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Fortunately for me, the Lifetime-turned-Netflix original series initially aired in the fall but appeared on the streaming service just in time for that post-Christmas, pre–New Year week of purgatorial boredom.“Well, hello there. ” says Penn Badgley (never better, though this is where I shamelessly confess that I’ve never seen Gossip Girl) in the opening minutes of the pilot, uttered in a tone that carries both wry curiosity and a bit of menace. You’re not the standard insecure nymph hunting for Faulkner you’ll never finish.”And so begins the story of Joe, the charming bookstore manager who takes a liking to Guinevere Beck (“yeah, my parents were assholes with the whole naming thing”) a lower-middle-class Brown alum now getting her MFA in poetry.In a scene shot in warm oranges and yellows, the camera lingers on the (cute! The running narration continues: “You search the books. She is trying to make ends meet on a TA salary while keeping up appearances with her cadre of rich, catty friends: body-positive Instagram influencer Annika; boy-crazy Korean adoptee Lynn; the deliciously bitchy Peach Salinger (“Yes, that Salinger,” played with delightful menace by Shay Mitchell); and Beck’s douchebag not-boyfriend Benji.If you're like 95% of online daters, you Google a person before meeting.The problem is, you're only getting part of the story.And then there are all the little details that make the show smarter than your standard Lifetime melodrama.(Just fast-forward through the parts where Beck reads her writing out loud.) Trans actor Hari Nef was cast as Blythe — the all-too-perfect, pretentious fellow grad student who wrote an “amazing” essay about developing bulimia on a trip to Italy with her mother — and her gender identity is completely irrelevant to the part; she’s as gratingly human as the rest of the cast.When that relationship with Benji finally ends, courtesy of Joe and his book mallet, Beck turns to Tinder where she finds instant gratification, amid a glut of app cliches: “Man with tiger” and “Viking wannabes.” And then when Beck finally does find a man who seems willing to commit, it turns out that he was stalking her all along and then MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: ends up killing her.
In November, the Atlantic published a cover story by Kate Julian about our so-called sex recession.
Traveling is great and all but the less time you spend in Hong Kong means the less time you have to: I’m not being facetious with #3.
Not forgetting about them requires in real life (IRL) dates and a sense of momentum that is lost if you can’t see each other regularly (and without long gaps in between).
It’s also actually very fitting in a kismet sort of way that You has attracted all this renewed interest around that time in the new year when the perpetually single resolve to hold their noses and redownload those dating apps.
I, too, have reluctantly decided to wade back into the muck of online dating, and it’s predictably depressing.