Penn Badgley Just Confirmed The Fate Of You?

Penn Badgley says that while he signed a six-year contract, he thinks there is only one more season left in his show, You.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

penn badgley you

Penn Badgley says that the popular Netflix stalker show You has likely only one more season left in it. On a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the former Gossip Girl star revealed that he had initially signed a six-year contract for the show, but that he did not think the full option would be exercised by the producers of the series. Specifically, Penn Badgley said of You that “I think it’s only going to be one [more season]. I think–this is my understanding… nobody wants this show to become tired.”

Penn Badgley has starred in You as Joe Goldberg, a young bookstore manager initially presented as a closet romantic with a secret love for a customer named Guinevere (Elizabeth Lail). However, it quickly becomes apparent that Penn Badgley’s character is a highly delusional, murderous stalker who justifies all his actions via his perception of the young women that he becomes infatuated with over the course of You. Badgley has been critically acclaimed for his portrayal of the squeamishly sympathetic villain, most recently being nominated for a Hollywood Critics Association TV Award in 2022. 

Currently, the second half of the fourth season of You is scheduled to premiere on March 9, having succumbed to the tendency to break up a single season of a show into two discrete sections, much like Stranger Things or Breaking Bad. Over the course of the show, You has featured numerous actors whose popularity later exploded, most notably Jenna Ortega, who starred as a neighbor of Joe Goldberg’s in Season 2, and has since become a horror icon via Scream, X, and her own Netflix series, Wednesday. Season 1 also featured Zach Cherry as a co-worker of Joe’s; Cherry has since gone on to join the main cast of the acclaimed Apple TV+ science fiction series Severance.

penn badgley you

While both Penn Badgley and You have been critically acclaimed (and just as importantly, widely viewed), both the actor and the show have also become the center of controversy. The show has frequently been accused of romanticizing stalking and promoting domestic abuse, essentially by making a murderous stalker who justifies his actions through “love” the protagonist of the series. Both Penn Badgley and the producers of You have vehemently denied those criticisms, arguing that the show is examining those tropes by portraying them via a surface-level engaging character. 

Badgley himself has gone so far as to say “Joe is one of the worst people ever” and implored fans of the show not to emulate or imitate a character that is pretty clearly portrayed as wildly mentally unstable and violent. The current season of the show has Joe Goldberg fleeing to Europe after his latest murder and ready to latch onto a new person as the target of his affection, which is undoubtedly bad news for everyone involved. It may be that we get two more seasons of Penn Badgley and You, but if you believe the actor, things might be drawing to a close much sooner than that.