“You” season 4: The murder mystery party was the “most difficult” to film
“You” showrunner Sera Gamble tells IndieWire how she set this season apart.
There’s no such thing as a simple dinner with friends when you’re dealing with the über-rich.
From “The Onion” to “Bodies Bodies Bodies” to the respective second seasons of “The White Lotus” and “Only Murders in the Building,” dinnertime portrayals of murder-mystery parlor games have been the key to murder at dinnertime. late. But let go of your expectations of Netflix’s meta-series “You,” as protagonist Jonathan Moore, aka Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), is acutely aware of his own stake in the slow-burning game.
Episodes 4 and 5, or rather the finale of Season 4 of “You,” Season 1 is set in a remote castle where Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper) and her morally numb college buddies seek solace from the Eat the Rich Killer, who Jonathan decides to , to prove that he is already among them. Of course, a drug-fueled and bird-hunting-centric weekend getaway to hide from a serial killer isn’t complete without a game of guessing who the killer is…using cards.
“Only Murders in the Building” had Son of Sam’s ’70s-themed card game, and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was an elaborate theatrical artifice at heart. And “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” the title game, ended in a brutal fatal twist as tech-obsessed wannabe Gen Z influencers unknowingly (mostly) killed each other IRL in the dark. All a meta-mystery party needs is a secluded mansion, an aversion to appetizers, and an appetizer of death when cold-blooded rich people with murder fetishes are nearby.
For “You” showrunner Sera Gamble, the most difficult arc to write in the entire series was the exhausting aspect of the series, which was doubled by the meta-murder mystery dinner.
“(Co-showrunner) Greg (Berlanti) brought up the idea of doing a whodunit. One of the first things we realized was, “Oh my God, Joe read it! He will know!” Gamble told IndieWire. “Then someone in the writers’ room quickly pointed out, ‘Joe hates women writers.’ But what made this fresh and different from other murder mysteries we’ve watched for research is that we’re going to be commenting every step of the way in Joe’s head because he was so aware of the story that he was in it.”
Gamble added: “Once you write something that’s a little cheeky and meta, it just wants to be more meta. Hence the idea of playing a murder parlor game to take your mind off the real murders in your circle of friends.”
After the table was set for the “You” season 4 dinner party from hell, Gamble knew it was a gambling to find the right salary.
“I give a lot of credit to any show that goes all season,” he said. “In my opinion, it is very difficult to continue them. Writing the first half of the season was a huge challenge. It’s just a genre that holds itself to a really high standard.”
Gamble continued, “It was easily the hardest story we broke. It’s funny to be standing there in Season 4 when you’re supposed to know your show so well and everyone in the room is just getting their heads around every single episode.”
But as protagonist Badgley teased, more games are in the works.
“When we talk about the opening this season, it was nice to try on the tweed Jonathan Moore suit, if you will, or mask it a little bit,” Badgley told IndieWire. “But of course Joe is always Joe, and that’s not really what’s going on.” So I think just from a practical point of view as an actor, I was really excited to be shooting in London, to have mostly British actors working alongside me, and to be able to throw it all into a different genre halfway through the season. It was interesting.”
As IndieWire’s Proma Khosla wrote in his review of Season 4, Episode 1 , the beloved camp drama series’ big twist was met with great joy in the wake of “The Onion” and other recent viral murder mysteries. “You” purposefully focuses on “disposable, two-dimensional characters, a decision that perhaps works because the show never sets them up to be anything else,” he wrote. “Joe’s shiny new friends begin to die one by one at the hands of a mysterious Eat The Rich Killer, and he finds himself in what he considers the lowest form of literature to be eagerly embraced by a devout ‘You’ audience: the detective novel.” Joe Goldberg is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and watchable characters of the streaming era, but with his colorful history, the character will never have a clean slate.”
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