In the weeks following Lifetime's You release, which was met with tremendous success after being aired on Netflix, Penn Badgley, who had to fill the boots of main character Joe, had started a personal campaign of sorts against his character on social media. You might wonder what kind of backward marketing strategy is that but the reason is simple, though troubling and confusing for the producers, as well as the actors. For some reason, many viewers, instead of despising him, fell in love with Joe - to the point where the main actor of the show became concerned and felt the need to voice his feelings on the matter.
Badgley took it upon himself to reply to the fans who found Joe anything else than repulsing.
Why is it exactly wrong to like Joe? For some of us, the answer will seem obvious - he's the creepy, murderous stalker that we definitely shouldn't be rooting for - but, as countless comments from the fans proved, that is not always the case. Let's break down Joe's character and prove just how much of a villain he is, for those who still have their doubts.
5. A Likable Guy Next Door?
Let's start with why people actually like Badgley's Joe - even though he's supposed to be the obvious villain of the show. Now, there's no denying that you can find a certain charm to his character. He has few traits that make him likable, almost relatable at times - but you're supposed to question them. Because sure, while Joe helps out his young neighbor, a boy named Paco who's being abused by the man his mother is dating, he spends another half of the episode of torturing and eventually killing the boyfriend of a girl he's stalking. In the cellar of the bookstore he works at, no less.
So yeah, Joe might seem like a nice guy - if a little socially awkward - but the fact remains that he's a serial killer. He obsessively creeps over Beck throughout the entire season after meeting her at random in his workplace, which eventually leads him to commit multiple murders. Definitely not the guy you want to be friends with.
As Badgley himself replied to one of Joe's fans: