‘You’ Creator Speaks Out About The “Disturbing” Response To Joe’s Character



Netflix’s You has quickly become one of the platform’s biggest success stories, becoming one of the streaming service’s most talked about shows.

The series’ main character Joe Goldberg has become an extremely divisive figure in online discussions. Despite being a monstrous, murdering stalker a lot of fans have been seemingly sympathising with him.

This got so out of hand that Penn Badgley, the man behind the character, actually had to remind fans that they shouldn’t like Joe.

Now the show’s co-creator Sera Gamble has opened up about the bizarre response to the character.

“Well, I kind of felt that way when I read the book,” she told Vulture. “It took me a surprisingly long time to realise that Joe was not a reliable narrator, because we were in his head and we were in his point of view.

“When you read Caroline [Kepnes]’ book, he gets creepy almost immediately. However, it wasn’t until I was a fair amount into the book that I realised that I was automatically forgiving him, and that I wasn’t even really doing it consciously.

“I was just so interested in him and seduced by the honesty of his inner monologue that I kept finding myself rooting for this couple. When I sat down and thought about that, that is really disturbing.”

She continued: “But how could we not, in some way, root for someone who is presented to us as a perfect romantic hero?

“A lot of what the show is about, as a lot of what the book was about, is playing with those expectations and revealing that there’s a dark side to that beloved archetype of the male romantic hero who sweeps in to save the day, whether or not you’ve even asked him to.”


Gamble also discussed how Joe’s previous actions will come back to haunt him in the second season.

“And I can’t say he’s fully reformed. It isn’t like he’s getting shelter dogs adopted in season two. He’s doing some pretty crazy shit. And the show has never made much of an attempt to condone what he’s doing.

“The thing we always remember is that he’s not any kind of a professional killer. He doesn’t consider himself a killer at all. He actually just thinks he’s doing what must be done to be a good man, and for that reason, he’s not perfect at it. And these things come back to haunt him.”

She concluded: “The second season diverges a little bit more from Caroline’s novel than season one did, but does still touch on a lot of the great stuff that she wrote.”

Send this to a friend