YOU is back, and in its third season, it’s still twisting expectations. The first two seasons of Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble’s thriller / rom-com followed similar rhythms: fake nice Joe (Penn Badgley) finds a girl, falls in love, and relentlessly stalks her while murdering anyone who gets in the way. his path. But this time around, Joe met his partner thanks to his equally happy new wife, Love (Victoria Pedretti).
Instead of another stalker story, YOU Season 3 is like a twisted guide to marital issues. As Joe and Love try to figure out their new life with a suburban baby, they also engage in an endless battle of shifting alliances, cover-ups, and surprise murders. It’s a twisted season that proves this Netflix drama still has a serious edge. Ahead of its premiere, Decider spoke to series showrunner Sera Gamble, newcomers Shalita Grant and Travis van Winkle, and the reason for the bloody season themselves, Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti.
As a new season of YOU, Gamble doesn’t try to outdo itself. Rather, it focuses on the central questions of this series. “The subject is so rich and multifaceted. Like, love, obsession. What does it mean to be a man, or a good man? These are really huge questions, and you can’t really answer them in one season, ”said Gamble. “Beck [Elizabeth Lail] was one way to achieve this, but over time as we get to know Joe better and better, we can use different types of surgical tools to find out more about the topic. We’re all fumbling around because I don’t think anyone on Earth has all of the answers to these questions. It is open exploration. It sounds very intellectual. The college professor in me means that we and the public are exploring love and toxic masculinity.
This season, part of that exploration comes in the form of two new characters for our anti-heroes to hate, blogger mom Shalita Grant Sherry and hyper-masculine Cary by Travis Van Winkle. Sherry and Cary come to represent the perfect example of a millennial marriage, characters who look too perfect, are just wide enough awake, and have flawless social accounts to match their flawless lives. Sherry in particular is a constant thorn on Love’s side as she tries to figure out how to make things work with her new husband. But Grant’s perfect Instagram influencer may seem familiar to fans of the actor.
“I always say that I have the impression [Search Party‘s] Cassidy Diamond walked over so Sherry Conrad could run. I loved how the producers and the cast, they knew me from this show and they loved the elements. So for me, bringing these unfriendly characters to life is really poor judgment, ”Grant said. “I just like to pull out everything I’m supposed to feel and think about these people, and then pierce their humanity. It’s super fun for me. Also, I like to play with my co-stars. I rarely learn my lines in advance. I don’t learn the day before, I learn it in rehearsal. So that frees me up to really play. This piece really lends itself to a reality, to simply being present. “
As Sherry plays the perfect Millennial Wife and Mother, Cary and her exaggerated emphasis on masculinity never fail to infuriate Joe. “I’m fodder for Joe’s worldview, for sure. Everything I say, it tears me apart with its inner monologue, ”Van Winkle said. “What I also like is that I can take Joe to the woods and I want to use my methods to reintroduce him into his masculinity and set him free. I don’t know, he already has his own methods for this. And it’s murder. I had so much fun with this guy.
But more than any pesky neighbor, Joe and Love’s biggest rivals are each other. Season 3 plays smartly with the ups and downs of their relationship, pushing the times when Joe and Love are on the same page to their most sinister limits. Conversely, when they are on opposing sides, their lives are literally on the line as they both try to deal with a murderous spouse. When asked if they’d rather have their characters fight or work together, Badgley and Pedretti were quick to respond.
“To fight,” Pedretti said.
“Yeah, because they lie to themselves too much,” Badgley added. “Either they lie to each other or they lie to each other when they work, unfortunately, and when they fight is when they are most honest. And then there’s that momentum there.
Towards the end of Season 2, we started to see the explosive emotions that led Love to kill her brother’s abusive babysitter and Joe’s neighbor, Delilah (Carmela Zumbado). Now, in Season 3, the series really delves into Love’s particular bloodshed brand. It’s a far cry from the calculating nature that we expect from Joe and that Pedretti loved to capture.
“I find myself really grounded in the truth of Love and I feel really strong in that,” Pedretti said. “You’re not really interested in seeing the other person’s point of view, so it’s an interesting experience to kind of explode and explode and explode without really any… just in this truly self-protective and selfish way. It’s really interesting to read and then to play.
Badgley sees Joe’s ongoing journey in a much less explosive context. According to the actor, this new season is less about chronicling Joe’s slow downfall and more about taking the time to examine his dissociation from the world.
“I think when we met Joe, episode 1, season 1, he fell. So maybe what we’re seeing more of is sort of… What’s the word? I think of someone who just got lost. He is like in an alternate world, but he is unaware of it and comes in contact with this truth from time to time. Like, ‘Hold on a second, hold on a second, hold on a second, hold on a second. Am I the problem? Nope. That person who suggested this is gone. OKAY. Let’s move on, ”Badgley said. “He’s in this simulation. I always forget which color pill is the pill that keeps you in the Matrix, but he repeatedly takes the pill that keeps you in the Matrix. Every now and then when Neo shows up he says, ‘I’m going to kill you. OKAY.’ It is therefore less a fall than a state of running away.
All episodes of YOU Season 3 premieres on Netflix on Friday, October 15.