penn badgley as Joe looms behind elizabeth lail as Beck in Netflix's You

Please Don’t Ship Joe and Beck Together on You

He murders people—like, that ain't cute.

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**Warning: Spoilers for You!**

I get it; a man dedicated to you so much that he’d do anything for you can seem appealing, but You ain’t it, fam—especially because that “dedication” leads to Joe murdering people for Beck, even though she didn’t ask for it.

Look, I’m someone who loves a good Patrick Bateman-like character, and that’s very much Joe Goldberg. Joe meets lovely young poet Guinevere Beck when she comes into his bookshop. Then, he Googles her (a seemingly harmless action) and finds her address … and all her friends. And watches her have sex. And it just continues to get creepier and creepier until he starts murdering people to protect their “relationship.”

So, why would anyone ship this? Or better yet, why would anyone thirst over Joe? (It is a real thing happening on Twitter, and I’m almost afraid to look at them.) He isn’t a good man. In fact, he’s a monster. Early in the season, he ends up murdering Beck’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, Benji, because he doesn’t think she’ll ever get rid of him on her own. So romantic!

Basically, their relationship is him continually lying to her to try to get her to love him, and then stalking her to the point where he drives away people he deems unsuitable for her. If anything, he lords over her in a way that no woman should ever find “sweet,” even in a guy who’s not going around and murdering your friends because he doesn’t like them.

“Sometimes, I swear, I’m the only real feminist you know,” Joe says at one point, which is laughable, since all he does is judge the women in his life on a superficial level because he doesn’t deem them worthy of Beck, who he also judged on a superficial level when he first saw her.

So, what exactly do these internet denizens see in Joe? I suppose it could be his complete dedication to Beck’s happiness, but you have to remember that the “happiness” he wants to give her is his idea of the happiness she wants—not what she actually needs or wants of her own free will.

Here’s the thing: I love a good romance. I don’t love a man willing to murder people he deems negative in order to give his girlfriend “the best life.” Beck can make her own decisions, and Joe’s sociopathic ways are not sweet. Oh, I also forgot to mention the whole bit where he traps her in a cage and tells her to write and pee in a bucket. That’s also not sweet or loving.

Joe Goldberg is not a dream man, and the relationship between him and Beck is nothing but manipulation on Joe’s part. Please do not aspire to have this relationship.

(image: Lifetime)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.