6 things nobody wants to admit about You on Netflix

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Premiering on Lifetime in 2018 before moving over to Netflix, You is one of the most popular series on the platform, following a serial killer named Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley). In each season, Joe takes on new identities to escape his past life, but he can’t avoid forming new obsessions with the women he meets. The show is based on the book series written by Caroline Kepnes and was created by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural, The Magicians).

You is returning for its fifth and final season on Netflix, slated for a 2024 release that might be pushed back due to the ongoing actors’ strike. While we wait for any news regarding the conclusion to the popular thriller series, we’re breaking down 10 truths about You that fans just don’t want to admit. Do you agree or disagree with our takes?

Victoria Pedretti in You

You killed off Love too quickly

Let’s face it: Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) is the best character in You. Introduced in the second season, the unpredictable and intriguing woman from Los Angeles catches Joe’s eye pretty quickly. And while he starts to fall back into his bad habits of obsession with Love, we eventually learn that she’s not innocent either. And she’s willing to kill for love. Love challenges Joe and breathes fresh air into the storyline that would’ve gotten stale without her.

Unfortunately, Love’s storyline is cut short when Joe kills her in the third season, and the fourth season really suffers without her. Pedretti reprises her role when Love appears as a vision in front of Joe, but it’s not the same. I miss how much entertainment she brought, and the show is missing Pedretti’s undeniable presence.

Penn Badgley in You
YOU (L to R) PENN BADGLEY as JOE GOLDBERG in episode 302 of YOU Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Joe is not a character worth rooting for

As Joe Goldberg is the main character in You, we see everything from his point of view. We’ve gone along with him through his journey for four seasons now, and because of that, some viewers find it easy to root for him. It also doesn’t help that actor Penn Badgley is so talented and attractive. But despite this, there’s absolutely no reason to be on Joe’s side. He’s a serial killer who targets women. What else is there to say?

Badgley has spoken out on numerous occasions about the perception of his character, asking fans not to defend Joe. In 2019, the actor responded to tweets that were thirsting over Joe, calling him a “murderer” with “problems.” He’s admitted to disliking the character and has reminded audiences in interviews that Joe is “abusive,” “delusional,” and “self-obsessed.” All of this is a fair assessment of the character, which is why fans of the show need to stop rooting for him.

You on Netflix
You. (L-R) Ed Speleers as Rhys, Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 410 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

So much about the show is unrealistic

Yes, I know, it’s just a show, but Joe gets away with so much and it simply doesn’t add up! Not to mention, where does he get money throughout the seasons? He doesn’t have a steady career yet lives in fantastic apartments and doesn’t seem to worry about his finances. Some of his murders are so sloppy, and yet he comes out unscathed nearly every time.

It’s also strange that he’s able to target people who are very obviously stronger than him, such as Cary Conrad in the second season. I get that the show needs to work out in his favor for it to continue, but the writers seriously overestimate Joe.

The fourth season is without a doubt the most unbelievable, and some of the plot points are straight-up silly because of this. Sometimes you’re supposed to suspend disbelief when you’re watching works of fiction, sure, but this show asks a lot of the viewer in that regard.

You on Netflix
You. (L-R) Charlotte Ritchie as Kate, Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 409 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Splitting up the fourth season was a mistake

Netflix has experimented with changing their release strategies in recent years, for example shifting from Friday to Thursday releases (which wasn’t the right move) and breaking releases up into separate parts. You season 4 was a victim to both changes, which viewers really didn’t like.

The most recent installment came out in two releases one month apart, and though it wasn’t that long in between, the show lost its momentum. People started to move on from You already considering the episodes of the first batch dropped all at once, and the stakes didn’t feel as high leading into the second batch.

The way Netflix chose to split up the season was offputting as well; they split it right down the middle, but the way the first batch ends doesn’t feel like a good point to take a pause. I’m not sure why the streamer keeps breaking up seasons into two parts instead of just trying the weekly release model, but it very much didn’t work for You season 4.

Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti in You season 2
Photo: Victoria Pedretti and Penn Badgley in You season 2.. Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix /

Season 2 is the best season

The third season might be the most eventful of the bunch, but the second is easily the best in terms of quality. There’s the classic trashy fun people expect from You, but there’s also more character development and interesting storylines in season 2. The second season is when we meet Love Quinn, which is a huge pro, but we also meet awesome side characters like Ellie Alves (Jenna Ortega) and Delilah Alves (Carmela Zumbado).

The second season of You introduces new elements the first doesn’t have, and it’s a fun continuation of the story that doesn’t feel stale yet. We’re still early on in the show so the themes are entertaining without being overdone. Joe is still unpredictable in season 2, something the later seasons don’t particularly have.

You season 4
You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe, Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe, Lukas Gage as Adam in episode 401 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

The show has overstayed its welcome

You should’ve ended with season 3, and I stand by that. Though the second season is my favorite, the third is generally very well-liked by fans of the show and I get why. It’s incredibly dramatic and chaotic, and the ending is very surprising. On a high note like that, Netflix should’ve decided to pull the plug. But when a show is as popular as this one, we understand why they’d keep it going — even if it’s overstaying its welcome.

The fourth season of You is so disappointing and takes the show in directions we don’t need. Now that a fifth season is on its way, I have little-to-no hope it’ll be worthwhile. Fortunately, the fifth season will mark the end of the thriller series, which should’ve happened years ago.

For those who are still loving the show, we’ll continue to keep our readers updated on the status of You season 5 once we hear of more developments.

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