4.5: So Far, Less than the Previous Seasons

So, I watched the first five episodes of the 4th season of You -- Netflix's new way of breaking the streaming of a series season into two parts, as they did with the final season of the superb Ozark earlier this year -- and well .... 

I thought this first part of the fourth season of You was ok at best, even lackluster in comparison to the earlier seasons, which were whip sharp and exciting.

Joe's in England, now masquerading as a literature professor, which of course he's very good at, given his past experiences in bookstores and libraries, and his easy way with speech.  He's trying to stay out of trouble, and resist getting involved with a woman he sees in the window, ala Hitchcock and lots of other stories.  Of course, he cannot resist her, and the only surprise in that is that it took so long.

[Some big spoilers ahead...]

Of much greater interest, and what could be the saving grace of this season in its second part, is Joe finding a dead body in what looks like an attempt to frame him for the murder.   Further, he finds a wall with all sorts of news clippings that relate to his escapades in previous seasons.   His wrongly guessing as to who could be this new culprit is mostly tedious.  Until ...

We get to the single best part of these first five episodes, when this nemesis is revealed as Rhys, played by Ed Speleers, who did a top-notch villainous job as Stephen Bonnet in Outlander.  So now at last we have a strong, charismatic, potentially lethal opponent for Joe:   Rhys (Ed Speleers) vs. Joe (Penn Badgley).  That's a fight I want to see.

I'm also looking for a little more development of Joe and his possible new true love Kate (Charlotte Ritchie).  As of the first five episodes, their relationship is short of what we saw of Joe and his previous incandescent relationships and their complexities in the previous seasons.

See also:  You: Review from an Unconflicted Fan ... You 2: Killer Charm ... Spoiler-Free Review for You 3


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