Spoilers: YOU season 2
If you’ve binged the latest Season of Netflix’s YOU, you know that Joe is still a terrifying and psychopathic killer, but ironically enough found someone that was even more unhinged than himself. Season 2 was a little bit of a let down and mostly a stretch when compared to the first season, but hey, that’s usually how sequels go. What I found most entertaining from the season, especially as a previous tenant of Los Angeles, were all the LA references that Joe so accurately called out. Sure, Joe Goldberg may be a stalker and murderer, but even he casts harsh judgment upon the beast known as an Angeleno.
ANAVRIN is your typical LA bougie grocery store with the standard amount of overpriced juice, organic grocery items, AND a bookstore, because…those things go together? The store’s clever name is NIRVANA spelled backward to subconsciously entice customers into paying $9 for a bottle of kombucha that can be finished in three sips. Think Whole Foods but even more upscale and boutique-y. The grocery store is obviously owned by two rich parents that opened the establishment so that their two children, Love and Forty, could have a place to work. Although we don’t actually ever see Love or Forty work… Let’s just say that kids with rich parents THRIVE in Los Angeles.
2. Literally everything about Forty Quinn
I can tell you firsthand that encountering the “Forty Quinn” type is painfully cringeworthy IRL. Forty is your stereotypical rich asshole without limits, consequences, or any perception outside of his own. He’s entitled, which makes him over-the-top whiney and highly sensitive if someone dares to disagree with him or he goes more than four minutes without receiving praise. Plus, he has an abundance of financial resources and unlimited get-out-of-jail-free cards. In Forty’s mind, life is transactional, and lucky for him, there’s no price out of range. If he wants something he buys it, even if it’s to force someone to spend time with him. Mid-season, he pays two people to fake kidnap him and Joe, only to have them locked in a hotel room for several hours so that Forty can have Joe help him write his script adaptation, AKA have Joe write the script while Forty watches.
Forty desires what he believes to be success but wants that fulfillment without any work or effort from himself. His privilege is his worst enemy, and he has no interest in contributing to a world other than his own. Without consequences, he stays stagnant in an elementary state of mind. In Hollywood, there are plenty of people that fit this description, and typically they do pretty well because of their last name and the money they were born into.
3. That girl live-streaming a “thank you” to her Instagram followers in public
In one of the opening scenes, Joe is walking through a filming set, a familiar scene throughout Los Angeles. Once he gets past the film crew, he bumps into a girl that is screaming at her phone after reaching 3 million Instagram followers, professing her undying love for each and every one of them.
Of course, this is a common theme on social media today. When an influencer reaches a certain threshold, there is cause for celebration, but it serves more like a plea to brainwash their followers into thinking they have a true relationship with the person their following. Out in LA, in public, there are a number of people who look like they are talking to themselves, but in all actuality, they are either live streaming or recording footage on their phones to be published later to their social media followers. It can be quite creepy up close, especially if it becomes contagious and bystanders watch and repeat. The irony is that most people that are making the effort to thank their followers are likely thanking a majority of bought followers and not actual people.
4. The girl that asks for a photo shoot (of just herself) on a first date
When Joe briefly tries out a dating app, he goes on a couple of disaster dates. The most classic LA date would have to be the girl that has no interest in talking to Joe because she is only interested in getting a photo of herself to post later. She has Joe take a number of photos using her phone, and then some more, and then asks him to try some additional angles, AND THEN asks him to take some with his phone, just in case his phone takes better photos. Dating in LA is sometimes more about capturing a selfie than actually partaking in a conversation or human connection.
5. The obsession with the “industry”
Since Joe just moved to Los Angeles, the first question anyone asks him is if he moved here for the industry. It’s the most common question that’s on a constant loop in Los Angeles, with the primary motivation of self-interest. Most people in LA are hungry for breaking into what they see as the industry but is more accurately translated into the lust for fame. And it’s absolutely true that when you’re in LA, you really never know who you’re sitting next to or passing by, because it’s usually always one of three things: someone famous, someone stupid rich, or a professional con artist.
6. The Quinn family “WELLKEND”
Only in LA could someone create and promote the term “wellkend,” and no, that’s not a typo. Love and Forty’s parents renew their vows in front of family and friends for a weekend of wellness—WELLKEND. The wellkend includes shamans, facing a real-life wolf for reflection, meditation, forming a giant circle and standing in the middle to shout your dreams to everyone, white pajama-like attire, an open bar, and yurt-living.
7. The name “Love”
Trendy and *cough* stupid *cough* baby names are quite common in LA LA land, and twins Forty and Love are no exceptions. Although their names are stupid enough on their own, they were chosen to form a tennis pun, Love, Forty. Are you shaking your head right now? Yeah, me too.
8. Candace lying about being an Indie film producer
Because of Angelenos’ obsession with the industry, a lot of people lie or stretch the truth about their past, current, and even future job experience within film and television. Although Candace is lying because she knows someone like Forty is only interested in hearing what he wants to hear, lying about being a producer without any producing experience is a common white lie hear around Los Angeles that carries over to acting, modeling, and any similar occupation within this realm. I worked at a restaurant in West Hollywood for a few months where nearly everyone claimed they were an actor as their additional occupation. Still somewhat new to LA and naive, I discovered that “working actor” and “wannabe actor” often are meshed together when they are entirely dissimilar.
9. Someone being okay with being kidnapped and held captive
Naturally, Joe’s first act of business in LA is to kidnap the real Will Bettelheim and steal his identity. To keep up the ruse, Joe keeps Will captive in his homemade cage that lives inside of a storage unit. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, Joe decides to let Will go eventually in hopes of becoming a better person? A for the idea, F for still continuing to murder people Joe. So for whatever reason, Will does go free but continues to stay in touch with Joe, as he feels like he owes him for letting him go. This warped perception is a result of delusion you find in LA. I mean, sure, there’s an argument that Will is showing the power of forgiveness, but common sense says maybe don’t stay in constant contact with the serial killer that locked you in a cage for weeks? I don’t know, maybe that’s just the pessimist in me?
10. Successful comedian douchebags
The real-life hilarious comedian Chris D’elia plays faux comedian and ultimate creep “Hendy” Henderson for the first few episodes in season 2. Although this isn’t breaking news, it does serve as a reminder that there are still plenty of men in Hollywood that have enough money and fame that allows them to get away with predatory behavior towards women, and in Henderson’s case, young girls. People often let the limelight blind them from the truth, but being rich and famous does not give you a pass on assaulting women. Although Henderson is ultimately murdered by our favorite sociopath, Joe, there are still crowds of people that protest Henderson’s innocence based on fan-admiration that lives and breathes in the heart of Hollywood, still to this day.
Well, at least LA still has nice weather, right?