There’s not a lot of relatable content in You, the show about lovestruck serial killers, but there was one particular storyline in Season 3 that felt like it came directly from the real world. Midway through the season, Joe and Love become incredibly concerned about infectious viruses and vaccination statuses, which probably felt all too familiar to viewers in the real world, watching in the year 2021. However, You Season 3’s vaccine plot didn’t really have as strong a COVID connection as people believed, the showrunner explained in a recent interview. Here’s how that seemingly referential story just so happened to strike a chord with everyone who watched.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the first three episodes of You Season 3. The suburban social ladder of Madre Linda is almost as toxic as Joe and Love’s murder-fueled relationship in the third season of You. From fake-nice queen bees with their sycophantic followers to elusive tech moguls with morally questionable surveillance devices, Joe and Love’s new town is filled with a whole new realm of challenges for the big-city duo, and the scariest of all is a surprising fast-and-loose attitude around vaccinations.
In the third episode, Joe and Love’s young son Henry contracts measles, leading the couple to wonder how their kid could have caught the very preventable virus. Joe winds up spiraling when he realizes he isn’t sure of his vaccination status due to his erratic upbringing, but in the end, its the unsuspecting geology professor Gil who reveals his family is anti-vaccination and his children gave the measles to Henry.
Fans of the show probably assumed the vaccine story was a cheeky reference to the ongoing conversations around the COVID-19 vaccine, but apparently, that wasn’t the case. Showrunner Sera Gamble told TVLine that the writers crafted that episode before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in the United States in March 2020, and they were actually surprised to see how closely it mirrored actual conversations that arose in real life.
“Our writers’ room opened in February 2020,” Gamble said. “When we walked into the room, we thought, ‘Some crazy sh*t is happening overseas. We wonder if it’ll come here, because if it does, that’s not going to be great.’ But that storyline wasn’t a response to COVID or the vaccine conversation that’s been happening, especially for the past few months. If anything, as that was coming towards us, we were all very struck by how much these conversations related to that conversation in the episode.”
As strange as it may seem, it sounds like it’s pure coincidence that You released a vaccine-focused story arc at the same time that vaccines had become a huge talking point in the public. Now, fans will just have to wait to see if You Season 4 predicts some other weird controversy. Let’s hope not.