8 things you didn’t know about the Netflix series
YOU has quickly become one of Netflix’s most popular series in recent years. The stars of the hit show Gossip Girl former student Penn Badgley as the central role of Joe Goldberg, as he obsesses, hunts down and murders through a series of women over the course of the show.
Among Netflix’s most successful series to date, YOU is one of the most culturally significant and memorable shows the streaming platform has released. The concept of the Joe Goldberg-esque stalker caught on with the times in ways the show’s creators could never have imagined when the show premiered in 2018. With a fourth series on the way filming in London, there’s plenty more Joe Goldberg to watch forward to. Before the fourth series hits Netflix, most likely in 2023, viewers should brush up on their knowledge of YOU.
Although it is currently streaming on Netflix as one of the platform’s most popular shows, YOU finds its origin in writing. YOU is based on the novel of the same name by American author Caroline Kepnes, first published in 2014.
While the first season of the series follows the novel, there are big changes between YOU and its literary counterpart. Since then, Kepnes sequel novels hidden bodies & You love Me have less and less in common with the series created for television by Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti.
The show originally premiered on Lifetime, not Netflix
YOU became one of Netflix’s most popular and successful series, but while most viewers discovered the show by browsing their Netflix feed, the show originally premiered on the Lifetime network in the United States.
YOU was not a hit show when it aired on Lifetime, averaging less than 1 million viewers per episode (via EO), while the first season of the show was seen by more than forty million people on Netflix. YOU The thriller setup definitely lent itself more to the binge model pioneered by Netflix, rather than the weekly episodic release employed by Lifetime. Acquire YOU was certainly a huge blow for Netflix and a major loss for the Lifetime network.
Easy reading for Penn Badgley
If there is one thing that comes to the mind of the public when they think of YOU, it’s Joe Goldberg’s chilling and idiosyncratic central narrative. The peculiar nature of Joe’s constant internal monologue has become something of an online meme, and even led star Penn Badgley to narrate Joe-style fan videos (via YouTube). Due to the importance that storytelling plays on the show, Badgley actually spends most of his time doing lines as Joe in the recording booth.
Talk with EOBadgley explained that some days he had no lines on set: “A lot of times I would go to work and not have any spoken lines that day. I felt much closer to a crew member and just part of this crew doing this thing.” Watching YOU without Joe’s voiceover, the viewing is really strange (watch now on YouTube).
Penn Badgley almost turned down the role
There’s no doubt that Penn Badgley plays spooky protagonist Joe Goldberg to absolute perfection. While the actor and the creative team behind YOU are always quick to point out that Joe is not a romantic or likable hero, there are fans of the show who are quick to defend Joe’s actions. This uneasy relationship between the character’s portrayal and his actions almost led Penn Badgley to turn down the role.
In an interview with EO, Badgley revealed he was initially hesitant about the role until he met co-creators Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti. They assured her that Joe would not be portrayed as a romantic hero and that his wrongdoings would never be glorified. Badgley, in the years since the show aired, has always been quick to point out that he doesn’t connect with his character at all and struggles to play the role because of it.
Mooney’s bookstore is a real place in New York
Joe Goldberg begins Season 1 of the show as the manager of Mooney’s in New York, a gorgeous independent bookstore where Joe initially watches unsuspecting student Guinevere Beck. Complete with a basement that Joe uses as his own personal prison, Mooney really has it all. Well, fans of the show can visit the bookstore in real life on a passing visit to New York, minus the basement jail.
Logo’s Bookstore in Manhattan doubles for Mooney’s on the show, with all external and internal shots filmed on location. Check their website for information on how to find this iconic New York filming location.
A murderer created by a team of (mostly) women
There is nothing new or original about male stalkers/murderers in film and television. Go back to the 1960s Voyeur, directed by Michael Powell, there has always been a cinematic fetishization of male harassment and prying at women. While YOU seems, in this sense, to be part of the continuity of a long tradition, what distinguishes the show is that the majority of the creative team is made up of women.
For starters, the novel the show is based on was written by Caroline Kepnes, while the co-creator and showrunner is Sera Gamble, also known for her work on Supernatural. On top of that, most of the show’s writers and directors are women. So while many have accused the show of normalizing the male gaze in the 21st century, it’s precisely the opposite. As Gamble revealed in an interview with The New York Timesit was exactly this real-world experience as a woman that allowed her to bring a sense of 21st-century realism to the show.
One of Netflix’s biggest shows to date
It’s no secret how much YOU was for the first streaming platform in the world. YOU is easily one of Netflix’s most popular original series, with the likes of Bridgerton, squid gameand the witcher. But fans may still be wondering how successful the series was for Netflix.
According to official data from Netflix which ranks their most popular shows based on hours watched in the first 28 days, YOU The second and third seasons are Netflix’s tenth and ninth most popular English-language series to date. An astonishing achievement for a show that was canceled for life.
Dylan Arnold auditioned for Joe Goldberg
Dylan Arnold appears in YOU season 3 as Love’s illicit love interest Theo Engler. A college student, with a strained fatherly relationship, Theo quickly falls in love and the two enter into a strange boy-next-door relationship over the course of the season. Arnold’s character, unfortunately, meets an untimely end at the end of the third season, a fate shared by many. YOU secondary characters. However, Arnold could have appeared in the series as another character: Joe Goldberg.
In an interview with teen vogue, Arnold revealed that he actually auditioned for the role of Joe Goldberg back when they were auditioning for the part. Arnold also revealed that he auditioned for the role of Forty in Season 2, but was also unsuccessful.
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