(Editor’s Note: I recently spotted Penn Badgley in a book store in New York and after watching You, it truly freaked me out.)

Millie Bobby Brown has openly admitted to having a crush on Penn Badgley’s character in Netflix’s new water-cooler talking point You. For the uninitiated, the former Lonely Boy plays Joe, an unhinged book store clerk who becomes completely obsessed with Beck, a writer.

In the first episode alone, Joe stalks Beck’s Instagram, finds her address by way of Google Images and lurks in the bushes outside her apartment and masturbates. He also partakes in some light murder. But as the show is set in New York City – and Joe looks and acts every bit like Badgley’s famed Gossip Girl character Dan Humphrey – it’s presented to the viewer as somewhat romantic. In a twisted way, we’re rooting for Joe and Beck while simultaneously setting our Instagram accounts to ‘private’.

In a now-deleted Instagram story, the 14-year-old Stranger Things actress called Joe “romantic”. And in 2019, that just didn’t fly with the internet. But where do we draw the line? It was wrong for Brown to think that way, but she’s a teenager whose opinions are still evolving  – not to mention a product of our culture.

“So I just started that new show You… He’s not creepy, he’s in love with her and it’s okay… By the way, I know everybody is gonna say ‘Ahhh, he’s a stalker, why would you support that?!’ But like, he’s in love with her… just watch the show and don’t judge me on my opinion,” she said.

Badgley has had to be very open about where he stands on his character. While admitting to Joe being pretty much “just Dan with a knife”, he’s replied to Twitter fans who have developed unhealthy idealisations of Joe. Take a look.

You is currently stReaming on Netflix.

 

thoughts?