Why You's Joe Isn't A Sociopath In The Netflix Series, According To Showrunner

netflix you penn badgley joe
(Image credit: Netflix)

In case you're ready to set aside the holiday cheer and dive into something a whole lot more harrowing, Netflix has officially released the second season of You, starring Penn Badgley. The first season revealed Badgley in a much more murderous way than he was ever featured on Gossip Girl, despite that unexpected twist for his Gossip Girl character at the end, but You showrunner Sera Gamble says that killing his Season 1 love interest doesn't make him a sociopath moving into Season 2.

Explaining why Joe isn't a sociopath, Sera Gamble said this:

Joe's not a sociopath. Killing isn't easy for Joe, but he obviously has something inside him that allows him to cross lines in what he considers extreme circumstances.… [P]eople who do bad things aren't that different from people who don’t.

I'm not sure his victims would feel any better if they knew killing them isn't easy for the stalker/murderer/all around creeper, but it does make for a more interesting character! For any viewers who somehow thought that Joe had gotten the murder bug out of his system after what he did in Season 1, however, Sera Gamble's tease indicates that the trailer wasn't misleading about the new messes he'll be making in Season 2.

Sera Gamble, who also revealed the Season 1 scene that made her the most nervous, and the You team have crafted a season that will reportedly be like True Detective. This will be You's first outing on Netflix with entirely original episodes, as the first season aired on Lifetime before being moved to the streamer to be discovered by a whole new audience.

Viewers will have to tune in to see what's in store for Joe in Season 2 (along with the rest of the ensemble), but Penn Badgley already revealed that Season 2 left him injured and nauseous. If you ask me, that does not bode well for any new love interest(s) he may have in Season 2, along with any who get in his way! Sera Gamble went on in her chat with TV Guide to explain some of the changes for Joe after what happened in Season 1:

He's learning from his past relationships in that he's making new mistakes. You can see he's evolving. He's arguably picking women more suited to him, but you know, Joe's justification for murder hasn't evolved terribly.

Well, at least fans seemingly don't have to worry that Season 2 will just be a redo of Season 1, and not just because of new cast members! Joe will make some new mistakes in his new pursuits of relationships. Does that mean some of the objects of his affections have better odds of survival, or will his victims just be murdered in different ways?

Why You's Penn Badgley Says His Character Horrifies More Men Than Women

Find out for yourself with Season 2 of You, available on Netflix now. The second season runs for ten episodes as one of the final big premieres of the 2019 Netflix lineup. For some of what's in store next year, be sure to check out our 2020 Netflix premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).