Joe Goldberg has an obsession. Or at least he did.
Based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling 2014 novel of the same name, YOU introduced us to Joe (Penn Badgley), the charming literature obsessive who fell for a woman named Beck (Elizabeth Lail) the second she walked into his bookstore. Only in Joe’s world, falling for someone meant stealing her phone, hacking into her daily life, and masturbating outside her apartment window. You could call him a stalker, or you could say he was just madly in love. (He was definitely a stalker.)
But despite offering a fast-paced, morally complex story, YOU’s first season, which wrapped in November on Lifetime, didn’t make much of a splash…until it hit Netflix in late December. With the streaming giant reporting the show was on track to have 40 million subscriber views in its first month, it was no surprise when the series moved to Netflix for season 2. And while it will now be on a platform that eliminates network time restraints and restrictions, viewers can expect more of what they loved the first time around. “Netflix was clear they wanted us to give them a show that was like season 1,” says showrunner Sera Gamble. “They basically said, ‘It’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ ”
That’s not to say the story will feel the same. Much like in Kepnes’ 2016 follow-up Hidden Bodies, Joe is moving from New York to Los Angeles in season 2. It’s there that he’ll meet Love (Victoria Pedretti). “It’s not that simple love-at-first-sight he might’ve been looking for a couple of years ago,” Gamble says. “He’s a different guy. He’s been through more.” And Love sees that Joe has suffered a great loss — without knowing the gory details — and considers him a “kindred spirit,” as Gamble puts it. “The circumstances of his encounter with Love are very informed by what he went through with Beck.”
They’re also informed by the other woman in his life. Season 1 ended with the series’ biggest deviation from the books: Candace (Ambyr Childers), Joe’s ex, is alive and well! And she’ll throw him for a loop in season 2. “She is a survivor,” Gamble says. “And now she’s faced with some really difficult decisions about how she’s going to move forward.”
YOU season 2 hits Neflix on December 26.