You have come to know Penn Badgley from Gossip Girl as Dan Humphrey. In You, his character is still low-key but monstrous at the same time cause he doesn’t have any qualms of murdering the people around the person that he is obsessed with if they get in the way.
He is careful, cunning, smart, and he knows what he’s doing, which makes him a scary dude. The right mix of the thrill is there, plus the sexiness of Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg when he is obsessing about someone just made the series captivating.
He will try to make his fantasies come true to the point of fantasizing about having sex with the person he’s obsessing with at first. But as the ladies didn’t stand a chance with his charm and boy-next-door persona, Joe gets his luck with the woman he prefers.
The show does not always have Gen Z and millennial following, and there is a lack of high enthusiasm for the show at first, but once the news of the show being a gem, the second season is already being discussed.
You have attracted an audience of different ages (don’t let the kids watch, please) because of the great acting of the main character, Joe, who seems a little creepy at first but will get his charm going after a while.
The other actors in the series also played their roles very well, and the combination of Joe with the other actors made this TV series a huge success. The plot was well-written, and Joe’s narration of how he justifies the need to kill for him to have his happy ending just made it more compelling.
Talk about a killer with a conscience because, for the third offering of You, Joe decided not to kill anymore as he’s done with it and only wants to be a good father for his child. But to the followers who were able to watch the episodes, you know it ended differently.
Tv shows similar to YOU:
1. Dirty John
This drama series is based on a true story of an interior designer, Debra Newell, played by Connie Britton, a woman who supposedly has more success in her professional life. Eric Bana played the role of John, who dates Debra and shows an almost perfect personality; in truth was lying about his identity.
John is the perfect fit for the Joe character, he is so charming, handsome, and can sweep any woman off her feet, but just like Joe, he is deadly. He knows how to hide his secrets, and this will put Debra’s entire family in danger.
If you like to be a part of another psycho’s psyche, this one is another option.
The TV series follows the life of Dexter Morgan, who is living a double life. He is soft-spoken, charming, and quite pleasant, so there will be no red flags, and he can blend in despite his taste for murdering people who are guilty of one crime or another. He got a job at the Miami Metro Police Department, and this gave way for him to pick the bad guys and make it more of a hunting spree for him.
Dexter resembles Joe Goldberg, who always justifies why he has to do the things he has done but, in truth, has violent tendencies and the urge to kill. But he’s just focusing it on the guilty ones.
3. Bates Motel
Norman Bates, played by Freddie Highmore, leads in this iconic film based on the 1960 film Psycho. Norman moved with his mother to a small town, where they also purchased a motel as they planned to start a normal life. It didn’t turn out as expected because of the tragedy that happened to them on the first night of owning the property.
Norman had his first taste of murder the same night as he helped his mother, who was attacked and raped. His fragile psyche became more delicate after that incident.
Another You-like plot where the lead character is also gentle and looks harmless.
4. The Fall
Here stars Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector, who everyone thought is a doting father and a loving husband but is a serial killer. The story is set in Belfast, where the serial killer stalks his victim.
The serial killer’s style and thirst for murder got the attention of the talented detective played by Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, who was brought in to help with the case.
Dornan is charming and fits the gentleman character like Joe Goldberg. He intentionally prefers to hurt and targets women and loves the hunting game to show his ruthlessness. His understanding between right and wrong seems to be seriously blurred.
It may not be the same obsessive character that Joe Goldberg has, but still, the story is about the brilliant facade of the main character, Jason Bateman. He plays Marty Byrde, a family man with a beautiful wife and two adorable kids. People see him as a doting husband and a happily married man with the usual boring daily activities, but he lives a double life.
Marty had to move to Ozarks because of his failed “business,” which is money-laundering. This started the family’s hardships as they needed to adjust to a different lifestyle, negotiate with the underworld, and must scheme their way to survive.
6. The Assassination of Gianni Versace
The story revolves around the death of the most high-profile fashion designer in the world, Versace. In 1997, Andrew Cunanan killed Gianni Versace in broad daylight using a gun and shooting Versace twice in the back of the head.
Cunanan was said to be a serial killer as he was also a suspect for four more deaths, and he’s said to be targetting ex-lovers who caused him to have HIV.
He became the subject of a national manhunt and was also included in the Ten Most Wanted fugitive list of the FBI. He then shot himself to death, and this put a stop to the nationwide search.
The real reason for Cunanan’s motive for killing Versace is still unknown up to this day, and there have been many speculations about it.
This TV series tackles the psychology of a killer. It is inspired by real crimes committed, including the Atlanta and Manson murders. It discusses the killer’s early years and what led them to commit murders or be serial killers. The various methods used by FBI agents also came into focus in this series as the agents played by Anna Torv, Jonathan Groff, and Holt McCallany.
Although this is a bit different from the You series, this is still about killers and how to understand what made them do such things and how they even begin.
The series is compelling, exciting, and creepy and will surely get the attention of You followers if they are thirsting for more of the same genre.
For Joe Goldberg’s followers, here is another offering by Netflix that focuses on the iconic and cannibal-like serial killer called Hannibal.
Criminal profiler Will Graham played by Hugh Dancy, tried to understand what made Hannibal Lecter tick and at the same time formed a partnership with him to track down serial killers by understanding what they will do next and helping to get to their psyche.
Little did Graham know, Hannibal is more alike with the killers they are hunting. Viewers will love watching this as they get to the edge of their seats with much excitement, just like how they get the thrill from watching You.
9. Killing Eve
Although the main characters here are all played by women, they did play their roles well. The show is about two fierce women, Eve, a security service operative, and another Villanelle, a talented killer.
Their obsession with each other is the focus of this series as they try to topple each other and outsmart one another. It is again a game of cat and mouse where each episode will give you something to look forward to after.
The script is well written and considered refreshing by many viewers, and at the same time, this will keep the You followers entertained while they are waiting for You’s season 4.
10. How to Get Away With Murder
So, Joe Goldberg can get away with murder without putting suspicion upon himself. In this series, the plot is about the criminal defense lawyer and professor and her law students who find themselves amid a murder. Annalise Keating, played by Viola Davis, helped her students cover up the murder and each of her students tried their best to act as if nothing happened. Issues and problems keep piling up, which the characters will try to solve at every turn.
Joe Goldberg gets away from murdering several people, particularly the women he got involved and obsessed with on his own.
11. Gossip Girl
Although this is different from the murder indulgence made by Joe Goldberg in You, this series is the one to watch if you still want to see Penn Badgley in action.
In this TV series, the plot focus on the people’s lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is about gossips and intimate details that one digs for the Gossip Girl column, and the rich people constantly find juicy tidbits from there.
The column can be ruthless as it contains tidbits that can ruin relationships, and some can be based on pranks that can destroy people’s lives.
Penn Badgley played the act very well as he seems to be just an onlooker, but he is hiding behind the pen name Gossip Girl.
The plot is about an elite group of Italian High School Students who started a prostitution business. The series is filled with scandals, obsession, secrets, and dangerous affairs.
Baby is already on its third season, and you will surely get hooked after the first season. The series is just a bit scandalous because it is about child prostitution that will not sit well in many countries.
This TV series was inspired by the Baby Squillo scandal in 2013. The plot focuses on Baby, Chiara, and Ludovica. Baby becomes involved in underage prostitution, all for the love of money, and speaking of secret life, the series can win the price.
13. Pretty Little Liars
If it is concealing secrets and keeping them, the four teenage girls who are the main character in this TV series can win hands down. They are estranged friends who each have their deepest, darkest secrets that they don’t want anyone to find out. Just like Joe, they will try everything to keep their secrets safe.
Originally, there were five best friends, but after their leader disappeared, things turned sour, and the friends fell apart. They reunited after a year when they all started receiving ominous and threatening messages.
The series is already on its seventh season after premiering on June 8, 2010, and ending in 2017.
Well, for those who love the story about murder and suspense, Elite is the series to watch. This is a TV series about three teens who are all working-class enrolled in a private school in Spain, and unlike the other school-goers who are all from wealthy families.
The scholarship presented to the three working-class students didn’t sit well with the rest of the wealthy circle, and they did not do anything to make the three feel welcome.
The plot thickens when someone gets murdered, and the question is, who could have committed the crime?
This TV series was created by leading Spanish TV writers Dario Madrona and Carlos Montero.
This TV series is another psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts as Jean Holloway, a psychologist who develops a relationship with the people in her patients’ lives, getting too personal with her patients by trying to infiltrate her patients’ lives. Morally there is a red flag here, and again, the difference between right and wrong fades.
In the series You, Joe Goldberg gets curious and fantasizes about his love interest and infiltrates their personal lives.
The cast is perfect with not just Naomi Watts to carry it through.
There is only one season for Gypsy, and there is no news about it having a second season.
This television series is an American psychological thriller about the life of Mildred Ratched and her work as an asylum nurse, where she was able to seek employment. She was dedicated and highly committed to her job. Mildred was exposed to the unsettling things happening inside the asylum where the experiments on the human mind had already begun.
Ratched also disguised herself, so she could infiltrate the mental facility as her foster sibling is confined in the said asylum.
Again, the story is about the human mind and how it reacts to various struggles and whether it has the capacity for conflict or it can stand against conflicts.
17. Sharp Objects
The series is not just suspenseful and well-written, but it also received a few nominations and awards. It is an American TV series based on the debut novel by Gillian Flynn.
The story revolves around Camille Preaker, who returned to her hometown after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital for self-harm and alcoholism.
She handled the investigation for the murder of two young girls but again was confronted with her past. The critical and watchful eyes of her mother. This made Camille remember not only the emotional but also the physical scars that her mother caused her.
The story was gripping, and there is a haunted quality in the overall cinematography.
18. The Stranger
The Stranger was filmed in Manchester, and it is an eight-part British mystery thriller miniseries based on the novel by Harlan Coben. The main character, Adam Price, was surprised when a stranger approached him bearing some secrets about his family. It causes their family to get shaken to the core and leads to his wife’s mysterious disappearance.
There are various secrets that The Stranger holds and involves most of the townspeople. Some secrets are traumatizing and may cause a devastating effect on the person involved. The plot is unnerving, and the story is also dramatic but worthwhile.
19. In The Dark
Another American TV series that premiered in 2019. The show was well received and renewed up to the fourth season. The series revolves around a young woman in her 20s, Murphy, a blind woman since she was 14 and only has two close friends Jess and Tyson. She wants to seek the answer and resolve the murder of Tyson when the police have no interest in investigating.
Although Murphy has good intentions, she also has personal issues she has to contend with, such as her antisocial behavior, her past relationships, and her chain-smoking habit.
The plot has its twist and turn, and there are struggles by the main character who needs to get past the troubles in her life, just like Joe Goldberg.
20. Breaking Bad
Another series where the main character is full of predicament and dilemma that he also brought to himself. Bryan Cranston played the role very well as the husband who has cancer, and with it comes the pile of problems such as not having money to leave his family and not enough to support medication and treatment for his sickness.
He committed horrible acts, even murder, to keep his double life a secret and his substance business hidden.
Like Joe, Walter needs to keep his secret and retain a happy facade in front of his family, and yet what he keeps to himself can cause him to lose his family.
If you are on the lookout for a series you can watch while waiting for the fourth season of You, the above can keep you glued to your seats as well. The plot is full of suspense, a bit of drama, murder, and secrets.
If you are also into characters that lead a double life, you can find one or two TV series above that will fit the bill. Some are also satisfying to watch, and you will have something to look forward to when using your Netflix account. It may not have the same plot and does not include the well-loved character of Joe, but it will do for the time being.