It's definitely possible to argue that Penn Badgley's Gossip Girl character, Dan Humphrey, is a straight-up psychopath. After all, this is the man who ran a gossip blog that trashed the very woman he claimed to be hopelessly in love with. (Hmm, maybe Serena really should have ended up with Nate.)
Of course, Dan wasn't a murderous fiend of Manhattan on The CW series...but, like, what if he was? Such is the plot of Badgley's new Lifetime show You, in which the Gossip Girl alum portrays Joe Goldberg, a bookstore clerk, literature aficionado, and total stalker who wins the heart of crush Beck (Elizabeth Lail) by obsessively analyzing her social media...and then, uh, by straight-up killing the people standing in the way of their romance.
Based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, You definitely dives into similar themes as Gossip Girl. (Dan basically knows everything about Blake Lively's Serena by reading Gossip Girl blasts, which he secretly curates.)
In an interview with TVLine, Badgley stated:
"I have no interest in ignoring the ways in which [Dan and Joe] are similar, or any of the comical parallels between the two...If anything, to the degree that there is any parallel between this role and Dan is the degree to which I get to sort of live out these twisted fantasies that I always wanted to...As much as people want to connect those dots, they’re welcome to, and I’m sure they will. It’s certainly not lost on me."
Badgley also reminded fans that there are major differences to look out for.
"But there’s a lot else about this show that makes it quite different," he told TVLine. "It’s just a matter of how much people are paying attention."
One thing's for certain: Seeing Badgley as stalker Joe may make us reevaluate our teen crushes on Dan.